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  • When students return to colleges, where are the committed teachers?
  • Posted By:
  • Willy R
  • Posted On:
  • 14-May-2015
  • Our president recently announced his revolutionary community college plan. His intentions are good and the plan as such may actually work well. However, what is missing from it is the role of teachers.

    For a very long period of time now, teachers have featured nowhere in any discussions related to higher education in the White House. Especially the plight of teachers teaching part time at community colleges have not featured in any of the discussions including evaluations and reviews by critics.

    This is a sad situation as most literature focuses only on the how the plan will impact cost of education, student affordability and consequences. If the teaching force is under paid and over worked, none of these plans are going to work in favour of changing the landscape of our higher education.

    This is an urgent issue that must be brought to light especially by advocates of economic justice, full time faculty members and professional organizations, especially organizations based in Washington DC.

    It is high time we all spoke for ourselves standing up and raising our voices along with those involved with adjunct advocacy. Full time, well supported teachers are imperative if students motivated enough to study have to get quality education.

    Employing workers without benefits is the trend in colleges that are driven by state legislation to do so. Others employ part time teachers simply because it is convenient and offers cost savings. Hiring contract labour is the in thing and colleges increasingly meet the high student enrolment through this popular trend.

    At least 58% of college faculty members are part time workers according to a Center for Community College Student Engagement report. Another report released by Center for Future of Higher Education says that at least 70% teachers in community colleges work part time.

    If this trend continues and nothing is done about it, very soon, the percentage of student enrolment in community colleges will definitely increase but students will be taught by teachers who are not naturally committed to their jobs as they are not full time teachers engaging actively with the college.

    There is definitely bound to be a huge disparity between full time and part time teachers in terms of access to faculty development, course preparation and student financial aid referrals. Part time teachers are not likely to refer students to services they require and will also not spend quality time preparing for their classes meticulously.

    As adjuncts have to teach more to make ends meet, their quality of teaching will obviously suffer and in the long run this will be detrimental to the overall quality and credibility of our higher education system.

    As with every issue, there are certain exceptions. Certain community colleges employ experts in different fields as part time lecturers and this is definitely a good practice if implemented not on a regular basis.

    Our students need stable and highly committed full time faculty who teach them with their sole interests in mind. Teachers must be paid good wages with benefits as they are after all the backbone of our economy.







 

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