Factors Influencing Career Experiences of Selected Chinese Faculty Employed at a Research Extensive University in Texas
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Whereas research related to the experience of faculty of color is increasing, little attention has been focused on Chinese faculty's career experience in the United States. The purpose of this study was: (1) to identify and describe factors which influence Chinese faculty decisions to apply for, accept, and remain in faculty positions at a Research Extensive University in Texas; and (2) to determine the challenges and support Chinese faculty have experienced with respect to promotion, tenure and recognition at a Research Extensive University in Texas. To address the purpose of the study, four research questions were used as guidance for collecting and analyzing the data. The purposive sample consisted of sixteen Chinese faculty members (four female and twelve male) across different disciplines, ranks and genders, from seven different colleges at the studied university. All participants are first generation Americans who obtained at least a bachelor's degree in China, received their doctoral degree or postdoctoral training in the United States, and found faculty positions in the United States. This study used a qualitative research design with in-depth interviews, observations and document reviews as the major tools for data collection. Constant comparative method was adopted to analyze data. Major findings concluded that factors such as traditional Chinese culture, family influence, the ability to access American academic freedom, advanced research environments, flexibility and job security, have significant influences in determining Chinese faculty decisions to work within academia in the United States. Additionally, Chinese faculty tended to regard individual barriers (i.e. challenges in mastery of English language, a lack of teaching experience, no undergraduate educational background in the United States, an unfamiliarity with the American culture, and insufficient communications skills in general) rather than institutionalized barriers (i.e. occupational discrimination, stereotypes and prejudice) as primary factors that impeded their professional development. Furthermore, Chinese women faculty experienced racial and gender issues in their lives and faced more challenges than their male counterparts in developing their career in the United States. The researcher hoped that this study could contribute to the scant literature on Chinese faculty's career experiences in the United States, shed some light on understanding what factors influenced their career development, and provide some implications for practice and recommendations for further research.
Faculty of Color
Zhang, Yan (2009). Factors Influencing Career Experiences of Selected Chinese Faculty Employed at a Research Extensive University in Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from