Resurfacing race : recruitment and retention of faculty in California community colleges

Despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects equal employment opportunity for all, and other California legislation to increase faculty diversity, the disparity between the demographics of California’s community college student population and the makeup of the faculty is striking. Specifically, underrepresented minority (URM) students who represent the largest student population at 49%, yet only 22% of faculty are URM. In 1992 the California legislature adopted regulations that allow community colleges to establish Faculty Diversity Internship Programs (FDIP), to “promote inclusive efforts to locate and attract qualified graduate students who are members of monitored groups identified by gender, ethnicity, and disability.” Despite being passed over 20 years ago, less than half of community colleges have implemented FDIPs. This study used a program evaluation to examine two FDIPs sites. The program evaluation revealed four benefits of participating in FDIP 1) mentorship, 2) teaching experience, 3) professional development, and 3) networking and collaboration opportunities. Barriers and challenges included 1) mentor matching, 2) mentor training, 3) class assignment, and 4) FDIP Coordinator transition. Finally, the program evaluation revealed that although the FDIP does not have a significant impact on increasing faculty diversity, it does have a significant impact on preparing faculty to serve in a diverse community college. The study provides evidence and recommendations for implementing FDIPs as a strategy to increase faculty diversity.