expanding my options

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by AdamJLaw, May 27, 2008.

  1. AdamJLaw

    AdamJLaw New Member

    I am starting a MS in CJ in June. One of my goals with that degree is to teach online. Really I would like to make it my full time job. Would it be advisable to get a second masters degree in another subject to allow me to teach more subjects? I have heard that accounting and finance are always subjects that are in need. Let me know, thanks.
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You might find your self limited if you only teach one subject. If your goal is to teach online full time, it might be a good idea to get credits in a second area of interest. Some topics that might relate to CJ are computer forensics or forensic accounting. You don't have to get a second master's but only a graduate certificate that would allow you to teach a second subject.

    In addition, online teaching is becoming very competitive so I would suggest enrolling in a PhD program even if it is from an online school like NCU or Capella. Many schools are looking for a PhD as the minimum requirement given the saturation of people with master's.
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Especially with CJ, most online programs look for "practitioner" faculty who have real-world experience as well as the usual academic qualifications.

    If you can make a living teaching CJ online, I'll buy your business model. :D
  4. AdamJLaw

    AdamJLaw New Member


    I have CJ experience, (2 years of probation). I don't have any experience with business. I guess I could always teach core subject areas like math, english and science. Is it really that hard to make a living teaching online? I have seen some schools (AIU) that hire full time online faculty. Has anyone done that?
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    It depends on what you call "make a living". I recently blow it with UoP due to my schedule and I could not put into it what I should have (their system works) so I did not complete the training. If I would have taught for them, as well as the schools I teach for now, I would have made about $65K per year. But I am just making about $40K extra now.
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member


    Making a living is possible but I would think that a PhD would be required to have more options. You could teach about 5 to 6 classes in a given term (this is realistic with quality time to your students) and most schools have about 5 terms per year. You would need to get gigs at schools with decent pays such as Devry or Walden and avoid Kaplan or UoP that really pay peanuts. 5 classes at devry might pay you about 15K and if you teach during 5 terms this is about 75K. This looks good in paper but the reality is that you would need to find at least 5 schools that can give you steady work.

    If you get a PhD, I would go for a school with some credibility. For example, if you have a PhD from NCU (an online school), you will find that schools like Walden or Nova wouldn't be to open to hire you since they want to show on their roster degrees from better or at least at the same level schools. I understand that takes money to make money but in online teaching business the name of the school of your last degree makes a huge difference.
  7. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    How would a PhD from Argosy stack up against NCU in terms of credibility and acceptance for the online teaching community?
  8. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Isn't "quality time" just a feel-good excuse for those uniwilling to invest quantity time? :eek:
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Good point but also as a professional adjunct, it is not very realistic to give to your students a lot of time. The amount of time that normally a full tenure professor teaching only two classes per term would give.

    Online schools know that professional adjuncts that do this for a living cannot afford to give lots of time so they are reasonable about their expectations.
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I haven't see many PhDs from Argosy to be honest. I teach at 3 online schools and see a lot of people with degrees from Capella, Nova and Walden. It doesn't mean that a PhD from Argosy is not good just that it might have not enough graduates to be noticeable. NCU is also a small school with no so many graduates to be visible yet either.

    I don't want to bash NCU or other school, it is just that as a prospect PhD student, you might want to go for a more tested product and it seems that Capella, Nova and Walden are doing a good job getting their graduates hired for online teaching jobs.

    I think tenure tracks at almost out of the question with PhDs from online schools but you can still make a decent living teaching as an online adjunct but I would try to maximize my employment opportunities with a tested product from schools that actually have people teaching. If you can make 75K teaching online is almost equivalent to the 60K you get as assistant professor at a state school but with less job security and no benefits.
  11. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    RFValve, thanks for your input. I greatly appreciate your insight.
  12. 1virtualprof

    1virtualprof New Member

    I teach for four schools year round. I've got a good relationship with the online directors so I'm assured of my classes. I teach several different subjects because I have a masters plus 18 grad credits in other subject areas. Masters plus 30 credits also gets you more money :) not to mention having all those subjects to teach really keeps the teaching opportunities open. I do not have a phd and have no intention of getting one. I've got more offers than I can accept and simply do not have time to get another degree. I swore after that last grad certificate I'd never take another class!

    For the past six years I've made around 75K working 30-35 hours a week. I know some people make six figures as online adjuncts but they say they work 60-70 hours a week and I'm too old for that crap :D I like working fewer hours. I do work 7 days a week but some days are really short days (just checking courses to see if there are any questions that need to be answered takes an hour max).

    I really enjoy teaching online and I like teaching different subjects. Each school I work for uses a different CMS and has different schedules (length of terms, time off, start days such as Mon-Sun, Thurs-Wed, etc.). Each school also caters to a different type of student clientele. One thing's for sure, there's never a dull moment.

    Yes you can make a living and yes you should get to the point where you can teach several different subjects. As for the phd thing, I'd say that depends on how young you are!! At my age, it's not worth it. For a younger person who is looking at more competition and higher credential requirements over the next 15-20 years, yeah it would be worth it. It seems like everyone wants to teach online now so there's going to be more and more competition for jobs as the years go on. But there will be more and more online programs and students as well. So who knows. But you should choose subject areas wisely -- you can't go wrong with gen eds because everyone has to take those and there will always be a need for gen ed faculty.

