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Adjuncting in the U.S.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rtm,

Is that 5 full-time ESL jobs with community colleges in your area? Have you tried getting a full-time ESL job at a community college? How many ESL teachers in the U.S. would you say are looking for a full-time job at a community college? Personally, I know of way more than 5 just here where I am.

Regards,
John
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear rtm,

Is that 5 full-time ESL jobs with community colleges in your area? Have you tried getting a full-time ESL job at a community college? How many ESL teachers in the U.S. would you say are looking for a full-time job at a community college? Personally, I know of way more than 5 just here where I am.

Regards,
John

No, that's nationally, but that is only the ones listed on one site, and only the new ones announced in the last couple weeks. There are, of course, other sites out there, jobs that aren't advertised online, and now isn't exactly the prime hiring season (and I was only including those at CCs, not those at 4-year colleges or other IEPs announced during the same period).

You said that you know of way more than 5 people just where you are. Did they apply for the 5 jobs I saw listed? Or did they not because they are tied to a specific location? My point was that if someone is flexible in terms of location, there are jobs out there (though, of course, they are still quite competitive).
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
How many ESL teachers in the U.S. would you say are looking for a full-time job at a community college?


At my school, which some would argue is in a desirable part of the country, there were about 80 odd applicants for the position I was hired for, so I'd say there are far more applicants looking for work than there are positions available.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
My point was that if someone is flexible in terms of location, there are jobs out there (though, of course, they are still quite competitive).


Exactly. Willingness to relocate ANYWHERE is the number one variable most applicants have control over that will significantly increase their odds of landing a job SOMEWHERE. Though, unlike other disciplines, the likelihood of ending up in an undesirable place in the middle of nowhere is less likely as an ESL instructor as such places are less likely to attract large immigrant and refugee populations.

For those seriously pursuing a community college teaching job, I'd strongly recommend reading all of Rob Jenkin's columns on the community college job search in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which I found to be immensely helpful in my own job search:

https://www.google.com/search?q=rob+jenkins+site%3Achronicle.edu&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=rob+jenkins+site:chronicle.com
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peripatetic_soul



Joined: 20 Oct 2013
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:23 am    Post subject: Adjuncting in the U.S. Reply with quote

Dear rtm,
I hope those are legit openings. I only say this because, as posted previously, employers are required to advertise job openings to comply with EEOC regs. More often than not, those colleges already have a preferred, internal candidate in mind. Imagine the competition with several adjuncts already on the payroll. It is also my understanding that even though the hiring committee may have voted in favor of a certain candidate, it is the Coordinator's final decision to select THE ONE.
Also, do those adverts disclose the salary range? Generally speaking, the new hire begins at a salary closer to the lower end of the scale. Don't mean to be pessimistic but realistic (based on experience). Of course, it always helps to have connections. And, on a positive note, you may possess special skills that set you apart from the other candidates.
Best wishes in landing a full-time position.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Adjuncting in the U.S. Reply with quote

peripatetic_soul wrote:
I hope those are legit openings. I only say this because, as posted previously, employers are required to advertise job openings to comply with EEOC regs. More often than not, those colleges already have a preferred, internal candidate in mind. Imagine the competition with several adjuncts already on the payroll.

Yes, it's true that there is competition from internal candidates. About two years ago, my university hired 6 full-time ESL instructors. Of those, 2 were current adjuncts, and 4 were new, external people (there were about 45 adjuncts at the time). But, it's impossible for an applicant to know when there are or are not preferred internal applicants, so all one can do is apply for as many jobs (and as widely) as one can.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Adjuncting in the U.S. Reply with quote

peripatetic_soul wrote:
More often than not, those colleges already have a preferred, internal candidate in mind.


Most, if not all, job searches will typically have internal applicants. Whether or not those applicants have an advantage depends on a number of factors. Some schools have an institutional culture that favors adjuncts; others won't give them a second look. Some adjuncts are great in the classroom, but really aren't really team players when it comes to doing committee work, an important consideration when hiring a full-timer. Sometimes the department needs a full-timer with a specific skill (e.g., curriculum development) not currently represented in the adjunct pool. Etc. Etc.

Also, I would add that even if you are an internal candidate, you should approach the hiring process as if you're an outsider, carefully documenting your credentials as if the committee members have never met you before. Many internal candidates often sink their own candidacies by assuming they've got the position in the bag, and then they make careless mistakes or, perhaps, come across with a sense of entitlement to the committee.

