An Analysis of Community College Developmental Education Faculty Members' Perceptions of Professional Development
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Faculty professional development is an essential component in the fabric of community colleges. Nationwide research studies indicate that students who begin their post-secondary studies underprepared and enrolled in developmental education are less likely to complete a college degree. Developmental education has been under reform for the past few years with the goal of accelerating students’ success and transitioning them into college-level courses. Given the present state of reform, more research is needed on faculty preparation in teaching developmental education, specifically on the role of professional development in preparing faculty in developmental education. Faculty in developmental education are central to the success of students completing a degree or certificate. During this current state of reform in developmental education, professional development represents a probable solution to preparing faculty to provide condensed versions of developmental education course models. This research study examined perceptions of community college faculty in developmental education on professional development. This study utilized a qualitative case study design with the use of focus groups, semi-structured interviews, and surveys. The findings were (a) the majority of participants reported that sharing with other faculty members was beneficial and perceived the sharing of practice with like-minded individuals as a professional development activity, (b) participants’ primary challenges to participating in professional development were limited funding and time away from classroom, and (c) participants expressed apprehension regarding the state of reform in developmental education. Insights from faculty on needs, challenges, and perceptions may enhance the effectiveness, timeliness, and quality of faculty development programs.