By John S. Gonzalez
CCC Journalism Program
With nominations for the 2018 Adjunct Faculty Teaching Excellence Award underway, many students and teachers are filling out forms for which professor they believe is most deserving. The award, which will be presented in August at the Adjunct Faculty Welcome Back Ceremony, is given to a professor who has taught a minimum of 10 semesters and best exemplifies teaching excellence at Camden County College.
According to a report done by the American Association of University Professionals in 2015, adjuncts are the fastest growing group of educators in the country and make up 75 percent of the nation’s faculty. Many educators hired by Camden County College are a part of this adjunct group who work other jobs or who have other commitments in addition to teaching. With students receiving emails encouraging them to participate in voting for the adjunct award, a range of opinions has arisen about the quality of teaching that students receive from adjunct professors.
“It’s horrible,” says Maria Diaz, a criminal justice major on the Camden City campus. “I don’t feel as though they make the time to teach properly (and) they’re always in a rush.” She says her feelings come after taking a math class in the fall of 2017 where she felt the professor did not properly do the job and was consistently late.
According to Camden County College’s website, most adjunct positions at the college require a master’s degree in the field in which the job candidates are applying to teach and some type of teaching experience at the college level. Depending on the field of study, these requirements can vary; however, for most, this is the minimum needed.
While some students notice a drop in the quality of education when an adjunct teaches a course, others like business administration major Siannie Concepcion say they “don’t really see a difference.” With the strain of multiple responsibilities with which adjuncts deal, she says they are more likely to “confuse the classes in regards to lessons (and) where they left off” but do not jeopardize the students’ education.
Some say while some professors do not have the students’ best interest at heart and simply want to collect a paycheck, this is more a problem of character than of being qualified for the job. “It all depends on the instructor’s integrity,” says transfer student Ben Robles.
After spending a semester at Temple University before transferring to Camden County College, Robles says he was able to see the nature in which teachers taught at two different institutions. “They can either be (an) instructor that wants to see their students understand the criteria … while also passing the class or be one of those teachers that make the class too easy not to pass.”