Flexibility, low pay for online adjuncts

Job satisfaction is high for online adjunct instructors at Arizona’s Rio Salado College, despite low pay and no benefits, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Flexible work hours and effective training in online teaching are the key.

Online courses provided the flexibility Richard Bradbury needed to complete the first two years of college while working in Afghanistan as a contractor. Once he was “seven or eight questions” in to a timed test in macroeconomics when a rocket attack began. He grabbed his computer, ran to the bunker and finished the test.

Colleges cut work hours to duck Obamacare

More colleges are limiting adjuncts’ work hours to avoid Obamacare’s insurance mandates. Some colleges now require adjuncts to report the hours they spend preparing for lessons and grading papers. Those who go over the 29-hour weekly limit risk losing their jobs.

Colleges turn to low-paid adjuncts

Colleges and universities are hiring part-time instructors for an average of $2,987 for a three-credit course. Adjuncts at rural community colleges average $1,808. Part-timers can be hired and fired as needed; few receive health insurance or other benefits.

About half of all college and university faculty — more than 70 percent at community colleges — are part-timers, estimates the American Federation of Teachers.

College cuts work hours to duck Obamacare

To avoid paying for health insurance, a Pittsburgh community college will cut the work hours of 400 adjunct instructors and support staff. Under Obamacare, employers don’t have to provide insurance for employees working less than 30 hours a week. Community College of Allegheny County will save $6 million.

“It’s kind of a double whammy for us because we are facing a legal requirement [under the new law] to get health care and if the college is reducing our hours, we don’t have the money to pay for it,” said adjunct biology professor Adam Davis.

Adjunct professors use food stamps, aid

Poorly paid adjunct professors are using food stamps, Medicaid and other public aid to pay the bills. Some 70 percent of college instructors are adjuncts with no job security, no benefits and low pay.

Adjuncts vs. full-time faculty

Adjunct instructors teach a majority of community college classes in Washington state for half the pay of tenured and tenure-track professors.  They’re not happy.

On Community College Spotlight:  The Gates Foundation’s Next Generation Learning Challenge has announced Wave 1 finalists for $20 million in grants.

Tenured professors, adjunct serfs

On Community College SpotlightTo stop the exploitation of adjuncts, end tenure for college instructors.

Also, an adjunct biology instructor wins $100,000 from the community college that fired her for discussing whether sexual orientation is inherited in a class on Human Heredity. (A student was offended.)

Learning from the for-profits

On Community College Spotlight: Public colleges should learn from the for-profits how to serve low-income students.

Also:  Community colleges and non-elite four-year institutions rely heavily on adjunct instructors, especially in low-level classes. Do students learn less from adjuncts?