June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Women in Engineering
15.261.1 - 15.261.9
Career Success for Female STEM Faculty at Public Two-Year Institutions
Abstract Very limited research exists on the career advancement of STEM female faculty members at public two-year institutions. Within a four-year institutional setting, several employment outcomes, including representation in faculty and leadership positions, tenure status, academic rank, salaries, disciplinary affiliation, research productivity, and others, are identified as markers of academic career advancement.
Community colleges differ dramatically from their four-year counterparts in missions and institutional characteristics. These differences point to the need to re-examine the explanatory power of some findings on STEM career success and advancement outcomes of female faculty in the four-year sector in the context of two-year institutions.
In this paper, we present a study to investigate (1) the extent to which the factors associated with advancement and employment outcomes in the four-year sector translate to the two-year institutional context, and (2) the extent to which there exist other factors affecting female faculty members’ employment outcomes that are unique to two-year institutions.
This study examines factors associated with community college female faculty members’ academic career success and employment outcomes in STEM fields using secondary data from the 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF).
What is academic success? This paper looks into a specific group in higher education, female faculty teaching STEM topics at two year schools. This work is part of a larger NSF ADVANCE grant looking at the overall success of said faculty. In that project, national data will be used to develop a success measure, and faculty will be interviewed to assess the quality of the measure and to identify factors to success not captured by national surveys like NSOPF.
A crucial part of that research is building a success measure. There are several ways that faculty may be seen as successful. There are the traditional three areas of teaching, research and service. And, there are direct advancement measures like rank and tenure. With 2-year school faculty, aspects like highest degree earned and full time employment may also point to the success of a faculty member. This paper presents a preliminary numeric analysis of some basic measures of academic success for STEM faculty members at two-year colleges, broken down by gender. It covers areas of success that are tractable and relevant to the two-year college, and where appropriate, shows comparisons with 4-year schools.
A significant percent of faculty are based in two-year universities. As of 2003, 43% of all faculty members in public colleges and universities were employed at public two-year institutions1. With respect to gender and STEM, most research focuses on the role of women in
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