Natural sciences department has 13 openings for part-time teachers.
By Maria Gardner
Registration begins next week for the fall semester, and there are adjunct positions that need to be filled for classes to stay open, said Dr. Teanna Staggs, chair of natural sciences.
“We lose a lot of people (adjuncts) because they want full-time jobs and we are only hiring part time,” Staggs said.
To address the need to fill adjunct positions, the District Council of Chairs, led by Staggs, plans to host an adjunct fair at each college, she said.
This college will host the adjunct job fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. April 8 in Chance Academic Center.
At the fair, candidates will go through a preliminary screening with the chair of the department of the discipline they want to teach, Staggs said.
Candidates who move pass the screening will be invited at a later date to demonstrate their teaching skills, Staggs said.
Forty percent of faculty in the natural sciences department are full-time faculty and 60 percent are adjuncts, she said.
The low percentage of full-time faculty is due to a hiring freeze placed on the college three to four years ago, Staggs said.
Adjuncts, under semester contracts, are more economical to the district, Staggs said.
Alamo Colleges does not offer sick leave, health insurance or vacation days for adjuncts teaching less than 12 credit hours, according to this college’s Faculty Handbook 2015-2016.
She said there are challenges to having such high number of adjuncts in the department.
“It means we can’t offers sections because we are not sure if they are going to be filled,” Staggs said. “It affects the workload of full-time faculty as a result of that phenomenon.”
One of the tasks that has grown for full-time faculty is the number of evaluations conducted of adjuncts and dual credit faculty to make sure they are meeting the standards and following the processes required by the department, Staggs said.
“Often, we (full-time faculty) are here more than 40 hours a week,” Staggs said. “There are services that need to be provided to the students.”
She said full-time faculty are more committed to this college in comparison to adjuncts who often have full-time jobs elsewhere, Staggs said.
She said chemistry adjuncts work at labs during the day and teach at night at this college.
“They do it for the extra income and the love of teaching,” Staggs said.
Staggs said she depends on email to communicate with adjuncts who mostly teach at night, in contrast to full-time faculty, including herself, who mostly work during the day.
In the natural sciences department, the majority of adjuncts have been teaching at this college for eight to 10 years, Staggs said.
She said the love of teaching, the strong reputation this college and the rewarding work would be the motivators for wanting to be an adjunct at this college.
There are 13 adjunct positions opened In the natural science department which includes astronomy, biology, chemistry and earth sciences, Staggs said.
They encourage people to submit an application online prior to the fair, Staggs said
So far 16 applicants have applied for openings in her department, she said.
If the department is able to hire five to six adjuncts from the pool of applicants at the fair, she would consider the event successful.
Individuals to attend the fair are welcome to apply online at www.alamo.edu.