Alternative Approaches to Adjunct Faculty Development.Report as inadecuate

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Like many businesses across the country, institutions of higher education have been increasing the use of part-time and/or temporary staff. Nationally, adjuncts teach between 30%-50% of all credit courses and between 95%-100% of noncredit courses. At community colleges, adjuncts composed 60% of all faculty as of 1991, up from 56% in 1984 and 42% in 1960. Reasons for this increase include lower costs for colleges, with adjuncts costing about one-third less than full-time faculty; greater staffing flexibility in times of enrollment fluctuation; strong links to the community afforded by adjuncts; and a wide variety of subject expertise. The issue remains, however, that some adjuncts may lack the pedagogical skills needed to be effective classroom teachers. Many types of staff development programs exist to address this issue, including: (1) mentoring programs; (2) pre-service orientations; (3) in-service workshops; (4) adjunct faculty handbooks; (5) newsletters and training letters providing advice on teaching excellence; (6) the formation of adjunct faculty committees to involve them in the development and delivery of programs; and (7) the production of videotapes on instructional issues. Planning for the utilization and development of adjunct faculty is crucial to their success. The most successful adjunct development programs are those that have the commitment and participation of the college administration and full- and part-time faculty and help integrate adjuncts into the mainstream of the college. (Contains 34 references.) (KP)

Descriptors: Adjunct Faculty, Beginning Teacher Induction, Community Colleges, Educational Practices, Faculty Development, Inservice Teacher Education, Mentors, Newsletters, Part Time Faculty, Preservice Teacher Education, Teacher Orientation, Teacher Role, Teacher Workshops, Two Year Colleges

Author: Thompson, Donna M.


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