Date of Award

Spring 1-13-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Tracy McGrady


Until recently, compassion fatigue and burnout were primarily associated with the profession of healthcare, not education (Jurado et al., 2019). Research on compassion fatigue and burnout in education has been focused on elementary and secondary schools with little attention given to the higher education sector (Kaiser et al., 2017; Kelly & Lefton, 2017). This mixed-methods study was focused on compassion fatigue and burnout in both adjunct faculty and full-time faculty members at a southwest Missouri comprehensive community college. For the quantitative portion of the study, a Likerttype survey was sent to 250 adjunct faculty members and 150 full-time faculty members of a southwest Missouri community college. Seventy-three adjunct faculty and 65 fulltime faculty members responded to the survey. The qualitative results were obtained from two separate focus groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was utilized to evaluate differences between the two groups. Four adjunct faculty members comprised one focus group, and four full-time faculty members comprised the second focus group. Eight open-ended questions were asked of each group, and their responses were transcribed. The research uncovered significant differences between perceptions of full-time and adjunct faculty regarding factors that contributed to compassion fatigue; however, there were no significant differences between their perceptions regarding factors that contribute to burnout. Some differences included adjunct faculty felt more satisfied with their work and proud of what they could do in their position compared to full-time faculty members.


Copyright 2021