By Cameron Meiswinkel
Adjunct professors can be somewhat of a mystery to students. Some students do not understand what an adjunct is, or how being an adjunct works. Since over half of the professors that teach at CCC are adjuncts, this is pretty significant.
Adjuncts are professors who have all of the responsibilities of a full-time professor, without the full tenure or equal pay. They still have to teach classes, grade papers, and deal with the day-to-day happenings of a college professor. Adjuncts have tenure for a semester, and are then offered additional courses if the administration chooses to do so. Adjuncts often teach at more than one school.
Being an adjunct professor has its downsides. Adjuncts have no offices, no phone numbers, and no e-mails listed in the college directory. This may make communication with students difficult. Respect is another issue that adjuncts face. Most adjuncts hold the same level of degrees as tenured professors. However, students may not always be aware of their teacher’s credentials.
“ There’s an assumed lack of education,” said Dan Kuzma, a history adjunct. “You almost feel like a substitute teacher.”
Todd Reeves, an education major here at CCC, feels otherwise.
“Some of my favorite professors on campus are adjunct professors”, said Reeves. “They are just as capable as full time professors”.
Even though there are plenty of obstacles for adjunct professors to face, there are plenty of reasons to be an adjunct. “You have more choice in the courses that you want to teach”, said Kuzma. “There’s more flexibility with your schedule”.
The college atmosphere allows adjunct professors to surround themselves with a higher level of education, something that could not be achieved in a grade school or high school setting. “I definitely learn a lot from being around other professors and students,” Kuzma said. “I get to mold young minds”.
Also, some adjuncts aspire to be tenured professors, and their time as an adjunct could be viewed as an audition to the administration for a future tenured position.
Being an adjunct also allows for room for other jobs, since the schedule is up to the professor. Additionally, being an adjunct can help alleviate older professor’s restlessness when dealing with retirement. After all, adjuncts can be just as busy as tenured professors, so boredom would never be an issue.