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Adjunct Professors Become More Common

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Colleges and universities make use of full and part time faculty. Research shows the number of part time, or adjunct instructors is growing. And that's forcing many of them to reconsider their dreams of gaining tenure, or a permanent, safe position because they may never be offered.  

It depends on a lot of different factors. What subject area do you teach? Can the college afford another professor? Is there even room for another professor. But, in most instances there can be an opportunity to transition.

An adjunct professor is a part time position that usually gets paid according to the number of credit hours. In many schools across the nation there is a growing trend of hiring more adjunct professors and fewer associate or assistant professors for tenure.

The American Association for University Professors research shows an increase to 70 percent in the number of non-tenured faculty.

But, that's not exactly the case at BSC. There are many adjuncts who'd prefer to stay just that, adjunct. But for those hoping to become a professor.

"There's certainly that opportunity. There are never any promises made. There's just no guarantee," says Drake Carter, Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

But it depends. If there is a surge in student population, the college has to weigh out if the number of students warrants hiring another professor. Is it financially sound for the college. Is there even enough room.

In some cases, there isn't anyone willing to take the job offered.

"Skilled labor in the energy production, distribution and so forth. It's sometimes very difficult to find someone and to hire them as a full time faculty member," says Carter.

That's where adjunct professor come in, they fill the gap.

"Teaching adjunct gave me a way to interact with people in a way I couldn't when I worked at the power plant. I like to learn and I like to share what I've learned. So, it just seemed an ideal fit for my personality," says Professor Todd Seibel.

BSC was able to offer Seibel a full time position after he taught as a adjunct for a year. He says if people are looking for a full time positions in academics they need to take in all the factors, and remember it may take longer than expected to gain tenure.


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