Date of Award

Fall 2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dawn Basinger

Abstract

Community colleges in some states have explored delivery options to accelerate students through remediation and into credit-bearing courses, reduce attrition rates and time-to-degree, and increase retention and completion rates. Two of these options, contextualized and integrated instruction, have demonstrated clear academic advantages for students and promising fiscal advantages for institutions. However, since many of the promising innovations colleges are exploring require faculty to make the biggest adjustments, this study addressed the impact of contextualized and integrated instruction on faculty.

Literature was plentiful on the models themselves and the effect on student outcomes, but a gap existed for the impact of these models on faculty. The common thread throughout the literature of integrated programs was that successful implementation depended not only upon the great idea, the available financial resources, or the top-down support given by administration, but also upon the willingness of instructors to innovate and collaborate. Some studies suggested that faculty are critical for successful instructional innovations, but that their specific perceptions and behaviors have not been sufficiently studied in the context of planning and implementing these campus initiatives.

This qualitative case study, therefore, explored the perceptions of faculty who participated in contextualized and integrated instructional models. Using personal interviews, the study examined the culture of selected campuses through the eyes of the faculty to understand how the initiatives were implemented, and which campus practices and policies contributed to or inhibited successful implementation.

Interviews explored (a) How faculty members characterized integrated or contextualized instruction; (b) The experiences of faculty members who implemented integrated instruction; (c) What faculty identified as the benefits and challenges for the student, the institution, and themselves; and (d) What practices or policies contributed to or inhibited successful integrated or contextualized instruction.

Findings were significant for community college administrators to understand concerns regarding the time required for planning contextualized and integrated instruction, and practical considerations for aligning syllabi, learning outcomes, advising practices, and providing professional development for faculty. Findings were significant on a broader scope as they related to project management for any change effort on a campus.

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