The experiences of postsecondary technical faculty returning to higher education under administrative mandate
Watford, John Mark
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The study examined the perspectives of five technical college instructors who were earning an Associate Degree under administrative mandate due to the school seeking a higher level of accreditation. Each instructor had a minimum of 10 years of teaching experience in postsecondary technical education. Purposeful sampling was used to select the five postsecondary instructors at three technical colleges in the same southeastern state. The constant comparative method was used to analyze the data gathered from three semi-structured interviews. Data from each case were analyzed, first individually, then through cross case methods in which four common themes emerged: 1) Morale among technical instructors under an education mandate is directly proportional to the perceived support of their school administration, 2) Technical instructors under mandate expect immediate practical application of the education that they are required to receive, 3) Teachers of vocationally oriented programs are resistant to the trend of postsecondary technical education to include academic courses, and 4) Veteran teachers in their late career stage see mandated degree earning as a major interruption in an, otherwise, settled and content lifestyle. The findings of the study had implications for administrators of postsecondary vocational instructors. The areas of support needed in a mandated education experience included planning and organization, moral support, and financial reimbursement when possible.