Given that many colleges and universities are hiring greater numbers of adjunct instructors, you’re likely to be working with several in your department or at your college. In fact, you may be an adjunct instructor yourself.
Of course, all college instructors share many common joys and challenges. And yet, you’ve probably observed (or experienced for yourself) that adjunct instructors face several experiences and needs unique to their employment situation.
And at that, not all “adjuncts” are alike. Some teach courses while holding down other types of jobs in their field of expertise (e.g., nursing, law, finance, or counseling). Others take jobs as adjuncts with the hope of eventually obtaining a full-time or tenure-track position. Still others take on adjunct roles that allow them to maintain a schedule centered around other responsibilities and interests.
In our recent Spring 2015 Instructor Engagement Insights survey, we asked adjunct instructors a number of questions designed to help us better understand their experiences. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing what we’ve learned from the adjuncts who responded.
We’ll begin by looking at the number of institutions where they teach. By so doing, we can gain some insight into their teaching responsibilities and the types of challenges they may face as they manage their workloads. We’ll also offer some suggestions that will help adjuncts get the new semester off to a good start.