Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM
ADJUNCT FACULTY IN COMMUNITY COLLEGE GEOSCIENCE; STATUS, PROBLEMS, AND POSSIBILITIES
In 2005 community colleges served approximately half of the undergraduate students in the United States, an estimated 6.5 million credit students. Since that time this number has increased to well over 11 million. This increase occurred at a time when community colleges have significantly slashed their budgets causing them to reduce operating expenses by increasing their dependence on part-time faculty. This trend brings with it a series of questions that will be addressed in this talk.
- What does the “average” adjunct faculty look like? Are they “moonlighters”, “teachers in training”, or full-members of a program who just happen to work part-time?
- What do adjunct instructors bring to their institutions?
- How do we prepare adjunct instructors that have little or no training in pedagogy given an increasing emphasis on inquiry-based instruction in geoscience education and geoscience literacy?
- To what extent are adjunct instructors included in curricular decision making? Are they compensated for doing so?
- Many community college geoscience programs are largely or exclusively dependent on part-time faculty. What impact does this situation have on the quality of instruction and the continuity of the program?
- How do part-time faculty cope with the financial constraints of being part-time?
- Given the increasing reliance on part-time faculty, how can the resources of community college be leveraged to help part-time instructors become entrepreneurial?