Is modern society sacrificing education for profit? Many would answer yes to this question. A look at the community college system in America reveals the reason people would answer yes to the previous question.
There has been a trend in the past decade for community colleges to not refill the positions of full-time instructors. As a result of this many community college full-time instructors are reporting that they are experiencing increased work-loads. One way that community colleges are dealing with this situation is to hire adjunct instructors who teach part-time, make a fraction of the cost of full-time instructors for teaching the same courses, and do not receive any benefits. Because the pay for adjunct instructors are not comparative many adjunct instructors report working at multiple colleges to make the ends meet.
Many argue that while community colleges are spending less on instructors spending has increased for administrators and sports programs. While I am sure this is not the general case as I know in California many community colleges have dropped many of their sports programs there is most assuredly a change in spending priorities. The real question is who do we blame? Many community colleges fall under the structure of a government agency, which means that many of these colleges are losing funding from the government. I find it difficult to understand how community colleges are reducing full-time positions in order spend more on administrator salaries and athletic programs.
Education is one of the most valuable resources in our country and should be a top priority. The real loss comes for the students and their potential to support their communities with the education they receive. It seems obvious that investing in people’s education is a sure way to create job growth and stimulate the economy. Although there is plenty of money for students to attend college there needs to be a steady supply of high quality instructors to ensure that these students are receiving the best education possible. This is not a slight against adjunct instructors, especially since I am one but just to make the point that when an instructor is sure about where they stand with their job then she or he can spend more time focusing on providing quality education.