“There are a lot of part-time teache s
that I’ve fallen] in love with
because of their teaching style. Is there a petition I can sign for you to stay here?”
As hard as it is to teach part-time at night, I still try to do what I can to help students. I think if they feel a good connection with you, they re comfortable about their expe ience.”
20 2009 Findings
To engage part-time students, colleges must make the most of the minimal time they are on campus. Colleges can make support services available at times convenient to part-time students or integrate services into required coursework. ey can link student success courses to developmental courses so that part-time students who need remediation will be more likely to succeed. ey can require orientation and advising for part-time students and make participation in study groups mandatory.
Part-time instructors need professional development to learn about their colleges and discover new and more eective teaching strategies. Not surprisingly, part-time faculty members are more likely to participate in these activities if their participation is required and if they are compensated for their time.
e extensive use of part-time faculty is unlikely to change, given the economic realities
of community colleges. Moreover, there is ample evidence that part-time faculty bring real value and commitment to their work. To close the connection gap, colleges will need to grapple with ways to oer part-time faculty the same kinds of instructional support and development opportunities that are available to their full-time colleagues.
Colleges Making Connections
Northwest Vista College (TX) made cooperative learning a central teaching strategy by introducing cooperative learning workshops and mentoring for full-time and part-time faculty. New tenure-track faculty are required to attend the workshop, and the training sessions are part of the college’s ongoing faculty development. e workshops are oered in evenings and on weekends to accommodate adjunct faculty schedules, and those who complete the training are given a $100 stipend along with a certicate of completion.
rough its Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Parkland College (IL) oers
a yearlong orientation course to new full-time faculty to provide support and to form a cohort of colleagues who can learn from each other. Part-time faculty are invited to attend a two-hour general orientation session and given access to all workshops, seminars, and discussions oered through the center. To meet the schedules of part-time faculty, semi- nars are oered in the evenings and on weekends.
In calculating paid hours for part-time faculty, Vancouver Community College (BC, Canada) considers time spent outside the classroom on tasks such as holding oce hours, grading papers, preparing course materials, supervising practicums, and tending to administrative duties. Contracts specify how much time each part-time instructor will devote to each job-related activity. e college, moreover, prorates compensation for part-time instructors so that their hourly earnings are comparable to those of full-time faculty members with similar levels of experience.
Making Connections: Dimensions of Student Engagement