In short, as an outside candidate, there are a number of factors that may work in your favor. It's always worth it to apply as you never know how things may work out.

peripatetic_soul wrote:
Also, do those adverts disclose the salary range? Generally speaking, the new hire begins at a salary closer to the lower end of the scale.


Most community colleges have a faculty salary scale, similar to that of most public school districts, where you are placed vertically based on your years of experience and horizontally based on your level of education (e.g., MA, MA + 30, etc.). That being said, there is still an element of subjectivity involved in how you are placed. Does part-time experience count towards your placement on the vertical scale? Does that second MA in an unrelated field improve your placement on the horizontal scale? Maybe, or maybe not. It will depend, in part, on the institutional culture of your school but, perhaps, solely on the discretion of the administrator who makes the call.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Adjuncting in the U.S. Reply with quote

esl_prof wrote:
Most, if not all, job searches will typically have internal applicants. Whether or not those applicants have an advantage depends on a number of factors. Some schools have an institutional culture that favors adjuncts; others won't give them a second look. Some adjuncts are great in the classroom, but really aren't really team players when it comes to doing committee work, an important consideration when hiring a full-timer.


This is very true -- and it is sometimes the case that being an inside applicant works against the applicant precisely because the hiring committee knows enough about the applicant that they don't want to hire him/her.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rtm,

I noticed you wrote "university." Is the ESL component an integral part of that university or kind of an "add-on?"
And I'm presuming that when you say "ESL," you mean actually teaching English as a Second Language to non-native speakers, not teaching how to be an ESL teacher, right?

Regards,
John
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
I noticed you wrote "university." Is the ESL component an integral part of that university or kind of an "add-on?"
And I'm presuming that when you say "ESL," you mean actually teaching English as a Second Language to non-native speakers, not teaching how to be an ESL teacher, right?

I'm not sure what you mean with your first question. Do you mean whether the IEP is an academic unit within the university, or run by an external organization (e.g., INTO, ESLI, etc.)? If that is your question, it is the former.

The jobs I was referring to were full-time positions teaching ESL to non-native speakers.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rtm.

That's pretty much what I meant. Some universities have "add-on" ESL programs associated with but not really part of the university.

Of course, that's not usually the case with community colleges.

Regards,
John
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rtm,

Adding 6 full-time instructors to the teaching staff seems like - WOW! I mean, that more than the 5 advertised for in the HigherEd e-mail for all over the country.

Was that unusual?

How big is the full-time teaching staff? Do you also have part-timers?

And - most important - any openings coming up? Very Happy

Regards,
John
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Adding 6 full-time instructors to the teaching staff seems like - WOW!

It is quite a few, but definitely not unique. With the huge influx of Chinese students about 8-10 years ago, and the huge influx of Saudi students in the last few years, some university IEPs have seen incredible growth. The IEP I previously worked at (again, an academic unit within the university's liberal arts college) hired 5 new full-time instructors every year for 3 years (i.e., 15 new faculty). At the rate international students pay, IEPs can be a huge moneymaker for universities, and they know it. Many are trying to fill their IEPs to capacity and beyond.
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peripatetic_soul



Joined: 20 Oct 2013
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:48 pm    Post subject: Adjuncting in the US Reply with quote

Dear rtm,
You commented that certain groups of students generate revenues for the university but what about the instructors? I know that the university here has experienced a precipitous decline in Saudi students due to the oil/economy crisis. I declined a job due to the appalling salary (less than comm. college) and an $8k deductible in health care. No thanks. I realize this varies throughout the vast USA.

What about the salaries/perks of those tertiary institutions? They're pathetic compared to community college wages or even public school. Compare colleagues with equivalent 15+ years of experience and an M.A. in VA: one at m.s./h.s. earns $62k, one at university earns $42k and one adjunct (on Medicare) earns $62/cr. hour (sans benefits) (often limited to 12 cr. hrs per semester thanks to Obama regs). What's one's preference?

We're a dime a dozen, eh? But as johnslat commented, because we love what we do and employers recognize this, we are exploited at the tertiary level). Still, one must do what one loves. Always a tradeoff, n'est-ce pas?

As you also posted, there are many variables to consider wherein one can be successful in landing a lucrative post. I definitely concur and wish the best to all.
Regards,
PS

PS
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:53 am    Post subject: Re: Adjuncting in the US Reply with quote

peripatetic_soul wrote:
You commented that certain groups of students generate revenues for the university but what about the instructors?


And that is precisely the problem with the current business model in higher education. Let me stop now before I digress into Marxist economic analysis . . .
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