Murray State Theses and Dissertations


This research will focus on adjunct and full-time faculty members’ perceptions of student retention, responsibilities, commitment, and job satisfaction in higher education. The research examines adjunct and full-time faculty perceptions of student retention challenges concerning the creation of a stronger student-centered approach to learning in a more positive and encouraging learning environment. Depending on the instructor and time available, several various pedagogical approaches are available to improve student retention. At the same time, faculty commitment levels vary dependent on job security and promotion opportunities. Higher education teaching responsibilities include various levels of administrative duties and professional development requirements depending on full-time verses adjunct faculty. Depending on the position of employment, full-time and adjunct faculty members might strive and work harder. Consequently, job satisfaction plays a pivotal role for faculty members. Job satisfaction from an employee viewpoint affects performance levels; thus, emotional awareness can provide additional insight into teaching effectiveness for full-time and adjunct faculty members. Furthermore, the level of job satisfaction and commitment to teaching as adjunct instructors versus being full-time instructors will be examined. Professional roles and responsibilities of adjunct compared with full-time faculty need further research. With full-time faculty members exercising more administrative power in higher education than adjuncts, professional roles and responsibilities could affect adjunct faculty members job satisfaction. Finally, exploring adjunct faculty members’ relationships with students and potential impact on student retention, compared with full-time faculty, will also be analyzed.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, perceptions, student retention, responsibilities, job satisfaction

Degree Awarded

Doctor of Education


Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling


College of Education & Human Services

Dissertation Committee Chair

Randal H. Wilson

Co-Director of Dissertation

Teresa Clark

Document Type

Dissertation - Murray State Access only