Can you make a living as an Adjunct ?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by Joeybsmooth, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Joeybsmooth

    Joeybsmooth New Member

    Anyone here make a living off of being an adjunct. I would love to be able to do that, however so far I have only got one class. And I can not live off of that .
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I use it as an extra income but I guess it depends on your standard of living (not to be a smart ass). If you need to make $50K a year without benefits I would say yes you could do it. If you need to make $75K - 85K a year, I would say less likely. If you need $100K, I would say no.
  3. Joeybsmooth

    Joeybsmooth New Member

    I would like to do that making 50 K a year. I live in the South and that is pretty good. So what should I do, just keep sending out my resume to different schools until someone says yes .
  4. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

    I use my adjunct income as supplemental income. I would not attempt to live off of it alone as I have found it to be inconsistent and sporadic in terms of scheduling. I may not get a check for a month, but then get $10K on one payday in the following month. It all depends on how much instability you are willing to tolerate. Most adjuncts that I know have a regular "day" job.
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I do agree. Sometimes it is feast or famine. I would recommend sending out resumes to a bunch of places once you have some experience teaching. What subject(s) do you teach?
  6. Joeybsmooth

    Joeybsmooth New Member

    Psychology, and Counseling . I have my MA working on my Ph D. If I just had a 18 k or so I would be ok . I just need some living money. IE money to keep me from dying .
  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I just recommend get a few schools under your belt so you have a stream from different sources and decide from there. If $18K is all you need you are a luck (or very frugal) man. There have been semesters that I have made almost 18K…of course I worked morning till night 7 days a week for 12 weeks but I guess that is the trade off.
  8. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Dani Babb and Jim Mirabella have written a book about earning a six figure income as an adjunct. I have read it and it's pretty good Make Money Teaching Online: How to Land Your First Academic Job, Build Credibility, and Earn a Six-Figure Salary (9780470100875): Danielle Babb, Jim Mirabella: Books
  9. Cyber

    Cyber New Member

    Dani Babb can write that considering that she teaches at almost every DL school available; something that I find troubling as a student. I don't have issues with folks making as much money as they can (to repay those loans they racked up to pay Capella for their PhD, for example). If I have to spend my tuition dollars, I don't want to peruse the faculty pages (which I do quite a bit) of DL schools or schools with substantial DL offerings only to find her name (I can name several other adjuncts whose names pop up at every DL schools imaginable) everywhere; a potential instructor in some of my courses. In my opinion, folks who teach at too many schools become too detached from serving each students at one school, at a time. Quality of instruction and the overall value of a class/course also gets eroded to a point where its becomes disadvantageous for the student (ofcourse an advantage for the school and the adjuncts that teach there) who pays tuition that is in turn used to pay the adjuncts. That is the reason I see a lot of value in what Dr Lady is trying to achieve in this post.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011
  10. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I understand what you are saynig but how is that different from the B&M Professor that has 70+ students in a lecture hall per class? Do you think those students are served at all?
  11. Princeofska

    Princeofska New Member

    Depends on the professor, and your definition of "served." Education is not a hand holding exercise, which for some reason students and administrations are starting to think it is. To be a quality educator you have to be able to guide the student just enough to learn and digest information on their own. I have seen this done at big schools in big classes. The professors have to be available at office hours and engaging during class, but it happens. No one is doing anyone a favor by practically doing work for a student, something that seems to happen more and more often in smaller classrooms and online settings. Some of the restrictions on professors at schools - especially community colleges and the ground versions of the lesser for profits who hurt for students to justify their existence to corporate / government - are ridiculous. In the last ten years I have worked for two schools that would not let me fail a student for failing to do required work. Sorry kids, just because you pay for an education does not mean you earned it; or even that you really got one in the first place. So in the end, taking on too many students hurts the education industry, because you cannot give each one the time of day if they need it, but going the other way and walking a student through a course is just as detrimental. This is why more full time positions are needed and less reliance on adjuncts for the majority of classes in a subject. (Note: adjuncts supplementing incomes are not whom I am speaking of here.)
  12. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Our Executive V.P. felt the same way about Dr. Babb, which is why she does not teach for us. Her book is good, however.
  13. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    70? A friend of mine at Berkeley had more than one freshman course with over 500 in the lecture hall.
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The difference is that the B&M university professor also administers a team of graduate student teaching assistants. The TAs work directly with the undergraduates in small labs, discussion sections, etc. and grade much of their work.

