Advantages and Disadvantages

I’ve been adjuncting at a CC for 8 years. I’ve also been adjuncting at a SLAC for two and I had a tenure-track position at one for four years, twenty years ago.

Looking at both of them for fit for me, I’ve seen some advantages and disadvantages both ways. These are in no particular order.

Community College
Advantages
It’s easier to get on at big conferences as part of the CC contingent. But it’s still on your CV as a big conference.
You don’t have to publish or present, but you can.
I could be a big fish in a little pond. I like that. I like being important and known.
Writing, at least freshman comp, is very important at a CC.
I like teaching freshman comp.
I like teaching writing in general.
I’m more likely to be accepted as part of the department even if I am teaching developmental writing (which I enjoy doing).
If I got to teach developmental, freshman comp, tech writing, and Brit Lit I, I would jump up and down for joy. (Though there are other classes I wouldn’t get to teach, but…)
Motivated students.
Nights and weekends are usually taught by adjuncts, unless a full-timer wants them.
You can get to know all the full-time faculty.

Disadvantages
5 classes/semester.
I would not see the students throughout four years. I’d see them for two and then they would move on.
No advanced writing classes. I’ve seen tech writing offered, but I haven’t seen a lot of that offered.
I don’t know if the little bit I’ve had published would be good enough to allow me to teach the creative writing classes.
Not a lot of variety.

Small Liberal Arts College
Advantages
There’s more variety of classes offered.
4/semester.
Don’t have to publish or perish as long as you do some.
Publications are highly valued though and used for promotion. (That’s good for me.)
Great students.
Get to see the students throughout their college careers. For instance, I have a student I had in Developmental for sophomore writing. I have a student I had for freshman comp in my business writing class.
At some, I could teach all levels, from freshman to graduates.
You can get to know all the faculty.
You can really get to know the majors.

Disadvantages
Freshman comp is not always seen as a good course. Sometimes it’s a service course and sometimes it’s a course to be avoided.
At some literature is the thing and if you don’t do literature, you’re not anybody in the English department.
I might be asked to teach courses where I really don’t know what I should teach. (Though I can see how that would be an advantage because it would help me stretch and grow, too.)
You might end up with four preps in a semester two or three semesters in a row.
Night courses for the full-timers. (Sometimes I like those, but not often. I think it’s great for a graduate lit class. Not so good for freshman comp.)

Anyone have any other thoughts on advantages and disadvantages? I might not agree with you, but it would be interesting to see what others thought.

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