Skip Navigation
PEDAR: Executive Summary Teaching Undergraduates in U.S. Postsecondary Institutions: Fall 1998
Who Teaches Undergraduates?
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Overall Pattern
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Variation Across Type of Institutions
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Use of Part-Time Faculty and Teaching Assistants
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Involvement of Senior Faculty Teaching Undergraduates
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Characteristics of Faculty Who Taught Undergraduate Classes
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Independent Relationship of Specific Variables to Teaching Undergraduate Classes
How Much Do Faculty Teach?
How Much Do Faculty Teach? Time Allocated to Undergraduate Teaching Activities
How Much Do Faculty Teach? Undergraduate Teaching Loads
How Much Do Faculty Teach? Teaching Loads Varied Among Those Who Did Some Undergraduate Teaching
What Kinds of Teaching Practices Do Faculty Use in Their Undergraduate Classes?
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Use of Part-Time Faculty and Teaching Assistants

One issue of great concern to students, parents, administrators, state legislators, and the general public is the use of part-time faculty and teaching assistants to teach undergraduate courses (Cox 2000). In fall 1998, about 71 percent of undergraduate credit hours across all types of institutions were assigned to full-time faculty and instructional staff, a considerably higher percentage than that assigned to part-time faculty (27 percent) and teaching assistants and other staff (1 percent for each group).

Furthermore, the analysis of the faculty-level data did not find that part-time faculty had a higher likelihood of teaching undergraduate students than their full-time colleagues. For example, at 4-year doctoral institutions, there was no difference found between part- and full-time faculty in terms of their percentages of being engaged in undergraduate teaching activities (69 percent and 70 percent, respectively) or teaching at least one undergraduate class (58 percent and 57 percent, respectively). At 4-year nondoctoral institutions, part-time faculty were even less likely than full-time faculty to report providing at least one type of instruction to undergraduates (85 percent vs. 90 percent, respectively) and, in particular, teaching undergraduate classes (80 percent vs. 86 percent, respectively).

next section