Tentative Outline for Implementing a Support Network of Growth and Development for Adjunct Faculty: A Plan for Innovation at Odessa College

Developing a Support Network of Growth and Development for Adjunct Faculty: A Plan for Innovation at Odessa College

Overview: The Need to Implement a Support Network of Growth and Development for Adjunct Faculty

As the face of higher education changes to meet the demands of learners, the workforce of educators is shifting to one that is largely comprised of part-time faculty members. These part-time faculty members bring a wealth of experience to the classrooms, but may not have any training or experience in education, and many lack the pedagogical/andragogical background to ensure the success of their learners.

To ensure the success of learners, institutions of higher education need to make an investment in their educators, including those who work part-time and those who work remotely from a distance. These valuable contributors toward the goals of the learners and the institution must be given an opportunity to participate in the processes of their departments, and must be provided with opportunities for support and for growth.

Implementation Plan


Submit Proposal: Fall 2018

  • Submit Innovation Proposal draft for the implementation of a Support Network for Growth and Development for Adjunct Faculty to Dean of Teaching and Learning at Odessa College, with supporting documentation (literature review, Supporting Part-Time Faculty in Higher Education).
  • Discuss any suggested changes offered by Dean, and make changes as appropriate.
  • Present modified Innovation Proposal for the implementation of a Support Network for Growth and Development for Adjunct Faculty to Odessa College’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), comprised of:
    • Valerie Jones, Vice President for Instruction.
    • Diane Acosta, Senior Dean, School of STEM, Acting Dean for School of Health Sciences
    • Eric Yeager, Senior Dean, School of Public Service and Education
    • Jennifer Myers, Dean, School of Business and Industry
    • Arthur Rankin, Dean, School of Arts and Humanities
    • [Dean, School of Health Sciences (currently vacant)]
    • Becky Musil, Dean, Teaching and Learning
  • Upon approval by ILT, present Innovation Proposal for the Implementation of a Support Network for Growth and Development for Adjunct Faculty to Odessa College’s Administrative Team.

Planning Stage: Fall 2018 – Spring 2019

Screen image of Faculty Support Studio course in Blackboard Learning Management System

Image by the author. Background image licensed through Shutterstock.

  • Conduct surveys of part-time faculty members to allow that population a voice in developing professional development initiatives and support opportunities.
  • Identify full-time faculty members to serve as mentors for adjunct faculty.
  • Begin work with Teaching and Learning Team to update professional development initiatives currently provided for full-time faculty to be deliverable online.
  • Provide training to existing departmental leaders and faculty in synchronous web conferencing tools, to ensure that part-time faculty can be included in departmental meetings, professional learning communities (PLCs), mentoring sessions, and guidance and support sessions for adjunct and remote faculty.
  • Begin work with faculty identified as innovative leaders, to help them develop training and support materials for part-time faculty.
  • Begin developing resources for faculty support, including videos and downloadable documents that provide instruction to faculty.

    Welcome to the Odessa College Faculty Mentoring Program

    Rocketclips. (n.d.) Faculty webcamming on laptop, Licensed through Shutterstock.

  • Create a space in the Learning Management System to house a space where all faculty can find support. This “course” (The Faculty Support Studio) will house:
    • calendar of important dates for all faculty, such as term Census date, important reporting dates, first and last days of term, deadlines for submitting grades, etc.
    • online professional development opportunities
    • videos and instruction
    • links to resources and tools
    • discussion forums and other asynchronous tools to allow regular interaction between mentor and mentee
    • journaling activities to encourage reflection
  • Create a website with an informative blog to provide tips and support to faculty, as well as a repository of downloadable instruction, videos, and other resources to help meet the needs of faculty, especially those who teach remotely.
  • Develop an application for notification and continuous improvement that will:
    • alert faculty to upcoming professional development opportunities;
    • allow faculty to track professional development opportunities;
    • provide all faculty (full- and part-time) a voice in the planning and implementation of development; and
    • serve as a convenient tool for returning feedback
  • Develop a plan for faculty to maintain Professional Development ePortfolios.
  • Continue research on trends in higher education and faculty development.

Implementation: Summer 2019

Because this initiative will include some incentivisation and remuneration for part-time faculty meeting training/development milestones, and for full-time faculty for mentoring activities, and developing and leading professional development activities, full implementation will not begin until August 2019, and going into Fall 2019 (Fiscal Year 2019/2020).

  • Course Shell (Faculty Support Studio) will be launched for testing by June 2019, with official launch in August 2019.
  • App for Professional Development Tracking and Feedback will be launched for testing by June 2019, with official launch in August 2019.
  • All faculty (full-time and part-time) will be granted access to the Faculty Support Studio.
  • All faculty will be required to complete certain training activities before their first courses for the years, and other training activities prior to the end of the first 8 week term. Other professional development activities will be sustained, over longer periods of time to ensure that the faculty have opportunity to put their learning into practice.
  • All adjunct faculty will be paired with a full-time faculty mentors.
  • All new full-time faculty members will be paired with a full-time faculty mentor.
  • Teaching and Learning team will review feedback regularly, ensuring a mechanism for continuous improvement of the resources and development activities.

By the end of Fall 2019 (December 2019), all faculty will have participated in development and support activities, including participation in reflective journaling activities through the Faculty Support Studio.

Assignment3-EDLD5305-OutlineOfImplementationPlan_JulieLyon (Downloadable PDF)


Rocketclips. (n.d.) Faculty webcamming on laptop, Licensed through Shutterstock.


9 thoughts on “Tentative Outline for Implementing a Support Network of Growth and Development for Adjunct Faculty: A Plan for Innovation at Odessa College

  1. Peer Review 1: Julie looks like you have really thought this plan out. I like the details you have laid out. I am still on the fence about implementation time. I glad you have really thought yours out. I know you have been working with your faculty and know how this will play out. Good Luck.


  2. Peer Review #1- I like how broad your dates are and that they are spread out. This gives the plan time for any error or issues that might pop up. Very nice outline!


    • Thank you, Alyssa! The date span also allows for budget approval of the increase in pay for part-time faculty; approvals for budget happen in late Spring 2019, with implementation for Fiscal Year 2019/2020 (1-September-2019).


  3. Peer Review 3: Wow! This is an incredibly detailed and robust outline and I like that you’ve given two semesters for the middle section to get worked out. I love the idea you’ve come up with — I think it will be incredibly helpful for your faculty. With all of these moving parts will you be creating a calendar or using task management software?


  4. Julie, I think your outline is so organized! My only feedback would be the amount of time you have outlined to accomplish so much. You mention incentives and remuneration in phase three, will you have to get approval for this part of the process? I loved how detailed you were in everything. Great job!


    • Thank you, Erin. Yes… for the incentivisation and remuneration piece, we will require approval of the administration (but not the board of trustees). Budget approvals typically occur in late spring here, so in Spring 2019 a request to change the pay scale of adjunct faculty will be submitted, with implementation of the pay scale change beginning 1-September 2019.


  5. Pingback: Connecting and Communicating the Innovation Plan | Adventures in Digitial Learning & Leadership

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