    Sometimes it's more like a small army of TAs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I was shoting low so people would not jump all over me :sgrin:
  16. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    That is embarrassing, as I was reading your post I was going to quote it and agree with you, only to discover you mentioned me and my strategy.

    I do agree with you, if all the schools use the same books and the same faculty, whats the point?

    I am not against, just as you point out, folks trying to earn a good living, and in the end I'll use a few of them as they have become my friends over the years. However, the majority of my faculty need to be unique, IMHO, and of course bring something interesting to the table, or else I'm not accomplishing what I want to accomplish with education and I'm not helping my school provide the best education possible.

    When I was a DL student I always found that the faculty that I didn't see everywhere seemed to interact more with me, and honestly push me a little more. Some of these folks that teach at 5 to 10 schools touch 3,000 to 5,000 (or more) students a year. How can there be enough time to do that and provide quality?

    Again I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, just that the schools must be responsible for juggle their cadre of instructors to provide a balanced and complete experience for the student.

    I'll also point out that there are more people that want to teach online than there are positions, especially people working in the field who would like to make a little extra $10k to $20k on the side, doing something that allows them to give back. Because of this there really is no need to use the same 200 people all over the place.

    However having said all that don't read this to mean that I am against it, its the way the market works and I support competition and free markets. It just isn't for me from an education standpoint.
  17. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Excellent and unique school model. It will stand apart from the rest.

    Abner :)
  18. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    It actually sounds very similar to the traditional model for B&M faculty. Under the traditional B&M model, professors taught classes on an exclusive, full-time basis for a particular school, and were also expected to conduct interesting research in their field. Isn't that similar to the "school model" proposed here, with "unique faculty" that "bring something interesting to the table" ?

    On the other hand, traditional B&M professors were compensated with good salaries, full benefits, and lifetime job security. It seems possible that the proposed school model would differ in those respects.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011
  19. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    Sure I think so. The difference here is that it is more of a trade-smith model where experienced and credentialed practitioners teach their trade. In pure B&M the majority are full time teachers, spurred on to publish as their act of contrition demonstrating current knowledge. What I always found interesting about the classic model is that the faculty that theoretically are the most plugged into the market, as demonstrated through the most and most current publications, are then rewarded by higher pay and teaching the least number of courses, and thereby teaching the least number of students. Its the lower paid less published faculty that teach the most students, or even grad-students who teach because the real good faculty is to busy doing something else. So in that respect this is pretty different, but the concept at the institution level is similar at least.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Dlady, this is an ideal situation for the schools but the reality is that is not so easy to find faculty with tons of professional experience holding executive positions willing to make the 2K that a typical online MBA class pays. I know this as I know our executive MBA pays 20 to 30K per class and sometimes they have a hard time getting quality faculty. An executive earns about 200K a year so they won't be so attracted to go and teach a class for 2K online.

    People like Dr Babbs seem to be the profile that is willing to take the 2K and do a good job. She has mastered the online teaching skill and optimized her time so she can teach multiple classes at the same time.

    Most of the online courses at online schools are canned anyways, why would you want an executive from a top corporation to facilitate a class when all the material is already created? Chances are that people with this profile would do a terrible job as many wouldn't take the job so seriously as the 2K doesn't pay even for their parking bills.

    The professional online instructor like Dr. Babbs seems to be the preferred profile at many schools mainly because they are reliable and get the job done.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011

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