The purpose of this study is to explore experiences of professional growth for mid-career community college faculty. The research question that guided the study is: How do community college faculty members experience professional growth at mid- career? The research design included an interpretive social science methodology and phenomenological method. Nine mid-career community college faculty, identified as being engaged and active in their professional role, participated through in-depth interviews.
Profiles of the participants in their own words were presented to reflect on their early career experiences, and themes were presented as they emerged from the data as participants talked about their experiences of professional growth. Themes emerged in the areas of: (1) experiences of professional growth; (2) how faculty made meaning of these experiences; and (3) how faculty experienced support for their growth.
Faculty interviewed for this study were active in campus leadership and governance and in pursuing professional development opportunities. They
demonstrated a high degree of engagement in student learning and improving instruction. They were thoughtful about their experiences, reflecting on diversity as one of the strengths of their institution and engaging in a self-reflective post-tenure process. They also experienced a high level of support from administrators and colleagues. By voicing the professional growth experiences of highly engaged faculty at an important career stage, this study offers implications for practice for faculty, administrators, and policy makers concerned with faculty, instructional, and organizational development.