Quality assurance of full-time faculty adequacy: institutional narratives

Nhung Thi Tuyet Pham, Valerie Paton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Adequacy of full-time faculty is a fundamental indicator used by US accreditors to ensure quality learning environments. This paper aims to explore institutional responses to one US regional accreditor to identify themes related to adequacy of faculty in support of institutional missions over a two-year period. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative design was used to examine eighteen institutional narratives. The research question was “What themes are identified by institutions to document adequacy of full-time faculty for compliance with accreditation?” The highest level of degree awarded was used to organize emergent themes from institutional narratives (e.g. associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral level institutions). Findings: The study identified five themes: definition of full-time faculty; variation in assessment measures used to demonstrate adequacy of full-time faculty; institutional characteristics and full-time faculty; responsibilities of full-time faculty; and relationship between full-time faculty and student learning outcomes. The findings showed that the institutions used multiple assessment measurements to demonstrate compliance. Research limitations/implications: The research design was limited to one US regional accreditation agency; therefore, the acceptable evidence related to adequacy of full-time faculty may differ among accrediting bodies, which would impact the institutional narrative and methods for demonstrating compliance. Second, some of the institutional groupings included only one or two narratives. Practical implications: The finding of this study could have important implications for the research and practice of evaluating faculty in accreditation reviews. Originality/value: There have been limited studies on accreditation narratives focused on the adequacy of full-time faculty. This study offers findings that may be of benefit to non-US and US higher education institutions in planning for faculty staffing patterns to support fulfillment of the institutional mission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-236
Number of pages14
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Keywords

  • Adequacy
  • Full-time faculty
  • Institutional measures
  • International accreditation
  • Regional accreditation

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