Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Hughes, Andrew


This study investigated contingent or non-tenure track faculty in Community College and California State Universities throughout the Northern, Central and Southern areas of California and the ability for contingent or non-tenure track faculty members to meet their basic needs. This study explored the understanding of how likely contingent or non-tenure track faculty members salaries meet the self-sufficiency standard for the region in which they are located. Finally, this study explored the role contingent or non-tenure track faculty salaries impact their interaction with students inside the classroom. This is a mixed methods study that employed the use of a basic needs survey, interviews, and data collection.

Quantitative analysis of 26 participants revealed insights into demographic characteristics, expense management, health conditions, and work-related variables. Findings suggested a significant difference between average salaries and the Self-Sufficiency Standard. Ratio analysis highlighted housing as the largest expenditure. In qualitative analysis, five participants, all employed as contingent faculty, shared insights through semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis revealed six main themes: (1) reliance on support from loved ones, (2) resource utilization and cost minimization, (3) juggling multiple jobs for income, (4) the unreliability of contingent faculty salaries, (5) salaries not meeting self-sufficiency standards, and (6) challenges related to lack of office space, inclusion, and the shift to online classes, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.