Problems facing for-profits create uncertainty for online adjuncts

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Dive Summary:

  • Declining enrollment, competition from traditional universities and regulatory pressure from Washington are leading to poor job prospects for adjuncts teaching at for-profit institutions.
  • The working conditions and prospects are made tougher by isolation--online adjuncts rarely know who their peers, scattered across the country, are--and a lack of protections like unionization or tenure.
  • Though a few for-profits, like Grand Canyon University, have hired professors on a full-time basis for online programs, that practice is still rare.

From the article:

One of the big draws of online education is that it can be easily untethered from the traditional semester schedule, with online universities often offering new classes 52 weeks a year. But while they are convenient for students, and profitable for institutions, rolling starts for classes can mean flimsy job security for the adjunct professors who teach them. Making ends meet is particularly tough for online faculty when student enrollments are down, which is the case for most for-profit institutions these days. ...

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