Leadership in higher education

Published: 2018-03-27 19:48:13
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Harvey Mudd College
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Roles of higher education leaders in strategic planning, change and in the needs and requirements of adjunct instructors

Higher education administrators are the center posts to change and implementation of strategic plans. The leaders constitute part of the strategic planning committee and have a duty of ensuring the success of a strategic plan. Changes within institutions are discussed and passed to the administration for verification before they are included in the school program. Higher education leaders especially deans to faculties or chairpersons of departments are the key driver to attainment of online teaching. As a department chairperson, one is supposed to develop strategies that will ensure the success of online education (Committee of Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges, 2009).

The higher education leaders are equally involved in the recruitment of new members of a faculty. Faculty leaders appoint or recruit new members such as fulltime or adjunct instructors. Part time instructors get their teaching guides and other instructional materials the chairpersons of departments. The chairs of department are also required to guide new members over departmental requirements (Hinton, 2012). They also assess the work of adjunct instructors and give remarks for promotion. Higher education leaders are, therefore, the backbone of a successful higher learning institution.

Adjunct instructors, their requirements, and their needs

Adjunct instructors are higher education teachers whose professional level is below the required tenure level. Adjunct faculty is hired by department chairperson or a dean. Adjunct instructors are usually hired under contracts. The instructors are always at a better position of becoming fulltime employees in their present institution if they deliver the best of them. As outlined earlier, adjunct instructors are assigned specific duties to perform and barred from other. As an adjunct lecture professor, one is equally required to follow school and departmental regulation like those permanently on board. These regulations may include class attendance, student support and tutoring services (Committee of Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges 2009).

Contingent professors are encouraged to work alongside other members of the faculty for proper delivery. These can be; Chairpersons of the department, information technologists, professional development coordinators and coordinators for cooperative learning. Adjunct professors need a proper course planning and management whether they plan to teach online or one on one. The contingent instructors should consult with their head of departments the appropriate lesson plan and the course they are allowed to teach. Veteran adjunct professors should, however, be less concerned about the course content but devise different methods of administering the same course.

Adjunct professors should be ready to work with a variety of students with different abilities. This calls for the development of effective teaching strategies to meet the academic requirements of each student. These strategies mostly need to be engaging and interactive for a higher student retention rate. Other methods may require cooperative and collaborative techniques so as to include the whole class. Adjunct instructors are encouraged to use online resource and lecture notes in teaching (Committee of Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges 2009). Technology should be considered as aiding tool in teaching and not an instructor. Review the course expectations before engaging a class to familiarize with the expected delivery.

What does an adjunct professor do?

Assessments are considered as vital part of the teaching practice. Instructors are always required to evaluate their students after completing a course or a section of it to get a view of student inabilities and shortcomings. Adjunct professors are also mandated, by their leaders, the ability to assess their students in some ways such as role playing, presentations, both orally and written, academic projects and quizzes. A good professor must always have student evaluation rubrics to guide them on how to allocate marks to students’ performances. Adjunct professors are also required to administer exams to students at the end of their course for accountability.

Adjunct instructors are needed to direct their students on where to find their learning resources. These may include; libraries, computer laboratories and writing center.  With the expansion in technology, online teaching and learning are on the rise.  Adjunct professors should devise resourceful online activities to be used by their students such as online tests and e-learning programs. Faculties should improvise techniques to motivate adjunct professors to deliver the best of considering the lesser payments they receive compared to the tenure-track instructors. As a strategic change, adjunct professors should be allowed to conduct online teaching and be supported by their departments (Kelly, 2014).  With such a move, more students will benefit from online instructions from different fields. Target groups may be Online Distant Learners and e-learners.

The number of adjunct instructors has grown significantly surpassing that of fulltime professors. Most faculties have outlined strategic plans that will help these professors succeed in their professions. An analysis should be carried out to determine the expected needs of the part-time lecturers and be aligned with the ability of the institution to support the needs. Adjunct instructors’ needs can be summarized under; orientation, professional growth, access to support services, examination, and recognition. The contingents should be involved in faculty and school workshops and meetings to learn administrative and teaching roles. Generally, administration members should seek input from the part-time instructors and listen to their woes. It is also worthwhile for conducting administrative surveys at least once a year so as to bring about decisions that would help serve the adjunct instructors (Kelly, 2014). These instructions and guidelines are presented to the adjunct instructors by their chairpersons of departments.

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