Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Genevieve Pinto Zipp, EdD

Committee Member

Deborah DeLuca, JD

Committee Member

Sophia Jones, PhD


cultural awareness, culturally responsive teaching


Introduction. Millions of students enroll in public community colleges in the United States. They are often first-generation or first in their family to go to college. They are often culturally and linguistically diverse, with English not being their first language. They often choose a community college because of its high-quality, lower cost, and successful implementation of programs to assist and acclimate them to post-secondary education. Students look to community college as a first step into a professional healthcare career. Health Science faculty teaching at community colleges are either full-time or part-time (adjunct) contingency faculty. Adjunct faculty are often content experts but not necessarily familiar with pedagogical principles. Therefore, they may not implement culturally appropriate teaching methods. This study will explore community college health science adjunct faculty’s perceptions of culturally responsive teaching and their readiness to implement these practices. Method. This is a qualitative study of health science adjunct faculty teaching in New Jersey community colleges. Data was collected by using in-depth interviews conducted virtually through Microsoft Teams. The interviews were then coded, and emergent themes were sought. Results. The data from 15 faculty were secured to reach data saturation. Findings support that adjunct faculty have a general level of cultural awareness but employ less culturally responsive teaching methods. They note having little to no preservice training and perceive that the community college may not be ready to implement culturally responsive methodologies. Discussion. While adjunct community college faculty believe that they are culturally aware, limits in their culturally responsive teaching is evident and can impact student success. In order for community college adjunct faculty members to meet the needs of the student population they serve in the health sciences faculty must be better informed and prepared. The academy has a major role in not only supporting student growth but that of faculty as well. Conclusions. The academy must support faculty by providing meaningful and ongoing training to successfully implement culturally responsive teaching concepts.