Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Shannon Cleverley-Thompson


The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences and the perceptions of full-time, non-tenure-track faculty, who have been employed for 3 or more years at a 4-year university, regarding career longevity and career advancement. This qualitative phenomenological study used multiple sources of data collection to strengthen its credibility. Semi-structured interviews were utilized as the primary source of data collection to capture the perceptions and experiences of full-time, non-tenure-track faculty employed at a large private doctoral university. A demographic survey, field notes, and document analysis were also used to triangulate the data. Five themes emerged, representing the participants’ experience that included: (a) socialization as support, trust, and acceptance, (b) it’s like being a second-class citizen, (c) the workhorse carries a heavy load, but it’s worth it, (d) what’s your niche? To make myself needed, and (e) moving forward with an unclear path. The results of this study provide full-time, non-tenure-track faculty with navigation tools to better inform their career path and advancement options. Learning about the experiences of full-time, non-tenure-track faculty with career longevity and career advancement can be advantageous to college and university administrators to develop better policies and practices for those faculty.

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