This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Perceptions of Teaching Excellence: An Examination of Foreign and U.S.-Educated Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities




McConner, Mary

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study examined the teaching qualities and behaviors that U.S.-educated and foreign-educated faculty who teach at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) deem necessary for teaching excellence. The Teacher Behavior Checklist (Buskist, Sikorski, Buckley, & Saville, 2002) was administered to faculty participants who were asked to rank the top 10 of 28 qualities/behaviors that they perceived as essential for effective teaching. The online survey was sent by email to 3,769 faculty members from 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Of those contacted, 543 completed the survey leading to an overall response percentage of 14.4%. There were 470 (86.6%) faculty members who identified as U.S.-educated and 73 (13.4%) who identified as foreign-educated. Results showed that U.S.- and foreign-educated faculty agreed on the top 10 qualities and behaviors, with difference in the order in which the items were ranked. Both groups selected (a) knowledgeable, (b) enthusiastic, (c) approachable/personable, (d) creative/interesting, (e) effective communicator, (f) encourages/cares for students, (g) promotes critical thinking, (h) accessible, (i) confident, and (j) prepared. Participant demographics (gender, academic discipline, participation in a graduate developmental program prior to faculty appointment, academic rank, and years of teaching experience) were evaluated to determine if these characteristics would affect survey item selections. Overall, the survey item selections were consistent among the different demographic groups that were assessed. However, there was statistically significant difference for the order in which some of the items were ranked within demographics. When comparing the findings of this study to the results of other studies that used the Teacher Behavior Checklist to assess U.S.- and foreign-educated faculty populations, faculty members agreed on eight of the 10 top qualities. The agreed upon qualities and behaviors were (a) knowledgeable, (b) enthusiastic, (c) creative/interesting, (d) promotes critical thinking, (e) effective communicator, (f) approachable/personable, (g) encourages/cares, and (h) accessible. HBCU faculty members assessed in this study ranked accessible, approachable/personable, and encourages/cares statistically higher than faculty members from Predominately White Institutions. The findings of this study provide evidence that HBCU faculty value establishing supportive relationships and environments for their students.