As an adjunct I scrounge from term to term trying to eek a living out. Things weren't so bad in the last year but this term I have had two recinded contracts. I am trying not to take it personally, but thoughts of "do they suddenly hate my teaching" are floating through my mind. I am starting to feel the pinch and frankly a little nausea about how I am going to pay the bills. I am told from several unis that enrollment is down. Anyone else experiencing this?
I am so sorry, FML. If it's any consolation, I was jerked around by my bosses by being chronically underemployed (always working 35-hour weeks with no benefits) at the Adler Planetarium, during the economic slump of the early '80s. I hope you find something better, soon.ReplyDelete
Enrollment is up here in Fresno, but we're probably not representative. The population has been expanding here for decades, because we're the only place left in California that's affordable to live.
It's about grad students, not undergrads, but the graduate programs in my specialty all report that enrollment is way, way down.ReplyDelete
Enrollments are down here, too - all over. I lost one of the classes I was counting on. Turns out it's almost worse than not teaching at all at this particular college; the commute is way, way too long and the paycheck too small to justify the one class I was assigned. Plus, their assigned textbook is totally shitty and their course requirements so strict it's ridiculous. I have three classes at another college to tide me over, fortunately.ReplyDelete
ugh. it's pretty bad here in the East coast industrial city I'm in. I got no classes at the college where I was the newest adjunct (which I expected) and the CC I've been at for 8 years took one of my classes days before the semester started. I was okay with adjuncting up until now, but this semester, even with my partner's full time work we are really hurting. Time to find a new career!ReplyDelete
I had 4 classes across 3 universities almost canceled. A little tricky administrative fudging saved one, a sudden influx of 6 students on the last day of registration saved another, and the other two were merely merged into a course that covered both (related) topics rather than one topic per course.ReplyDelete
If I hadn't been so damn lucky with these last-minute admin changes, all 4 classes would have been canceled. Enrollment is down everywhere.
I think a lot of it has to do with tuition spikes as state govts pull out of their contributions. Tuition is rising everywhere and some people are simply withdrawing rather than persisting.
Enrollments way below expected growth and growth at comparable institutions out here. Maybe parents are either being priced out of 4-year colleges or getting wise to the worsening education that accompanies the tuition hikes?ReplyDelete
Yes, our enrollment was down. Our adjunct supervisor was about ready to take a giant handful of Valium to the point of not waking up because she had to lay off 20 faculty this term. A few of them were able to pick up classes that have since made in alternative terms and for special grants, but it was an enormous blood bath. It was really hard to see some of our best teachers not get anything at all. It was almost as hard to listen to the ones who ended up with something begrudge those who got more than they did (two classes versus one). And to top it all off, because we had so many full-timers have to take over sections originally slotted for adjuncts, we are now looking at possible full-timer layoffs since we no longer meet the "magic ratio" for "sound business practices."ReplyDelete
Our enrollments in core courses seem pretty sound, but enrollment in classes in our major (one of those humanities ones that doesn't provide a neatly laid out career track) have been falling for several years, which leads to more TT faculty teaching core courses and less need for adjuncts. We also had a budget snafu one semester that led to adjunct layoffs.ReplyDelete
Institutions differ, but, unless they laid you off *and* hired others the same semester (and perhaps even if they did, if those hired are in a different specialty, or just lower paid), or you spent last semester having multiple meetings with your chair and/or adjunct supervisor about student complaints, I think combating the thought that the rescinded contracts represent any sort of judgment of you or your teaching is a wise course. On the other hand, asking yourself whether you really want to stick with a job that is this uncertain, and this badly-paid in the first place, might also be a wise course. Just because you're good at something doesn't mean it makes sense to do it for peanuts (or a wage that requires you to live on peanut butter).
Our faculty is cutting loose pretty much all the adjuncts that don't have long-term status. It's gotten a lot meaner out there.ReplyDelete
At my CC, enrollment has been way up for the past couple of years. Campus is packed with the jobless and brainless trying to get an education because Obama told them to. You know, "EVERYONE DESERVES A CHANCE AT A COLLEGE DEGREE." Har de fucking har har. So yeah, our school is packed with all sorts of nutballs. We got yer strippers, drug addicts, borderline gang members, total misfits, complete idiots, losers, mommy's boys, video game addicts, and lost souls. We also have about 5% solid students out of thousands, but oh well.ReplyDelete
So yes, to answer your question, we hire every semester due to high demand. Because, you know, college is for EVERYONE, kinda like a public park.