Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary Woods Scherr, PhD, Chair; Robert Donmoyer, PhD; Daniel M. Miller, PhD


health care instructors, higher education, Leadership studies, novice, occupational training, private career colleges, qualitative


Health care instructors at private career colleges are responsible for training thousands of health services workers who enter the American work force annually. The number of students seeking health care occupational training at career colleges is expected to increase significantly during the next decade because the health service industry is the fastest growing section of the United States economy. At the same time, the public education system does not have the capacity to fully accommodate the future population of students seeking the postsecondary education required for these jobs. Instructors at private career colleges are typically hired directly from professional positions and receive little or no preparation for their new careers as classroom instructors. In spite of their potential impact on the quality of America's health care work force, little is known about the experiences and needs of these instructors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of novice health care instructors at private career colleges. A qualitative research design was used to gather data to provide answers to the following research questions: (1) What do novice health care instructors at private career colleges experience in the transition from the field to the classroom? (2) What are their perceived needs as novice health care instructors? and (3) How do they believe these needs can best be met? Data was gathered through individual interviews and focus groups with novice health care instructors. Data analysis focused on comparing and contrasting the experiences and needs of the participants. The long-term goal of the researcher is to develop recommendations that colleges can use to help their newly hired health care instructors more easily make the transition to the classroom and to increase their effectiveness as instructors. This, in turn, may contribute to the preparation of a more competent health service work force.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access