Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Adjuncts are not second-class citizens...

A new site to help adjuncts is being beta-tested by a couple of schools. An article today in Inside Higher Ed explains that AdjunctImpact was developed to help adjuncts with issues such as teaching ideas and even how to dress--information that universities are not providing.

One commenter seemed almost disdainful of adjuncts, telling them

If adjuncting is your main source of income, your spare time would be better spent looking for full-time work.

But, as a former full-time adjunct for almost 12 years, I can tell you that adjuncts are adjuncts for a variety of reasons. For me, I wanted to try teaching as a part-time job while raising my small children. I put up with the abuse an adjunct receives, such as never knowing what classes you'll teach, or how much you'll be paid per class, or even if you'll be replaced next semester by the school's benefactor--all for the privilege of learning about teaching as a profession, sharing knowledge, and developing my skills part-time so that I had time for my children, as well.

We know other business professionals who are interested in becoming adjuncts because they are bored with their corporate careers and want to find a way to energize their lives by sharing their knowledge about what they know. For them, we've tried to be a resource on how to become an adjunct, but this website sounds like it could be helpful, too.

The cold, hard fact is that many schools are hiring adjuncts to save money or fill holes in their curriculum that their own professors cannot fill. There is no reason that adjuncts have to be treated like second-class citizens.


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