Please help me learn more about online adjunct teaching opportunities?
November 21, 2012 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Finishing my MBA and would really like to know what adjunct or introductory online teaching opportunities are out there. What resources are out there? What would I be qualified to teach? Are there any other additional certifications that I should obtain?

I would prefer to teach introductory business or basic computer classes at the community college or college freshman/sophomore level. A list of the topics (in order) I think I would be most proficient in teaching.

Finance > Management > Economics > Intro to computers > Marketing > Business Communications > Accounting

I've my undergraduate degree in Finance with a CIS minor. Will be finished with my MBA by the end of summer. Just starting to explore this option some and interested in what the Hive has to offer.

Thank you!
posted by Paalen to Education (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Many positions will require an online teaching class or certificate to teach online.. They are often offered at community colleges and state college ed schools. Most adjunct community college positions , at least where I live, only require a Masters and a certain number of classes in the area you want to teach. Be warned that adjuncts are generally paid terribly in most parts of the country.
posted by Isadorady at 3:18 PM on November 21, 2012

I teach online in Virgina (where I live) and in Oregon (where I used to live). I teach at the community college level. At this level, you can teach whatever your master's degree is in (so I don't think you could teach computer classes or maybe even accounting, I'm not sure, that might be another question). It doesn't matter what your undergraduate degree is in, unless it's in something rare.

Also, if you have a master's degree in anything, you can teach any subject that you have eighteen graduate level credit hours in. As an example...I have a master's in sociology but if I took 18 graduate level credits in psychology, I could teach that.

Getting your foot in the door to teaching online can be challenging. In my experience, schools want you to teach in person first, then they let you go online.

To find out about opportunities, you need to contact the person who assigns classes. Usually this is a department chair, but sometimes it is a dean (at smaller colleges). If you don't know who it is, call the division secretary and ask - they can give you the name and email address of the person who does it. You would email them with your interest. You don't need to include a resume or anything formal, just an email that says something like:

Hi Professor Smith,

I have a degree in X - do you have any need for adjuncts at this time?



Sometimes you don't get a response. When this happens I email them again at the start of the next quarter. Sometimes it takes a few quarters to get in.

Usually classes are assigned at the beginning of the previous term, so you would contact the dean/department head in January about summer classes. By the way, summer classes are harder to get online because there are fewer of them and therefore more competition for them.

Part of teaching online is learning to use the course delivery system (usually Blackboard) and schools want you to have experience with Blackboard before you teach online. You don't have to have experience with Blackboard to teach in the classroom. Most colleges offer training in Blackboard.

Some universities also use adjuncts at the master's level, so that's worth exploring, too.

This is my experience in my field, your field may be different. For example, my husband only has a bachelor's degree in computer science but is allowed to teach adjunct at the same school where I teach in Oregon. I think this may be an exception, though.

I take home about $450 dollars a month for each class I teach (three credits). This pay is based on a flat rate that is then added onto based on your experience. The pay is roughly $35 an hour. It's the same in the classroom as it is online.

At most colleges you develop your own course (without pay). This means that the first term of teaching a new class I'm not making much money, but once it is developed, there is a lot less work each term.

Hope that helps!
posted by orsonet at 3:35 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've never had a college expect anything like an online teaching certificate. But I must agree the pay is crap.
posted by orsonet at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

You won't be able to keep body and soul together on what you'll be paid, as others have mentioned above.

The for-profit colleges (DeVry, ITT Tech, Phoenix University) will be less picky about your qualifications, but the pay is shit and they rarely hire someone full time.

An MBA is rarely the qualification for any of the specific classes you want to teach. Someone with a Master's in Accounting or a Master's in Finance or a PhD in Computer Science has the background to teach at the JC level.

Most folks will expect that you have a number of years actually working in the field before wanting to hire you to teach it.

Most adjuncts teach for the fun of it, or for extra dough. Most adjuncts aren't fresh out of their Master's programs.

Not to be a buzzkill, but it's true.

What's plan b?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:34 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just popping in as a teacher who has some expertise in blended & online teaching: if you really want to pursue being an online teacher, please take some time to learn about online learning. There's a lot available out there on Google, but I've found this book particularly relevant and cogent: E-Learning in the 21st Century. Very solid pedagogy.
posted by smirkette at 6:43 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone!! I'm 34 years old and have 12 years of business experience so I'm no innocent 24 year old fresh from college looking to conquer the world. I'd like to initially do this part time while working.
posted by Paalen at 2:12 PM on November 30, 2012

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