For a while now, I have been hearing that full-time positions in academe have been slowly fading into part-time jobs, especially for the community college. I met a community college professor a few years back that told me not to go into the community college work force because of this impending issue. He was working part-time at two local community colleges because he could no get a full-time position. Of course, this issue is still of concern a few years after that conversation took place. The Chronicle of Higher Ed even posted a report with lots of graphs and info that suggested adjunct faculty were “dominating the work force” (Schmalz and Oh).
I would have no problem being an adjunct. It’s a “pay your dues” kind of reasoning in my mind, plus it opens up an opportunity to gain my teaching experience and experience multitasking. Adjuncts are a very important part of any English department, taking on loads of work because of the love of teaching. Obviously though, I would eventually like to end up with a full-time, tenure-track position, like many graduate students who seek to stay in academia. A full-time teaching position means stability. It means that I can put roots in an area. It means that I can really immerse myself in the school and the community. That’s ultimately the goal. Is it attainable? Or is part-time, as Schmalz and Oh suggest, the way academia is heading? I’m not sure. I’ve been browsing the job market now even though I still have at least one more year of graduate school left, and I’m seeing plenty of tenure-track community college positions available. It’s just a matter of being willing to relocate—or at least, that’s what it appears. Here’s to hoping.
Schmalz, Julie and Soo Oh. “In Academe the Future is Part-Time.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 September
2014. www.chronicle.com/interactives/adjunct-explainer. Accessed 19 April 2017.