Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Sherwood Thompson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Second Advisor

Tara Shepperson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Third Advisor

Roger C. Cleveland

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

Rural universities and colleges with traditionally homogeneous ethnic and cultural populations have to work especially hard to ensure faculty diversity. Despite efforts to increase the number of faculty of color in Kentucky's statewide system of community colleges, minority representation remains proportionally low, especially on the state's rural college campuses. The purpose of this study was to investigate how faculty of color in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) perceived their work climate and resident communities in order to distinguish if these faculty members were content and therefore more inclined to remain at their jobs and offer the degree of diversity sought for the community college system.

Specifically, the study involved sending online surveys to 242 full and part-time faculty of color employed at a KCTCS college. Responses were then tabulated presenting descriptive statistics on faculty of color locations around the state and their perceptions about the diversity of their work and home communities. Additionally, analyses of variances (ANOVAs) were conducted to separate the faculty of color into groups based on (a) their ethnicity, (b) personal characteristics, (c) professional attributes, and (d) geographic location within the state.

Correlation analyses revealed that the only statistically significant differences in perception of work climate and community environment were: significantly more negative perception on community environment for the age group of 30-39 years old compared to those who were 60 years or older, and significantly more negative perception on work climate for those who were divorced as compared to those who were married and those who had deceased spouses. There were no statistically significant differences in perception of work climate and community environment between the different groups by place of childhood upbringing, and between the different groups by setting before current college.

The study's contribution to knowledge about faculty of color in Kentucky's community colleges is related to addressing diversity issues and support for their full-time educational staff. The findings may indicate a need for Kentucky colleges and universities to pay greater attention to factors associated with tenure for faculty of color, and ensure equity of work assignments across ethnicities in order to avoid creating extra obstacles. Additional research, and specifically a qualitative research design, would be useful in elaborating upon the findings of the present study.

Share

COinS