Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Anne M Knupfer

Committee Member 1

John E. Hill

Committee Member 2

Marilyn A. Hirth

Committee Member 3

William D. McInerney


Community colleges have played an important role in post-secondary education, especially in the rural Appalachian region. Historically, community colleges have employed an overwhelming majority of part-time faculty. This study investigated the perceptions of the professional roles and relationships of the English part-time faculty at rural Appalachian community colleges, and included the department and the rural Appalachian community. The findings identified multiple roles of part-time faculty as teacher, advisor / mentor, institutional insider, community player, income provider and Appalachian citizen. Within the English departments at the colleges involved in this study, retired public school teachers filled a unique set of these roles.