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From the Mailbag: online teaching

January 28, 2009

One reader has asked:

To Whom It May Concern: Just call me PissPoor, if you please. 

I have 5 plus years experience as a community college teacher.  I have been trying
to get into online teaching for two years.  I have a master's degree in history and
have taught a number of liberal arts courses. Do you have any insights specifically
in how to break into the market? Congratulations on your history degree.  That may be one degree
that is actually harder to get a job with than English (search the last two months of InsideHigherEd).
Saying that, there is always hope.

I have taken training for one online community college in Indiana called [redacted] over a year
ago and they have not gotten me any assignments.
I have several applications out.  My motivation is that I love to teach and provides
a little extra money. Strong motivation.  That is, you need a day job.  Adjuncting is like playing in
a band.  You must really love it, pack your own equipment, and have some other means of paying the bills.

My old college where I used to work at prior to my move loved my teaching, but said that
the online courses were only for full timers. This is a kiss-off.  Don't take offense.  If
"tenured" or full-time employees are taking the online classes, there is no hope for adjuncts.

I love your blog because is has real information.  If you can help, I would appreciate it and
will reciprocate the favor if possible. I appreciate the shout-out. The quick answer is that the
economy has gotten everyone in a tizzy, and anyone with even a part-time job is holding on to it.
So, the opportunities for an "easy" gig like online teaching will be harder to find.  Not impossible, but
harder.  I would recommend that you begin lurking--and applying--at some of the schools listed in a blog
I just found recently: . Happy hunting.

Also, do online schools have residency rules.  I have run into this. I have not found this to be the case
However, saying that, each school has the right, under general employment, to restrict where they send your
pay.  That is, some payroll departments may not wish the hassle of sending a check (or paying the employer
part of federal/state/local taxes) out of town.  I would assume this would pop up more with smaller, regional

Good luck, Dapper Fellow.

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