Because Odessa College is known as an exemplary force of change… a Leader College… among community colleges in the United States, we have the responsibility of implementing innovative changes to ensure the continued success of our learners. (Achieving the Dream, 2018). We have implemented numerous programs to provide wrap-around support to our learners, including the Drop Rate Improvement Plan, which requires that our faculty really know their learners. Additionally, we have standards of excellence and professional development requirements that are imposed on our full-time faculty.
At Odessa College, the expectation of faculty includes a drop rate of less than 4% each term, and success rates (students completing with a grade of C or better) greater than 80%. We hold this level of expectation for all faculty, regardless of the modality of the course delivery, or the employment status of the faculty member. Full-time faculty members participate in annual training over FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), and also participate in training over the learning management system, educational technology tools available to them, pedagogy, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) strategies, and much more. Ongoing training activities throughout the year cover observation of courses, developing effective learning outcomes, course and program mapping, developing effective assessments, project based learning, etc.
Currently part-time faculty, though held to the same expectation for success and retention of students, are not required to participate in any professional development.
So this begs the question: How can we ensure that our students have a positive experience at Odessa College, when more than half of the teaching force is not required to participate in any training?
With the economic climate of Odessa, Texas, we will likely see an increase in the number of part-time remote faculty that are contracted to teach Odessa College classes. To ensure that our students and our faculty (especially the growing number of part-time faculty) have a positive and successful experience at Odessa College, we must implement a plan of development and support for our part-time faculty.
I have developed an Innovation Plan for providing a structured network of support for part-time faculty at Odessa College. To make this feasible and lucrative for the part-time faculty, a pay increase will be required. The pay increase will create a competitive base pay for part-time faculty, with opportunity for increases based on training and participation departmental activities, such as Professional Learning Communities.
To read the entire plan, the implementation outline, and the research supporting the plan, please follow the links below.
The plan: Developing a Network of Support for Part-Time Faculty
Implementation Outline: What steps can we take to ensure that our faculty and our learners have a positive experience at Odessa College?
Research: Why Must We Provide a Network of Support for our Part-Time Faculty?
List of Resources to Support Developing a Network of Support for Part-Time Faculty
About the video:
Video inlcudes images licensed as CC-BY-SA 2.0 through freepik.com, and photos taken by the video creator. Video was created using Camtasia; music included is part of the Camtasia Stock Library.
Achieving the Dream, (2018). Retrieved from https://www.achievingthedream.org/college_profile/619/odessa-college.