Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Adjunct and Temporary Faculty-Advantageous or Detrimental?

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Adjunct and Temporary Faculty-Advantageous or Detrimental?

Article excerpt

Adjunct faculty are an enormous benefit to any college and/or university. They allow for higher enrollments at the school while still keeping the class sizes low. They also save the college money. Adjuncts are paid less than full-time faculty because they are expected only to teach. If adjuncts do not perform well in the classroom, they can simply not be rehired. That fix is not so simple with full-time faculty (especially if tenured faculty). In addition, adjuncts typically have loads of industry experience that can be used in the classroom for the students' benefit.

Although adjunct faculty provide benefits, they also present serious problems. First, there is the issue of course consistency. When adjunct or temporary faculty are brought in to offer more sections of a specific course, often they are not advised or aware of the outcomes and objectives that must be met for the course. In addition, adjuncts often are brought in to a college from business and industry. They are typically masters of their profession. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that the instructor can effectively deliver the discipline-specific material to students. Availability of adjunct and temporary faculty to students outside of the classroom presents a final problem.

Multiple steps must be taken to ensure that adjuncts are effective and worthwhile to both the institution and the students.

* Specific syllabus, course objectives, and course outcomes must be fully defined, given to adjuncts, and followed. …

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