My question:What is the earliest citable instance of someone advocating for a customer service approach to higher education?
I was first hit over the head with it in 1998, the year I started teaching, but I'm sure it long predated that.
No question, but thank you for doing your best to send your students on to university prepared, despite the conditions in which you're doing that work. I know that the fact that cc graduates don't always strike me as fully prepared for upper-level work doesn't mean that you (and most of them) aren't trying. And happy holidays, and best wishes for a new year that offers you some additional employment options (perhaps even some with benefits, or at least wages large enough to truly afford health insurance under the ACA). I won't ask why you haven't left the adjunct life yet, because I'm sure you ask yourself that question often enough, and, well, I'm still choosing to be underpaid and overworked (though luxuriously so, compared to your situation) myself.
I adjunct at both a CC and a SLAC (I have yet to be encouraged to pass just anyone). I am trying to decide when to pull the rip cord.So my adjunct brethren, why do you keep going? Why persist?
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When I had a freshly-minted B. Sc., what got me through my time in industry was the goal of starting grad school and the hope of working for either a major aerospace company or a research facility like Bell Labs.During the 1980s, I endured several years of alternating between unemployment and working for lousy outfits. I had the vision of eventually getting my Ph. D. and maybe becoming a university professor, as corporations slowly divested themselves of their research divisions during that time (e. g., Bell Labs).While I was teaching at that intellectual sinkhole of an institution I used to be at, it was still getting my Ph. D., but the possibility of a professorship slowly faded by virtue of age and opportunity. After I got my degree, that was replaced by simply getting out of that hellhole in one piece.I left when I saw the writing on the wall, though, by then, I reached a minimum net financial worth. I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation and asked myself: "Why am I still here?"
What kept me going as an Accursed Visiting Assistant Professor, and before that, as an underemployed planetarium operator, was that I got to be an astronomer, something I'd been dreaming of since I was 5. Unscrupulous bosses could see my enthusiasm, and exploit it. The assistant director of the planetarium told me, "Your work is its own reward" when he cut my pay from $11k/year in 1983 to $5k/year in 1985: my snappy and not-appreciated comeback was, "So give me your paycheck." What finally ended the agony was that I simply couldn't live on that: so I went back to school.
My question to current adjuncts: What do you want most from the full-timers in your department (or the full-time colleagues you see most often)?
Perfect. My question was "If I could ask you anything, what should I ask you?" but I didn't publish it because I worried it would sound glib. Yours more directly captures the intent.
I just realized that I missed the joke/premise of the question: all of us who read/write/comment on the page are, according to some parties, "juco" malcontents. I'm not sure community college faculty were ever more likely to be unhappy than 4-year faculty (I suspect it depends on the institution(s)), but, if so, those days are long past. In fact, one of the points being made in the Arizona State discussion is that the faculty at the local community college have long taught 5/5, but are paid much better than the full-time contingents at the university. The one hitch is that one needs to be willing/able to teach part-time for several years in order to land a full-time gig.
I should say I love my CC classes. With the exception of this semester (my BEST class EVER at the SALC) I truly enjoy my CC students more. Usually there is an older student willing to ask questions and just having one student start asking questions, can make others ask questions and suddenly I am having fun. My SALC students just stare at me blankly most of the time. I would be content teaching at a CC. The only downside I can see to a CC is the inability to teach a high level course in your field of interest.
My question: Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight?
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