Faculty Perceptions of Inclusive Excellence Professional Development: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study
Professional development (PD) is an experience educators share. School leaders approach PD opportunities based on individual and organizational needs. The problem is some faculty feel challenged with the implementation of inclusive excellence (IE) PD. Understanding why faculty feel challenged with IE PD is important because faculty receptiveness of IE PD impacts the work culture and student success. A gap in the literature exists between transformational leadership theory, adult learning theory, PD, and IE in higher education. The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to explore faculty members’ experiences throughout a college’s IE PD and implementation phases. The theoretical frameworks that supported the research problem include transformational leadership theory and adult learning theory. Faculty shared experiences participating in IE PD. The impact administrators had on the implementation of IE PD was analyzed. Other variables that impacted faculty experiences throughout the IE PD were explored. The research population consisted of 110 full-time faculty at a college. Six faculty members who participated in the college’s IE PD were interviewed. An audit trail comprising transcripts, field notes, and a reflexive narrative contributed to data collection. Data analysis included epoche, coding transcripts, and thick description. Results indicated faculty’s experiences with IE PD, the administrator impact, and other PD variables as positive. Transformational leaders who use adult learning theory principles and PD best practices can create successful IE PD opportunities for faculty.