February 21, 2015
What an adjunct faculty is at a Community College
And even if you know what the word adjunct means, which means supplemental, or in addition to, you aren't really getting a very clear idea of the world of adjunct faculty. Here in Maricopa County, the *supplemental faculty* makes up about 80% of the teachers.
Actually, this is good news if you're qualified to teach. There is no need to go through a complex hiring process, you simply provide your credentials to the appropriate Assistant Chair at the college, and you can begin teaching when they need you. Of course, you're not really an employee, you're just a contract worker, and your contract ends when the class ends. I had been teaching full-time at the Art Institute of Phoenix up to that point, so my credentials were good. All I had to do was to get some type of State Certification, which included getting copies of my transcripts from ASU, and taking a test.
For someone like me, who taught Graphic Design software, it was the best for the students, too. Many adjunct faculty are either between jobs, still at their current job, or teaching part time while they freelance. And that's what you want as a student. Seriously, you don't want some crusty old multiple-Masters-Degrees tenured professor who either has never worked in the field, or hasn't been in it for decades, teaching a technical class, do you? No, you don't.
No, there is no office, no benefits, no job security for adjunct faculty. I did have a full-time faculty member in one of my Photoshop classes one time, and believe me, he was sittin' pretty! The full-time faculty, in addition to some very strong job security, receive an impressive salary and great benefits. Since it's only about 20% of the teachers in the system, they're the lucky ones.
Or maybe not. I saw people at the college who seemed to be the stereotypical *close enough for government work*, *waiting for retirement* types, and I never wanted to be like that. I would come to the school, as the outside hot-shot, do my thing, and then leave. I taught computer stuff, so I had my own website, my own email. I didn't need an office.
So, if you're considering teaching a class at a Community College, I would recommend it. It's a great life experience, and it's especially nice if you like the sound of your own voice and feel strongly about your subject. Yep, that's me! And don't worry about any hiring red tape, just say, *Adjunct Faculty*.
And if you find out that a class your taking is being taught by an adjunct faculty, guess what, you're in luck!
Posted by Brad Hall