Dr. Susan Cathcart currently holds the position of Vice President of Academics at Baker College in Auburn Hills, MI. She has been in the position since June 2008. Prior to that position, she was Vice President of Academics at Baker College of Allen Park, the Dean of Business Administration at the Auburn Hills campus and an adjunct faculty member at the Auburn Hills campus. For seventeen years and prior to joining Baker College as a full time employee in 1999, she was an Administrator of a Psychiatric Clinic. Dr. Cathcart earned a Bachelor degree in Social Work from Michigan State University. She received her Master's degree in Management from Walsh College and her PhD from Capella University in Organization and Management with a specialization in Human Resource Management.
Ph.D - Organization and Management with a specialization in Human Resource Management - 2004, Capella University
Characteristics of effective adjunct faculty who teach in accelerated degree programs
UMI AAT 3119169
Accelerated degree programs offer a non-traditional approach for degree completion, which allows students the opportunity to accelerate the pace of the degree with courses that are presented in less time than the traditional quarter or semester system. These programs rely primarily on adjunct faculty who have full-time jobs outside of the institution of higher education, and this presents challenges for supervisors. Even though adjunct faculty may be content experts equipped to teach new practices in the field, they are not always successful in teaching adult learners. In accelerated degree programs, adjunct faculty have a significant effect on the quality of the adult students' learning experience. The challenge for supervisors is identifying common characteristics of effective adjunct faculty to use when staffing classes in these programs to prevent the negative effects of poor hiring decisions. Using a case study approach, the qualitative design of grounded theory allowed the researcher to answer the research question: what common characteristics, if any, are shared by effective adjunct faculty in accelerated degree programs? Using a student generated performance evaluation document, the researcher evaluated how students reflected on their classroom experiences when ranking faculty performance. A theory emerged, grounded in the experiences and beliefs of four participant groups who are affiliated with a private college in the Midwest; adjunct faculty's personal qualities and characteristics impact their effectiveness in accelerated degree programs more than their professional characteristics or their use of innovative teaching strategies. To understand how the personal characteristics of effectiveness created an exceptional learning environment, two themes emerged through a deeper analysis of the data. Accelerated degree programs are intensive and demanding, and to increase the adult learners' success in the program, adjunct faculty must possess the personal characteristics which allow creation of a safe learning environment, without boundaries, and creation of a community in the classroom. Using the findings from the study and the theory of effective adjunct faculty who teach in accelerated degree programs, the researcher developed a staffing profile, which included interview questions and a job description.