Help for Aspiring Remote Adjuncts

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by Michael Burgos, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    I figured I'd tap into the vast cumulative wisdom and experience represented on this board. Any advice, tips, or tactics to land a remote adjunct gig?
  2. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    The quickest way to gain experience is to contact the school, and department, you did your masters and/or doctorate at to see if you could get an adjuncting role. Most departments are open to their alums teaching and it was the best manner in which I began to gain teaching experience.
    Michael Burgos likes this.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Get to know people at schools.
    Consider joining the USDLA.
    Search for openings.
    Develop an expertise in a needed area.
    Be prepared for seagull management, mushroom management, horrible pay, and ridiculous workloads.
    JoshD and Michael Burgos like this.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  5. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    I second this..... I taught developmental mathematics courses at my community college for more than 4 years without a Masters degree. I finally got tired of it due to decreased limits on adjunct loads and left to get a full time job while finishing my Masters about 7 months later. Whenever I finish my PhD, I might become an adjunct again after not teaching for nearly a decade. I will aim to teach courses in technology, education, and possibly business.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2022
    Michael Burgos likes this.
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    That is not always the case. Some schools pay handsomely and have a decent workload. If you teach the same course, you can copy and paste mostly (not feedback on students' work, but for discussion prompt responses, announcements, etc.). In fact, my coach at one school told me to build a library of those things to use in future courses.

    I was an adjunct at a school where the pay was horrible ($85/graduate student and $75/undergraduate student), and the workload was ridiculous. They wanted us to write intros for all eight modules (not copy/paste the learning outcomes), hold three Blackboard Collaborate sessions (live), and respond to a certain amount of students. I quit after my first two courses, both graduate-level. One had two students, and the other had one student. So, my pay was $170 and $85, respectively—a total slap in the face for someone with a Ph.D.
    JoshD and Michael Burgos like this.
  7. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    To the OP, I struggled to get my first adjunct gig. I applied to several pools and received no positive response. When I was ABD, I emailed all the local CJ chairs in Philadelphia. One reached out but didn't have an opening. About a week later, someone decided to take the fall semester off, and the chair reached out. So, I taught my first course synchronously on Teams/Canvas in Fall 2020. I think the key is getting the first one (getting your "foot" in the door). Since earning my Ph.D. in May 2021, I have applied for other positions without contacting anyone directly. I received offers at Columbia Southern University, OK Panhandle State University, Saint Leo University, and the University of Arizona Global. I also got a gig at Adler University through networking. All these positions came within a year of my Ph.D. However, I dropped all except two. I love my free time more than money!
  8. jonlevy

    jonlevy Active Member

    Depends on what you are qualified to instruct - math, computer science, nursing they can't get enough, on the other hand humanities and social sciences have hundreds of applicants for each position.
  9. jonlevy

    jonlevy Active Member

    With all due respect, if someone with a PhD can't compose a CV, write a coherent letter, or construct a curriculum - they need more help than anyone can provide.
  10. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I would not say this is necessarily true. There are people who are highly intelligent with 4.0 GPAs and a 750 GMAT or 330 GRE that hire Admissions Consultants before applying to top graduate programs to ensure they effectively communicate their story.

    A consultant to ensure you convey an effective story through a CV and such for jobs is just an investment some people make to help make themselves more competitive.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    And yet strangely, she has happy clients.
    Vonnegut and JoshD like this.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Hi Michael,
    I noticed that you have a PhD in Theology and religion background. Most of the online adjunct gigs are in psychology, business administration, IT and education. Given your background, I would suggest 18 graduate credits in Psychology and earn a license in Counselling. With this, you can aim for Counselling Psychology gigs. If psychology does not appeal you, maybe you can align with education in a similar manner.

    The idea is that you would need to align your background with the market. People with humanities, theology, English, etc have a hard time getting gigs because most schools offer online programs in applied fields. The answer here is to align your background with an applied field.
    Once you align your background with the market, you will get tons of offers. I earned degrees in IT management and Finance on top of my science background, these got me many gigs. There is no magic here, if you can teach courses in demand, you can get work.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Talk to people. Connect with people you'd like to get to know via LinkedIn. Let everyone you know know you're interested in it.

    Applying for openings listed on school sites, job sites, etc. is fine--you gotta do it. But if a school wants to work with you, they'll find a way, or create something, or have you teach a class you didn't anticipate, or drop you into a role they haven't listed anywhere. The better they know you, the more they'll trust the decision to have you teach for them.
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    If I had a fistful of Theology degrees, (or even just one), I think the LAST thing I would want to do, to earn money, is to be an adjunct. Not even in desperation. Were it legal, selling oneself into slavery might be a better option!

    What might I do? Found a Church. My own Ministry. THAT'S where the MONEY is! Preferably a Televangelism or Internet Ministry. The bigger the congregation, the bigger the take! I'd work hard at making mine a household name, as did Joel Osteen, T.D Jakes, Jack and Rexella Van Impe, and so many others. I'd work hard at telling folks EXACTLY what they want to hear... And I'd try to stay out of trouble, as some of 'em couldn't - e.g. Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell Jr., Jim Bakker et al. Yes - it's hard work, but unlike adjuncting - it's financially rewarding. If you're good at it - extremely rewarding.

    If I got really rich, I could go on to greater success: I'd found a University, like these famed Evangelists:

    Pat Robertson (Regent University)
    Jerry Falwell Sr. (Liberty University)
    Oral Roberts (Oral Roberts University)

    This is DI. We all know how much money there is in doing that! What a combo! The Keys to the Kingdom, PLUS the Key to the Title IV Funding Room! :)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2023
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    In some versions of Bear's Guide, John talks about a guy who got a degree from the Universal Life Church and then made a mint pitching religious stuff--and saving a bundle on income taxes. He wrote a book called "Non-profit Can Be Profitable," or something like that. Lot of money in that humbug.

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