Tag Archives: orientation

Adjunct faculty in community colleges

Wallin, D. L. (Ed.). (2005). Adjunct faculty in community colleges : An academic administrator’s guide to recruiting, supporting, and retaining great teachers. Bolton, MA: Anker.

In this edited volume, Wallin combines the knowledge of seventeen contributors from  community colleges that are making the needs and contributions of adjunct faculty a “front-burner issue” in their schools.  These schools can be looked to for models of support for adjunct faculty.  Topics run the gamut from the history and development of the adjunct’s role in community colleges through recruiting, hiring, training, and supporting of adjuncts in the community college realm.  Interestingly, many of the contributions ask the question of why adjunct faculty are used? Do they increase the quality of faculty and program offerings, or are they simply a method of financial expediency for the college? Many, in the community college realm see them offering expertise in specialty areas that many full-time faculty cannot.  Divided into three intuitive parts of Understanding Part-Time Faculty, Recruiting and Retaining Part-time Faculty, and Supporting Part-Time Faculty Through Technology, the book serves as a road-map for those looking to develop or enhance an adjunct program from recruitment to support.  It is unfortunate that an amazing resource mentioned in one of the contributions is no longer maintained (4faculty.org), but the article of how the Rio Saldo College maintains a quality program (from recruitment to evaluation) with 28 permanent residential faculty and 850 adjunct faculty provides a multitude of program ideas for those interested.  As more four-year institutions increase the number of adjuncts, a reading of this book would be essential for administrations with adjunct responsibilities.

What types of support do adjuncts need?

Kelly, R. (2014, May 6). What types of support do adjuncts need? Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/faculty-development/types-support-adjuncts-need/

This entry discussed the quantitative study done at Northern Oklahoma College comparing the perceptions of adjuncts and administrators concerning the importance of support for part-time faculty.  Kelly concisely reviews the relevant findings in the support areas of orientation (both campus and job duties, professional development, and access to support services.  Kelly summarizes the recommendation from the study’s author, Dr. Judy Colwell into three main areas; workshops or meetings must be convenient and relevant; listening is an important skill and seeking input is part of that; and keep the adjunct input in perspective.

Best practices for supporting adjunct faculty

Coburn-Collins, A. (2014). Best practices for supporting adjunct faculty. Paper presented at the Higher Learning Commission 2014 Annual Conference, http://cop.hlcommission.org/Learning-Environments/coburn-collins.html.

The five best practices outlined in this conference paper are practical steps that every institution can take to help develop a campus culture that accepts adjunct faculty as equal partners in student success. From a comprehensive orientation to recognition for quality work these practices this institution set up an Office of Adjunct Faculty Support with a budget of $250,000, roughly the cost of four tenure-track assistant professors.  This program supports 350 adjuncts.  The math alone suggests that the investment is well spent and the return on investment is measured in improved student success and a “sense of belonging” among the adjuncts.