Adjunct Instructors Juggle Multiple Jobs to Make a Living


Christain Paulsen, left, is a linguists adjunct professor with the humanities division Julia Simpson-Urrutia, right, English-writing adjunct professor, inside the writing and reading center. Jan. 26.

Spanish professor Yaneth Ramirez has been an adjunct professor for 12 years now. She is a mother and, despite her employment as an educator, she has had to work part-time jobs to help support herself and her family. She did not choose to teach only part-time, and she is not alone.

“There are way too many part timers or adjuncts that it doesn’t give the opportunity for full time positions,” Ramirez said. She said that if she had the opportunity to teach full time, she wouldn’t have to take on so many part-time jobs.

“I also teach Spanish classes part-time at College of the Sequoias,” she said. “And I work for another program called PK: Parents institute for quality education, working these jobs compensates for me only working part-time here,” Ramirez said.

Even when a full time position opens up and professors have the opportunity to apply for it, not all are qualified or lucky. Ramirez was one of the unlucky ones.

“Eight years ago there was a position that opened up here, and I applied for it, but there were so many applicants, I didn’t get it,” she said.

Colleges hire large numbers of adjunct faculty members because they are much more flexible and cheaper than full-time faculty, according to the study “Does Cheaper Mean Better? The Impact of Using Adjunct Instructors on Student Outcomes” by Eric P. Bettinger and Bridget Terry Long.

This makes life a little harder than it needs to be.

“I would love to be a full timer and just be on one side of town, in one school, instead of having to drive back and forth to different jobs,” Ramirez said.

Like full time faculty members, adjunct professors must meet basic requirements before they can teach, except they are not guaranteed to teach full time. Some instructors do not mind only teaching part-time, to make time for their other teaching jobs.

Adjunct graphic design instructor Katie McQuone Botello teaches a beginner video production class at a satellite campus at Sunnyside High School. She is also a full time teacher of the same subject at the high school.

“I am adjunct because it’s an opportunity for me to continue teaching what I love outside of my day time teaching hours,” Botello said.

For professors like Botello, the option to go full time isn’t one of their goals because they like working two jobs.

“I don’t think I would go full time because I love my high school position so much,” she said.  “I would love to teach more classes and get involved with FCC more in the future.”