American Sociological Association

Sociology Faculty Members Employed Part-time in Community Colleges: Structural Disadvantage, Cultural Devaluation, and Faculty-Student Relationships

The large majority of faculty members teaching in community colleges are employed on a part-time basis, yet little is known about their working conditions and professional engagement. This article uses data from a recent national survey of faculty members teaching sociology in community colleges to provide this information, with particular attention to the different situations of those teaching full-time, part-time by choice, and part-time involuntarily. Contrary to previous analyses that assume homogeneous motivation and working conditions for part-time faculty members, our analysis finds differences between two categories in both structural aspects of their employment and perceptions of cultural devaluation expressed interpersonally. Both aspects serve as constraints on developing faculty-student relationships, a proven factor in student learning and success. We conclude that administrators and full-time colleagues must provide stronger support for the individuals introducing students to the discipline of sociology in the community college.


Curtis, J. W., Mahabir, C., Vitullo, M. W.





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