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Student retention and the adjunct

January 6, 2009

One of my lovely readers, katmeyster, has pointed out that although adjuncts are the tip of the spear, they are in no way a driving force.   The comment went as follows:

My Community College has approximately 67% of the classes taught by adjuncts. Of course it always comes up as a problem, but I don’t see anyone planning on doing anything about it. Lately the administration has been complaining about students who come to college unprepared and they feel they have to work with the high schools. Apparently we have so many students not passing classes, and taking remedial classes over and over, and the state is noticing our dismal progress. But (watch our for rant here) are the adjuncts ever part of the discussion? Do we even know they have programs to deal with first year students? We are the instructors of these students, and yet we are completely invisible to the administration. Gee, I wonder if that could be part of the problem? The bottom line is, they can’t afford to acknowledge us. I remain unacknowledged and treated like crap. Thanks for letting me rant. Can’t wait for the next semester.

I would have no doubt that the admin, by allowing “senior” level (read tenured) profs sit out the lower level courses (this is especially more prevalent in the University setting), the actual nuts and bolts of the dismal student state goes to “Action Plans” without specifics.

That is, Rhetoric is employed in project plans, remediation plans, committees, budgets, etc., but creative approaches to teaching swirl away in the adjunct pool.  Should the adjuncts share?  No.  Should the adjuncts care? One would hope, but given their state (status, pay, benefits, etc.), it it hard to see whey they would.

Thanks for the comment, kaymeyster.

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