Adjunct faculty, unfortunately, often don’t have the kind of support full-time faculty do. As full-time faculty, many of us could do a better job supporting both our new and our long-standing adjuncts.
The Adjunct Faculty Resource Guide from the American Psychological Association can help. This 19-page document was originally produced by the Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges (PT@CC) committee and revised in 2017 by the Committee for Associate and Baccalaureate Education (CABE).
If you are an adjunct or are thinking about taking up teaching as a part-time endeavor, read this guide.
If you are full-time faculty who are hiring or supervising adjuncts, read this guide so you know what you should be telling your new adjuncts. Also, give this guide to your new adjuncts.
The guide is divided into three categories.
“Getting started: Learning institutional culture”
The process for getting hired varies. Class attendance policies, class cancellation policies, and grading policies vary widely from institution to institution. Know what you need to know to keep student records confidential and where students can get the institutional support they need – and where you can get the institutional support you need.
“Getting organized: Teaching psychology courses”
Create, manage, and assess your course. Write a syllabus that explains all of that to your students. Know how institutional areas, like the library, testing center, and tech support, can help you and your students.
“Getting connected: Building your psychology network”
Your departmental colleagues and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (including its 8,000-member Facebook group) will be invaluable. Join us. If attending national psychology conferences are out of your price range, consider going to a regional conference. All of them include programming on the teaching of psychology. There are a lot of local or state teaching of psychology conferences as well. Check with your department for a list of such conferences in your area.
At the end of the guide are checklists for new adjuncts teaching face-to-face courses and new adjuncts teaching online courses. Print them out, and check the boxes as you prepare for your first course. As you have questions, ask.