Public community colleges in the United States enroll approximately 6 million students, about 45 percent of all undergraduates. These students are taught by nearly four hundred thousand full- and part-time faculty members, about whom little is known. The community college professoriat is truly overlooked in the research on postsecondary faculty. When community college faculty are studied, they are often examined through lenses more appropriate for four-year faculty. This volume provides a broad overview of community college faculty: who they are, what they do, and what factors affect their career and work. The authors also analyze community college teaching as a profession in an effort to take a fresh look at community college faculty and their work. The goal is to make all readers come to view community college faculty members as colleague making a distinct contribution to their students and to faculty work. Such an understanding is critical in the current policy environment that values postsecondary education for everyone and sees the community college as a major venue for providing that education.
This is the 6th issue of the 32nd volume of the Jossey-Bass series ASHE Higher Education . Each monograph in the series is the definitive analysis of a tough higher education problem, based on thorough research of pertinent literature and institutional experiences. Topics are identified by a national survey. Noted practitioners and scholars are then commissioned to write the reports, with experts providing critical reviews of each manuscript before publication.