Community College Articles

Overview

Community College

News and stories of interest for full-time and part-time faculty teaching in the community colleges. 

Article coronavirus part-time faculty
CFT officers with officers of Adjunct Faculty United outside campus building, standing socially distanced

Part-time faculty face loss of work, health benefits in COVID times
Locals negotiate vaccine stipends, reduced class minimums, retention of health benefits

As the COVID pandemic stretches into the fall, community college adjuncts have been hit especially hard by the decline in student enrollment, limited support services, and inadequate or even non-existent access to healthcare. The loss of work, loss of insurance benefits, and even the breakdown of personally financed yet essential teaching equipment have been the tragic results.

Article part-time faculty
graphical presentation of inequality in healthcare

CFT launches campaign to secure healthcare for part-time faculty
“Adjuncts deserve at the very least, the basic right of healthcare”

The pandemic has pushed many harsh realities in higher education to the forefront, none more so than the inadequacy of healthcare for part-time faculty. With the cost of an average COVID hospitalization, according to a number of sources, running in excess of $20,000, the financial effects alone on an uninsured part-timer contracting COVID can be devastating. Add a possible uninsured family member or members to the mix, and the reality becomes even more frightening.

Article coronavirus
students waiting for outside class "Engines, Fuel and Ignition"  to begin

What’s on everyone’s mind? The return to in-person
From urban to rural, community college locals weigh in

Most faculty members, staff, and students at the state’s community colleges have been teaching, learning, and working online for more than a year and a half due to COVID-19. Many planned to go back to their campus in the fall semester, but after a brief period of hope that the virus was on the way out the delta variant emerged in the summer, and in many areas, COVID is surging again.

Article Calbright

State Auditor calls out failed Calbright online college
Audit cites high drop-out rate, mismanagement, shady hiring

Out of 904 students enrolled since 2019, only 12 graduated, and more than 40 percent dropped out. There’s no discernable strategy for spending the more than $175 million it receives in state taxpayer funding. No system is in place to support students. Shady hiring practices have led to people being selected based on personal or political connection rather than ability.

Article accreditation ACCJC

Free City! The story of CFT’s epic campaign against the ACCJC
BOOK REVIEW


Free City! The Fight for San Francisco’s City College and Education for All
By Marcy Rein, Mickey Ellinger and Vicki Legion
PM Press, 2021


Reviewed by Fred Glass

Early in 2017, as City College of San Francisco’s five-year fight for its life drew to a close, I was attempting to convince a reporter from the Chronicle of Higher Education to write a summing up story. He said, “Someday someone really needs to write a book on all this.”

Article Pay parity part-time faculty

How Peralta won the first pay parity in CA community colleges
San Mateo Federation campaign makes big strides toward parity

Equal pay for equal work. It’s a simple idea, but one that has remained all but elusive for part-time faculty, so much so that some have decried the quest for it as a Sisyphean effort. However, the recent gains made by the Peralta Federation of Teachers shows that parity is possible.

Now, Peralta pays its adjuncts at the same hourly rate for teaching and office hours as its full-time faculty — a first in the California Community College system.

Article coronavirus part-time faculty

Adjuncts and their unions fight on in the face of COVID
Enrollment decline, lost classes, adjunct relief fund

While the number of COVID cases are shrinking, and the vaccination rate increasing, the effects of the pandemic continue, with adjuncts having been hit particularly hard, as despite the heroic efforts of faculty to provide remote and online instruction, California community college enrollment has dropped systemwide by 11 to 12% since last fall, according to Edsource.

Article Pay parity part-time faculty

CFT seeks 85% adjunct teaching load, statewide path to pay parity
Union-sponsored legislation tackles long-standing adjunct issues

After last year’s heavily pandemic-impacted legislative session reduced the number of bills signed to its lowest number since 1967, the CFT is again taking up the adjunct cause on bills directed towards raising the part-time percentage cap on teaching in a single district, and in developing a path towards part-time/full-time pay parity.

Article CFT Convention part-time faculty

Healthcare, transferable training top adjunct priorities at CFT Convention
Delegates resolve to address timely adjunct issues

At this year’s virtual CFT Convention held March 26-27, the Part-Time Faculty Committee sponsored two resolutions reflective of both the longstanding and new problems beginning to emerge in the wake of the pandemic which has impacted adjunct health and training.

Article part-time faculty

Adjuncts at the table to win a New Deal for Higher Education
National campaign calls for sea change in higher ed

While the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified longstanding societal inequities in America, public higher education was already in a state of crisis, from the staggering costs of college, to the lack of access and support for lower income students, Black, indigenous, and people of color, the deteriorating, or clear lack of infrastructure, the reciprocal increase in highly paid administrative positions, and last but not least, decrease in full-time tenure track positions.

Article

CFT joins campaign to forge a New Deal for Higher Education

With the new Biden administration and Congress come new opportunities to ensure significant, sustainable public investment in higher education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the long-standing crisis in public higher education. Declining state support, the erosion of tenure and shared governance, the increased use of contingent appointments, and the loss of the faculty voice on campus are threatening the core mission of higher education in our society. Now is the time to stand up for a just, inclusive system of higher education — one that can help transform our society.

Article Elections 2020 members elected

Paul da Silva became the candidate he wanted to see
First teacher elected to College of Marin Board of Trustees

For years, Paul da Silva, a biology teacher at the College of Marin and a member of United Professors of Marin, Local 1610, wondered about the lack of teachers on the college’s Board of Trustees and tried to talk retiring professors into running. No one took him up on it.

So when he decided in the summer of 2019 that he would retire, he concluded, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, he’d have to be the candidate he wished to see in the world.