Community College Articles

Overview

Community College

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

Article part-time faculty PT campaign
CFT Part-Time Faculty Survey Report 2022

Groundbreaking CFT survey calls out healthcare crisis among part-time faculty
Critical insights into part-time faculty in community colleges statewide

The results of CFT’s groundbreaking statewide survey of part-time faculty offer critical insights into the daily, personal, and structural challenges that part-time and contingent faculty experience when it comes to healthcare.  

Members holding signs for part-time equityEqual pay for equal work

A “red letter year” for CFT legislation in support of contingent faculty
Healthcare insurance, teaching load, rehire rights, and parity

COVID and the subsequent student enrollment drop during the last two semesters have placed great burdens on contingent faculty, from scrambling to teach remotely to negotiating personal and family challenges to facing reduced assignments and a loss of healthcare benefits.

Article coronavirus part-time faculty SCFF
AdFac President Seija RohkeaBarbara Baer

Continued enrollment woes create challenges for part-time faculty
Local unions finding solutions in pandemic-driven tough times

While California is showing strong signs of emerging from an economy ravaged by the pandemic, the community colleges are still reeling from the impact, most strongly demonstrated in the sharp decline in student enrollment. This has led to tough situations for many adjuncts, and for the local unions representing them.

Article part-time faculty
HELU Winter SummittHigher Ed Labor United logo

HELU Winter Summit unites efforts across unions
Promotes socio-economic and racial justice in higher education

HELU, or Higher Education Labor United, a cross-union and cross-sector coalition, held its Winter Summit virtually on February 23-27, pushing forward with the larger goals of reclaiming the promise of higher education, and promoting socio-economic and racial justice embodied by the New Deal for Higher Education campaign and Scholars for a New Deal in Higher Education.

Article AFT part-time faculty PT campaign

New AFT report shows pandemic wreaked havoc on nation’s adjunct faculty
Transition to remote learning, impact of virus lead to declines in job security, increased reliance on public assistance

WASHINGTON — A new national adjunct faculty survey from the AFT underlines the brutal economic reality faced by millions of contingent and adjunct faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities — and illustrates how the pandemic further eroded job security and bolstered the need for public help.

Article part-time faculty PT campaign
members on zoom

Part-time faculty step up to win the healthcare they deserve
Dozens of faculty testify before state legislative committees

Dozens of CFT members testified this week in front of two different budget subcommittees of the California Legislature to urge our elected leaders in Sacramento to support Governor Newsom’s $200 million proposal in the state budget to fund healthcare for part-time faculty in California’s community colleges.

Following the launch of CFT’s campaign for part-time faculty healthcare last fall and a successful letter campaign, the governor included the $200 million in his January budget proposal.

Article student debt
Jessica Saint-Paul at work Peter Huk is a lecturer of writing at UC Santa Barbara Kristi Jacobson at her classroom door

What does gratitude look like? Find out from three members deep in student debt
How AFT’s legal victory with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will change lives

In 2018, Jessica Saint-Paul, who has a doctorate in medical science and teaches public health and health occupation courses at Southwest and Trade Tech colleges, attended a benefits conference put on by her local, the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild. They covered Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a federal program that promised if you worked in public service for 10 years and made 120 payments, the remainder of your loan would be forgiven.

Article coronavirus part-time faculty
CFT officers with officers of Adjunct Faculty United outside campus building, standing socially distancedWest Valley-Mission Federation receiving check from HSBC, all wearing masks

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 PT campaign 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 part-time faculty
California governor's office with the bronze bear statue outside

Governor’s veto of AB 375 disappointing setback in push for increased workload cap
Legislative update for part-time faculty

“Bittersweet” might be the best word to describe CFT’s legislative efforts on behalf of part-time faculty this year, with gains in categorical funding, but a last-minute veto of the union-sponsored bill to raise the teaching cap in a single community college district from 67% to 85% — AB 375.

Article coronavirus
students waiting for outside class "Engines, Fuel and Ignition"  to beginclassroom with new HEPA filterJason Newman, president of the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers

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.