clarity (goodbyeclarityx) wrote in adjunctlife,

Where to begin?

Hi adjuncts,

My MA should be in my hands in a matter of months, and I'm fretting about finding work at a community college or two for fall. I feel lost and unsure of where to start. I know many of my colleagues sent e-mails to department chairs to inquire about where to send the CV off. What do you recommend as a first step? And if you e-mail someone, to whom do you direct your inquiries? I don't want to be a bother but I also don't want my CV to be lost under a desk.
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Usually, I call the department, to see if:

1) They're hiring adjuncts

2) If they tend to retain adjuncts--especially during the summer. You don't want to heavily invest in a school that's going to occupy you in the fall, then give you scraps in spring, and leave you out to dry in summer. Try to invest your time in a school that's always going to have work when you need it.
Good point...
Are you looking for work in the same general geographic area that you've done your MA in? Ask faculty in your department if they know department heads at the CCs you're targeting, or if they know current adjuncts in good standing at the CCs you're targeting. A personal connection is no guarantee, but it helps. (Really, trying to get adjunct work can be a crapshoot. They're going to schedule their full timers, then they're going to schedule the adjuncts that are staying around, and then they're going to see what's left. They'll start down the list of any resumes that they have, usually people who've gotten stuck under the department head's nose by existing faculty/adjuncts, and from there, it's mostly a matter of availability. At least, that's been my experience, and the experience of folks around me, in the southeastern US in a fairly large CC and university system.)

Good luck!
If you have a friend/colleague who teaches there, they could tell you the name of the person doing the hiring (often the department head, but not always). Maybe the could even put in a good word for you.

With colleges I had no connections at, I used their employment page link-- some of them have a permanent link for adjunct openings.

If you e-mail, perhaps include some key highlights of your CV in the e-mail.
Uhm, work really fast. At the CCs in my area (Maryland), they are tapping adjuncts for fall classes NOW; I actually had to put in around Jan/Feb for a summer course.

Check websites like and (The Chronicle of Higher Education) b/c these websides tend to have amazing search engines for positions, full time and adjunct.

You can always talk to your dept chair about maybe picking up a course at your alma mater; sometimes they let recent grads come back for the next semester just to get some experience on their CV.

All in all, in counts on your discipline. I've been trying to help a buddy in the humanities find adjunct work for the fall (he's in Cally now, moving here in July) and it's been a total bust; there's nothing even posted.

Oftentimes it also seems that if you have a stellar CV and not just the standard (i.e. I TA'ed a semester, was in the honor society) and actually worked on indedendent research or did some teaching on the side, you got a better chance.

If all else fails get some free experience by volunteering at a CC to do a couple of lectures; it REALLY helped me get a seemingly regular adjunct gig.