career tips

Making Adjuncts Part of the Family

Guest Contributor: Joey Bryant, Program Coordinator, Forsyth Technical Community College. After working in industry for many years, I came into education first as an adjunct and then as a full-time instructor. I have experienced the feeling of being “just a part-timer” and “you’re one of the family.” The feeling of family can make a tremendous difference on both your attitude and your performance. At Forsyth Technical Community College, we have fifteen to twenty-five adjuncts teaching every semester. We rely on our adjuncts and appreciate what they do for us and our students. We begin our academic year with training. This training is Read More…


Don’t Strike Out: Three Rules for Communicating with Adjuncts

Contributor: Sherri Singer, Coordinator, Adjunct Institute, and Department Head, Alamance Community College. The Adjunct Institute at Alamance Community College has been working with Adjuncts since 2005. Using our decade of experience we have developed three simple rules to guide our communication, and to ensure that Adjuncts actually read our emails. Adjuncts often have two or more jobs, and many work at multiple institutions. They may have two or more email addresses that they check each day. As coordinators who work with Adjuncts we need to tailor our emails to fit their needs and create cues that attract and keep their Read More…


Teaching Online Introductory Accounting Course For The First Time: What to Expect

With colleges and universities offering more courses online, professors may have to teach courses online for the first time. This paper serves to address the expectations of teaching a course online for the first time, and offers recommendations for new starters of online courses.

The research was based on the introductory accounting courses I taught in summer semester 2014. A survey was given to the students to address their course expectations and results. I also examined the grade distribution and withdrawal rates between the two different course delivery methods (online and on-campus).
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The Value of Professional Development for Adjuncts

Statistics indicate that adjuncts teach close to 60% of the students enrolled in community colleges across the United States. Therefore, coordinators of adjuncts should seek opportunities to keep adjuncts abreast of current trends and practices in their field.

In this presentation, Essie Childers of Blinn College points out several reasons why professional development is important for adjuncts.
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Partnering with NISOD to Support Adjunct Faculty Needs

Adjunct faculty face a number of unique pressures that make it challenging to obtain the professional development opportunities they want and need. In recognition of adjuncts’ growing need for training and support, we are expanding our partnership with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) to co-host a a variety of high-quality resources covering professional development topics for adjunct faculty and administrators. These efforts represent our joint commitment to supporting adjuncts in their careers. This fall, Cengage Learning Digital Educators and faculty partners will present blog posts, podcasts, and webinars related to our theme: “Be Connected: Using Digital Tools to Read More…


Communication Skills: How to Text in a Professional Manner

Without a doubt, text messaging is extremely popular among today’s college students. It’s a fun, quick way to connect with friends and family members across the country, across town, or across campus. Students may be highly efficient and effective in their text-based communications with their peers and family members; as a result, they may be highly confident in their level of competence in this arena. However, they may not yet know how to text in a way that’s appropriate to relationships of a more professional nature. If you use texting as a communication tool in your college classroom, or if you cover career skills Read More…


Critical Thinking: Teaching and Proving this Critical Career Skill

Everybody wants a critical thinker on their team these days. According to a study from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, approximately 93% of surveyed employers believe that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.” Another study, this one by career-search website Indeed.com, found that “Mentions of critical thinking in job postings have doubled since 2009.” President Obama has even discussed the idea in multiple State of the Union Addresses, stating that schools needed to develop standards that measured “Read More…


Sharpen Your Skills Before the Semester Starts

Summer’s coming to a close. For some of you, this means you’re nearing the end of a season spent traveling, relaxing, or researching; others of you are winding down your summer courses. No matter how you’ve been spending your time this summer, you’re probably considering how you can gear up for the fall term. You’re certainly planning and preparing for your courses, and considering new ways to motivate and engage your students. But you may also be on the lookout for ways to get yourself motivated and engaged! Below, we’ve shared a few ideas that can help you sharpen your skills before Read More…


Top Challenges Faced by Adjunct Instructors

As we’ve observed throughout our series on adjunct instructors, they’re not a monolithic group.

Going by their reasons for working as adjuncts, their teaching loads and schedules, and their thoughts on full-time work, they’re a group as varied as just about any you might find.

However, as we’ve looked over their responses to our Spring 2015 Engagement Insights survey, we have observed some commonalities and trends, especially in terms of what they value about the job, and what they find difficult.

Previously, we explored the benefits of working as an adjunct instructor, which revealed that teaching topics they’re passionate about and making connections with students were their top sources of fulfillment.

We also reviewed the data from our survey to better understand the challenges that adjunct instructors face.

Below, you’ll see the results of the survey, and also review some tips that can help adjunct instructors overcome their challenges and achieve the success they hope to reach.

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Top Benefits of Teaching as an Adjunct Instructor

What are the benefits of teaching as an adjunct instructor? What matters the most to adjuncts, and what figures less prominently in their experiences?

In our Spring 2015 Instructor Engagement Insights survey, we asked adjunct instructors to tell us about the benefits they’ve gained from their positions. Below, we’ll explore their responses. Read on, and see if you relate to what they had to say.
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