Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Wallace Cohen, EdD, Director; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Sharalee Jorgensen, EdD


California, community colleges, faculty, first year of hire, higher education, Leadership studies, mentoring, orientation, perception, teaching


This study examined the challenges and sources of support encountered by new faculty the first year of hire. Nineteen participants were interviewed from three community colleges. Interview sites were chosen to include three institutions of different sizes. Site 1 was an urban-centered college and a part of a multi-college district. Sites 2 and 3 were both single-college districts. All participants were hired in the Fall of 1989, and were full-time, tenure-track, teaching faculty. Interviews were audiotaped and analyzed by the researcher. From participant comments, themes were generated and summarized in frequency response tables. Some of the major findings of the study were: first, instructors having no previous community college teaching experience reported problems with student diversity within the classroom; the number of teaching hours; and emotional isolation with regard to colleagues the first year of hire. Next, the size of the employing school affected the problems new faculty experienced with regard to student diversity, teaching load, and collegial relationships. Third, the amount of previous teaching experience did not play a significant role in the types of problems reported, but the type of experience did. Finally, proximity and likeness of purpose seem to play a major role in perceived sources of help the first year of hire. Most respondents named department colleagues as their primary source of help the first year. Some of the major recommendations of this study were: (a) give new faculty the opportunity to evaluate the orientation program; (b) break orientation information into modules of three or less hours; (c) arrange orientation modules according to participant needs; (d) give new faculty a tour of the campus, satellite centers, and the surrounding community; (e) avoid giving new faculty "leftover" teaching hours; (f) place the new instructor's office in close proximity to department colleagues and staff; (g) encourage college staff to assume a mentoring attitude toward new faculty; (h) give assigned mentors and their proteges released time; (i) provide mentor training; (j) use tenured faculty as mentors.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access