The number of part-time faculty at Ithaca College this academic year has increased by 67 percent since 2004. However, a greater number of part-time professors may harm the ability of students to succeed academically.
Part-time professors at the college may teach no more than 12 credit hours over two semesters and receive only $1,300 per credit hour, so they may need to take up a second job to make ends meet. Most part-time faculty members are rehired each term and employed fewer than three years. Because of these reasons, part-time professors have little time to connect with students.
According to a study by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, because of this disconnect, an increase in part-time faculty harms students’ chances of actually completing college. Increased exposure to part-time faculty members has led to decreased graduation rates, lower second-semester retention rates, fewer attempted credit hours and lower GPAs.
The college should create full-time positions over part-time ones and search for the best candidates possible, in order to develop stronger connections between faculty and their students.