Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Higher Ed/Community College Ed

Major Professor

Sarah Kiefer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Howard Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Mann, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.


faculty, evaluation study, program development, self-determination theory


This evaluation study had three main aims: 1) to examine how an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Summit can be used to promote First Year Experience (FYE) instructors’ sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness within the context of the FYE program at a community college; 2) to examine how an AI Summit might guide FYE program development; and 3) to examine how and in what ways an AI Summit might influence FYE instructors’ intent to act on the recommendations that result from this approach to program development. Instructors teaching the FYE course at a community college in the Southeastern United States were invited to participate in an AI Summit and subsequent individual follow-up interviews. Multiple methods of data collection were employed, including pre- and post-AI Summit questionnaires, small and large group activities, and post-AI Summit individual interviews. Study findings indicate that the AI Summit approach promotes FYE instructors’ sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness and that the AI Summit is an effective approach to FYE program development, one that does influence FYE instructors’ intent to act on summit recommendations. Implications for organizations and scholarly practice are discussed, as well as recommendations for future study.

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Education Commons