Why would you want to be a part-time professor?

questions2Maybe you read the ebook Become a Part-time Professor or maybe teaching a college or university course has been something you have dreamed about for a while. If you are thinking about applying for part-time faculty positions, I have a question for you: Why? What’s your motivation?

It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do in this life, but choosing consciously or being clear about the reasons you are doing what you are doing is important to know. Being a part-time professor, or adjunct faculty member as it is called in most colleges, can bring many rewards. It offers the opportunity to:

  • Have the prestige of being a certified expert in your field.
  • Share your knowledge with others and position yourself as a thought leader in your chosen profession.
  • Be in the company of other thought leaders where you will have the opportunity to engage in intellectual dialogue about subjects you love.
  • Educate the next generation of leaders based on your real-world experience.
  • Share your passion with others and get them excited about learning.
  • Add to your resume and credentials.
  • Have an additional income source.

As a part-time professor you will receive some compensation. For the person who is concurrently working full-time, who is retired, or who has their own business, the supplemental income is a nice perk. However, you could be in trouble if this is your only source of income. As an adjunct, you are not going to make the salary of a full-time professor, you are not going to receive tenure or be granted a paid sabbatical after years of teaching; nor will you likely receive health benefits or retirement benefits. It is a part-time position. If enrollment is low, your class could be canceled.

On the positive side, in most institutions you will not have to attend faculty meetings, you will not have to maintain a research discipline, you will not have to publish, and you will not have to perform service on behalf of the college or university. As an adjunct professor, you can teach your class and go home. If you are teaching online, you can teach from anywhere that has an internet connection.

You will of course have to prepare your lesson, grade papers, and hold some form of office hours. It is estimated that the amount of time you will spend outside of class on average is 1.25 hours for every hour in class. That will vary depending on if it is your first time teaching the class or your tenth. Initially, you will need to put in time to prepare for your class.

If you don’t have a clear and personally compelling reason for becoming part-time faculty, you could quickly become disenchanted. However, for the right person, with the right reason, being a part-time professor can be extremely rewarding. So, are you ready to become a part-time professor? If so, register to become a part of our growing community of adjuncts and prospective adjuncts.

3 replies
  1. WHiP It! Amy Elias
    WHiP It! Amy Elias says:

    I do love this and think all people have something to add to the conversation of LIfe. Thank you for bringing this topic forward, center and to the top of the class.

  2. Parttimeprofessor
    Parttimeprofessor says:

    Thanks Amy, It is important for people to know why they are getting involved in what they think they want to do.

  3. dmdinerod
    dmdinerod says:

    Hi Amy – Love your blog and your candid and succinct answers which demystify some preconceptions I didn’t even know I had. There are SO many people who can benefit from this information. Gracias!

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