Reference Memo on Confidentiality and Research Procedures


To: New Adjunct Faculty Member

From: Kristina Kauffman, FIPSE/FSS Project Director, Riverside Community College
Barbara Sirotnik, Ph.D., Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis
Shel Bockman, Ph.D., Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis

Regarding: FIPSE/FSS Grant, survey procedures and Confidentiality

Riverside Community College District, College of the Desert, Diablo Valley College, Mt. San Antonio College, Pasadena City College, Rio Hondo College, San Diego Community College District, Santa Barbara City College, and Santa Monica College have received FIPSE and FSS grant funding to improve the quality of first time adjunct faculty teaching by providing an on-line course with follow-up face-to-face workshops. The course will provide professional development and orientation for new adjunct faculty. It is anticipated that this program will better prepare adjunct instructors for their teaching experience, and create a more positive and rewarding experience for their students. As specified in the grant application, the expected outcomes for this project include: improved first impressions, enhanced teaching, higher retention rates, and greater student success. An evaluation of the program is required by the granting agencies in order to provide critical data related to the effectiveness of the project. You can read a bit more about the grant at

In order to assess the effectiveness of the project the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis will conduct surveys of first time faculty. These surveys will be conducted online before faculty begin the online course and immediately after they complete the course. An additional follow-up survey will be mailed to the faculty member once they complete the course. Please note that the purpose of the survey is to evaluate the efficacy of the orientation course, not the faculty.

Participation in the program by adjunct faculty is voluntary. Each college will have an incentive program to encourage participation. One of the project objectives includes learning which incentives for participation are effective. Faculty who chose not to participate may provide valuable insight into this effort as well, and there will be no penalties for non?participation. This is insured by confidentiality procedures stated below.

Survey procedures:

  1. Faculty who are new to the project will be asked to fill in their contact information (seen ONLY by Institute personnel) and complete a brief online survey prior to taking the online course and immediately after they complete the course. In addition, faculty who have completed the course will be mailed a more detailed follow-up survey.
  2. Upon completion of the survey faculty will be asked to place the completed survey in the return envelope, seal the envelope and mail it to the Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis. Free mailing is available through the campus mailroom. Most campuses have drop boxes allowing for anonymous submission. Mailroom personnel will be advised of the confidential nature of this mailing and advised not to convey any knowledge they may have about who submitted envelopes to anyone including campus administrators.

Confidentiality Agreement:

The Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino is bound to retain the strictest confidentiality regarding the names of participants in the study. It will enforce appropriate security measures and assure that staff maintains confidentiality. The Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis will not release to the granting agencies or the community colleges information that makes it possible to link the data collected to any individual faculty member, with the following exception:

  1. IAR will release to the community colleges a report that lists the names of those who have completed the course and submitted surveys so that they may be rewarded for participation per the policies of their district. This report will indicate that the faculty member viewed each page in the course, and completed the quiz at the end of each lesson with a passing score (70% with two attempts).
  2. The names of faculty members who participated in only a portion of the course will not be released.

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