This instrumental case study examined excellence in community college teaching from the perspectives of nine distinguished faculty at a national award-winning community college in the Southwest. This study utilized an appreciative inquiry interviewing framework approach in order to examine excellence in teaching from an affirmative perspective. This study began by introducing a Conceptual Framework: The Value of Community College Excellence in Teaching, which is designed to understand the potential of excellence in teaching from the viewpoint of human capital. The Conceptual Framework asserts that excellence in community college teaching has the capacity to improve student and family lives, resulting in overall better-quality societal impacts that lead to economic prosperity. The central question in this instrumental case study was: How do distinguished faculty at a nationally top-ranked community college perceive excellence in teaching? The study presented findings from emergent thematic coding from applications submitted by award-winning distinguished faculty participants and from demographic surveys, semistructured interview transcripts, two focus group transcripts, and observation notes taken during the focus groups. These documents were examined multiple times to determine themes and commonalities that emerged and from their community college teaching excellence perspectives of distinguished faculty. The findings in this study provide a potential model to consider, Community College Teaching Excellence: A Distinguished Faculty Perspective, The AEACSA Model, that community college faculty can apply and include examples of excellence in teaching under each element. The AEACSA Model consists of six elements: authentically connect with students with the intent to create a trustful learning environment, embrace diversity, activate high expectations and encourage excellence, cultivate a passion for lifelong learning, strengthen a students confidence in their ability to learn, and apply theory to the real world.
Organization, Information and Learning Sciences
Level of Degree
Organization, Information & Learning Sciences
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Torres, Eliseo "Cheo"
Community College, Teaching Excellence, Distinguished Faculty
Montoya, Denise. "Community College Teaching Excellence: A Distinguished Faculty Perspective." (2016). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/oils_etds/23