Even when they have the same teaching loads, part-time faculty spend less time engag- ing students outside the classroom. Among part-time faculty teaching between nine and twelve hours per week, 40% never spend time advising students. Among full-time faculty with the same teaching load, only 15% never spend time advising students.
is dierence may be attributed, at least in part, to dierent expectations and support
for part-time faculty. Adjuncts are less likely to have oce space, and they have fewer opportunities for professional development. Further, they may not be compensated for work, such as advising, that happens outside of class hours. ey also may be less likely to receive data about student engagement, learning, and success at their colleges — and less likely to be part of conversations about how to use those data to improve student performance.
Nonetheless, part-time faculty teach a sizable portion of course sections, and many students interact primarily with part-time faculty. If part-time faculty are not engaging students outside the classroom, then large numbers of students — particularly those who attend college part-time — likely have little opportunity to receive essential guidance from faculty members.
Part-time students are more likely to attend class in the evening; similarly, part-time faculty are more likely to teach evening classes. Forty-three percent of part-time students take evening classes, as compared with 12% of full-time students. As a result, these students have fewer options for certain kinds of interventions that strengthen engage- ment. For example, among students taking evening classes, only 6% have participated in a learning community, as compared with 10% of daytime students.
In focus groups, students raise concerns about missing opportunities due to their course schedules. One part-time student who attends evening classes says, “In my lab class, we don’t get to participate in a lot of our labs because they require us to do things out by the ponds, and it’s dark by the time we get to this class … so those are omitted. We lose out on some things versus the daytime students.”
Another notes, “A lot of things are happening during the day for daytime students, and not much happens at night for nighttime students … like activities and orientations. If you come to class at night, you miss out on all that.”
Closing the Connection Gap
e NCES study showing that part-time students are less likely to persist included students
at both two- and four-year colleges, but the overwhelming majority of part-time students attend two-year colleges. Clearly, if community colleges are to retain and eectively educate their students — the majority of whom attend part-time — attention must be focused on strategies that more eectively engage part-time students.
For more information about CCSSE and the 2009 surve , visit www.ccsse.org.
Time on Task: Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty with the Same Teaching Loads
How many hours do you spend in a typical 7-day week doing each of the following?
Percentage of CCFSSE respondents who indicate zero hours.
Working with students on activities other than coursework
Involved in other interactions with students outside the classroom
Coordination and/ or administrative activities
Participating on college committees or task forces
*And not employed elsewhere Source: 2009 CCFSSE Cohort data.
2009 Findings 19