Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Therese Kanai


Research shows that consistent, supportive, and relevant professional development (PD) is an action that empowers educators to change. In the east central region of Canada, the sustainability of community colleges had been linked to program collaboration and internationalization which requires implementation of high-quality PD for its professors. Guided by Mezirow's adult transformative learning theory, the purpose of this study was to understand the PD practices of full-time professors by investigating the connections between professors' level of engagement in PD and their perceptions of the resources and processes that may improve their instructional practices. This single-phased, concurrent mixed-methods study was conducted using a self-designed 39-item web-based survey to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. From a population of 600 full-time professors at 5 colleges, 120 surveys were completed. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test, and Fisher's exact test were used for quantitative analyses. Findings indicated that professors with higher levels of engagement in PD perceived the importance of making use of online and face-to-face networking strategies as well as available online resources to improve instructional practices. Emergent themes from the qualitative data were coded and confirmed the value of networking in PD. Results were used to design a workshop to help community college professors in planning and supporting their PD activities via enhanced networking strategies and implementation of online resources for instruction. By providing college professors needed opportunities to engage in customized PD focused on networking and maximizing the use of available online resources, colleges may be better prepared to foster active, engaged, and highly trained faculty capable of producing positive social change benefitting the institutions and students they serve.