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Being an adjunct

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Point of Order, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    For those of you who have ever taught an adjunct class at the local college, how much work is actually involved? What kind of guidance or leeway do you have in the materials you use to teach? What is a ballpark figure to expect for a semester? What is the "must do" and "must avoid" advice? Did you find it worth it?
  2. The pay sucks compared to the work ... 'Round here you can expect $800 to a $1,000 per semester. (Small community colleges).
    Being a reporter you should be used to crappy pay.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Just don't send an e-mail promoting your religion.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Damn it! That's what I was going to say.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Seriously? That definitely isn't worth it.

    I did adjunct during spring semester. Had a great group of 12 students, we had a ton of fun and they got the idea (sports media then to now). We did old fashioned reporting early and the final project had to be a three-platform presentation with one of them written. They had to do a live event with pre- and post-event blogging and in-event tweeting and then deliver a "for print/Web" game story that wasn't a recap.

    I had a two-hour session and a one-hour session once a week. So that's two 50-mile round trips. A good bit of prep time, a lot of time spent grading.

    Financially? A good bit more than $1,000 but not enough to be really worth it. That said, I'll do it again because I enjoy the "youthful energy" (lord that makes me sound old) and I just plain and simple had fun. It helps me to find ways to explain things that are simple to me but may not be to others. Makes me a better editor, leader, whatever.

    So there are benefits. Money just isn't one of them.
  6. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Check the college's Web site. We publish all of our salary schedules, including the salary schedule for adjunct instructor.
    The rate depends on time and education. For example, if you have a master's degree, our rate is $45.13 per hour for your first year. There is also a $25 per hour rate for office hours, but the office hours for adjuncts are quite limited.
    There should be a fairly detailed description/course outline on file with the division, academic services, or some office. Every college is different.
    That should spell out the intended outcome for a student's completion of the course, and within that you probably have a lot of latitude.

    It can really vary quite widely from situation to situation. I can only speak about the community college system in my state.
  7. Yeah.
    If you are an adjunct.,,. You are NOT doing it for the money. It''s like coaching.
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I was going to teach a non-credit class a long time ago and I don't remember how much I was to get for teaching it, but it wasn't exactly quit your day job money.

    I was also a classroom laboratory assistant for desktop publishing classes while I was an undergrad. One of the instructors I worked with basically worked me as an actual teaching assistant. I got paid $870 per class per semester, but that was 1998-2000. There were times when I actually ran the class for a day as the CLA (usually my main instructor's birthday. Since mine was two days before hers, she'd give me the day off on my birthday).

    I enjoyed it for the most part. I think it really helped me develop my desire to mentor people. I also enjoyed it when I'd do one of the projects so the class could critique it. It let me create a CD cover for an imaginary Stevie Nicks CD. :D
  9. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I think our rates are pretty good. It's more than I make per hour right now.
    I would like to pick up a class or two as an adjunct, if possible, in the future.
    If it's your primary source of income, it takes a lot of hussle. You've got to get an online instruction certificate and pick up classes at multiple schools.
    The rate is good, but it's difficult to pick up enough classes for it to be a primary source of income.
  10. Corky Ramirez up on 94th St.

    Corky Ramirez up on 94th St. Well-Known Member

    I did it for two years at the community college here in town. Made $3,000 for the first semester, $5,000 thereafter. And this was a once-a-week, three-hour class! I didn't realize how little others made ... I thought what I made was the norm. It made for a good supplemental income, I'll say that.

    I enjoyed it so much that I got into teaching high school full-time. Unfortunately, three hours a week over 13 weeks meant you were doing a lot of jumping around to try to reach a lot of topics (ethics, covering a Town Hall meeting, etc.) but as long as you're providing a lot of hands-on topics they can do, they'll usually respond in a positive way. Good luck.
  11. linotype

    linotype Well-Known Member

    I adjuncted for one semester in 2002. (For context, this was at a state school in a BCS conference.) It was my first time in front of a class, and it was a survey-level journalism course to a class of about 400 students. (One week's material would cover the development of radio, for example, and the next would involve television, etc.) While I had no teaching experience whatsoever, I did have a few things working for me -- the school had a dire shortage of instructors that semester, and I had a great relationship with the dean of the J-school when she was at my alma mater.

    The pay was roughly $3,500 for the semester, and while I didn't do it for the money, it did come in handy supplementing my meager paychecks at a small daily newspaper. Did it primarily to get some experience in academia, in case my career as a beat writer didn't pan out -- teaching did justify, on some level, my master's degree, and one of my career goals remains developing and teaching a course on sports reporting. I walked away from teaching when I landed a better full-time job at a bigger paper, and parlayed that into my present job. Still, while I love what I'm doing now, I fully understand the state of our industry and, if I need to, hope I can fall back into teaching if my current gig goes away.
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