Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the Final Dissertation of

Jennifer Knott

for the Degree of Doctor of Education

March 27, 2018 at 3:45 PM, Blue Jeans/ Online

Advisor: Dr. Amanda Szapkiw

Measurement of Organizational Commitment in Adjunct Instructors Teaching within a Mid-South Community College System Based on Hiring Orientation Characteristics

ABSTRACT: The United States community college student population is a broad demographic that continues to grow. The result is a higher demand for classes and an increasing reliance of college administrators on temporary, part-time adjunct instructors. Temporary employees are found to exhibit a low organizational commitment (OC) to their employers. The social exchange theory and the concept of reciprocity served as the framework for studying OC of adjunct instructors in a mid-south community college system. A predictive correlation study was conducted to predict OC based on three hiring orientation characteristics while controlling for years of teaching experience. The linear combination of mode, length, and content type was significantly associated with OC. Hiring orientation length was negatively correlated with OC (b = -.401). Content type teaching support was negatively correlated with OC (b = -.291); and content type campus contacts was positively correlated with OC (b = .361). A descriptive study was then employed to examine employment issues important to adjunct instructor commitment. Results demonstrated that adjunct instructors rated insufficient rates of pay, job insecurity, and a lack of respect as most still exist significant in their relationship with hiring institutions. Without making efforts to improve working conditions for adjunct instructors, hiring administrators risk losing their availability to other institutions or more satisfying work outside of higher education. The results offer administrators potential avenues for change.