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2008 Spotlight

Community College

Section 1. Institutional Characteristics

Faculty

The faculty and instructional staff at community colleges differ in various ways from those at public and private 4-year colleges and universities. Unlike their colleagues at 4-year institutions, a majority of faculty at community colleges hold part-time appointments. In fall 2003, two-thirds of faculty at community colleges were employed part time (over 240,000 faculty), and one-third were employed full time (approximately 121,000 faculty) (see figure 8 and table SA-7). In comparison, at public 4-year institutions, 28 percent of faculty were employed part time that year, while at private 4-year institutions, 42 percent were employed part time.

The primary activity of almost 90 percent of faculty at community colleges is teaching, with virtually no faculty devoted primarily to research. In addition, compared with faculty at 4-year institutions, smaller percentages at community colleges report administrative duties as their main activity (8–9 percent compared with 3 percent). The percentage of faculty that serve primarily in an administrative role, however, is small across all institution types (less than 10 percent).

The demographics of the faculty at community colleges also differ from those at 4-year institutions. Larger percentages of faculty at community colleges than at public or private 4-year institutions have a master's degree or less as their highest level of educational attainment (see figure 9). At community colleges, there is relative parity in the percentage of male and female faculty compared with public and private 4-year institutions where males predominate (constituting about 60 percent of faculty members) (see table SA-7). In addition, at community colleges, there are greater percentages of Black and Hispanic faculty than at public or private 4-year institutions. However, 80 to 85 percent of the faculty are White at all three types of institutions.

Figures and Tables

Figure 8: Percentage distribution of faculty in degree–granting institutions, by faculty employment status, main activity, and control and type of institution: Fall 2003

Figure 9: Percentage distribution of faculty in degree–granting institutions, by highest level of educational attainment, minority race/ethnicity, and control and type of institution: Fall 2003

Table SA-7: Number and percentage distribution of faculty and instructional staff in degree–granting institutions, by control and type of institution and selected faculty characteristics: Fall 2003

Table SSA-7: Standard errors for the number and percentage distribution of faculty and instructional staff in degree–granting institutions, by control and type of institution and selected faculty characteristics: Fall 2003

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education