    Sorry to ramble -- hope some of this is helpful.
  13. AdamJLaw

    AdamJLaw New Member


    I currently am finishing a Masters in Special Education. I know it's hard to teach education without a PhD but that's life. I have no intention of earning a PhD in education. I am working on a MS in CJ from Univeristy of Cincinnati. I do have CJ experience. I am also planning on a PhD from SUNY Albany or University of Maryland College Park. I want some grad certificates so I can teach other subjects. I was planning on gen ed english, math, science. Are there any other subjects that I am forgetting? Does anybody know of any good schools out there that are cheap and quick to earn those certificates?

  14. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Adam, have you considered American Military University for graduate certificates? They have a variety of subject areas and they are decently priced. BTW, what area of CJ do you work in? (police, corrections, etc.).
  15. AdamJLaw

    AdamJLaw New Member


    I did work in Probation. I am currently a special education teacher, hence the Master in Special education. It is only two more classes after my credential. Is AMU RA.
  16. 1virtualprof

    1virtualprof New Member

    I have to put in my two cents worth here. Schools are becoming more and more UNreasonable in their expectations.

    There are quite a few schools now that require 5/7 days participation (minimum responses to 25% of postings in weekly discussions) and some schools require 7 days participation. Some schools require faculty to call students who miss up to 4 days in a row (meaning if a student disappears for four days, you gotta call them).

    Many schools require that you provide a personal phone number for students to call YOU (this is just great at 2 am because you might be est and some students are pst and it does NO good to tell them when they can call so you pretty much have to have a phone dedicated just for students and then turn the damn thing off when you don't want to get calls).

    One school that I recently stopped teaching for required faculty to notify students by class email and announcement if we were not available to answer questions in any given 24 hour period of time (yeah that's 24 hours as in one day during a week) AND let the dean know too.

    Many schools are now requiring a mandatory weekly synchronous meeting (mandatory for faculty but not students - go figure). I actually just recently quit one school that started that requirement this year. If I wanted to teach on a schedule, I'd just go on back to the local university to teach on campus.

    Some schools now require that you record audio announcements once or twice a week in addition to providing a written transcript. One school where a friend of mine teaches now requires faculty to put up an audio lecture (minimum 10 minutes) WITH a transcript each week. Do you know how long that takes? More than ten minutes, I guarantee!

    Then there are the grading and "feedback" requirements such as grade all work within 48 hours of the due date (one school actually mandates 24 hours - that's just insane for Eng comp faculty) and another school checks all your graded papers that are sent back to students to make sure you are writing original comments on each student's work each week (no canned or copied comments allowed).

    Some of this is just ridiculous and unfortunately more and more schools are implementing these types of requirements for online faculty. It's going to get worse too because too many online students will fail without the handholding.

    Support and additional assistance I don't mind -- handholding I won't do. I'll go out of my way to help a determined student who takes responsibility and works hard. I won't do that for students who miss due dates, disappear for days on end, etc. and then want to make up the work or get extra credit or whatever. I don't teach for schools that require handholding; it's just insane because no online adjunct gets paid enough to put in all those extra hours.

    Quality is definitely more important than quantity. But I look at it this way -- if you're providing quality, then obviously the quantity follows. You can do quality without spending the time. Bottom line here: schools are requiring more and more time from online adjuncts and you've got to work smart and not waste valuable time that you're not getting paid for. Every day I do something in each course to let students know I'm there but I don't waste my time doing non-essential stuff.
  17. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Good for you. I've worked in corrections for a little over 10 years now. Yes! AMU is RA. Here's a link. http://www.amu.apus.edu/index.htm
  18. 1virtualprof

    1virtualprof New Member

    Math and English are good. Forget science because you'll need 6 grad courses in EACH science subject. Everyone always needs math and Eng.

    Dno't bother with science, history, soc, psych, etc. because students only have to take one of those classes and not all schools offer all those. And there are a lot of people out there already who can teach those subjects (usually it's their ONLY subject) and jobs are hard to find.

    But math and Eng? Every student has to take several math and Eng courses.

    Honestly I wouldn't waste time or money getting a second masters. Just do your 18 hours and then start working on something else. And I think you'd be better off doing the math and Eng first and then doing the CJ last. CJ teaching opportunities are hard to find. I got my CJ courses because I started at two schools teaching Eng first then requested CJ for a year before I got my first course.

    Just my opinion based on what I've seen at my schools and in job ads.
  19. AdamJLaw

    AdamJLaw New Member

    I've thought about doing the CJ last but I live near three community colleges that hire CJ faculty regularly and I want to teach there. Also I am hoping to do the PhD in two years so I want to get it done.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I hear you, it is not exactly easy to be a full time online instructor. I believe that you put more hours teaching online than teaching on ground. For most of my on ground classes, I spend about 5 to 7 hours a week while my online courses take about 10-15 hours a week of my time. I try to take two sections of the same online class when I can to optimize my time.

    For the online schools that I teach, I find Devry the most supportive since they have good infrastructure for online courses while other schools expect you to do everything. I honestly think that being a full time online teacher can be a night mare, I would think that it could be a good way to get extra income for those of us that teach on campus since we can make money while we wait for another class to start and optimize our time but it can be real difficult for someone trying to do this full time mainly because the time it takes to give a good online class.

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