Faculty concerns and perceptions of mandated educational change: an exploratory study
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The purpose of this study was to examine faculty concerns and perceptions of facilitators, barriers, and leadership interventions in implementing a mandated systemic educational change to the teaching-learning process—the ITESM Educational Model (MET)—at the Mexico City campus of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico. This study relied largely on quantitative-based research methodologies. Research questions were assessed using multivariate analyses of variance in addition to secondary analyses of institutional qualitative data and documents, and multinomial logistic regression. Participation in the study was voluntary. Data was collected from full-time and part-time faculty using a Web-based survey containing several Likert Scale-based instruments. The study results indicated that faculty had significantly different perceptions of facilitators and barriers to implementing the MET when their work status, professional development/implementation level, and educational level were taken into consideration. The most important facilitators perceived by the faculty were institutional change culture, faculty academic background, students acceptance of change, and ongoing support and training. The most important barriers were support shortcomings and infrastructure operational problems. Results also surfaced that the present concerns of faculty were significantly related to their work status and extent of professional development. Finally, the study results indicated that faculty had significantly different perceptions of administrative leadership interventions facilitating the MET implementation when their work status, years of teaching at ITESM, and educational level were taken into consideration. The most important leadership interventions perceived by the faculty were ongoing support/coaching, providing resources and arrangements, and supportive change culture. The study findings help provide a deeper level of understanding of what is facilitating and obstructing the systemic change process at each level of adoption of the MET and the type and level of faculty concerns related to this educational innovation. The study also helps identify the change management processes and leadership interventions necessary for new educational paradigm initiatives to succeed. Study results, while providing a clearer understanding of factors related to the mandated educational change faced by one specific institution, should also prove to be instructive to other institutions of higher education facing similar challenges.