The working spectrum of part-time faculty

Melanie Roberts

Saddleback and Irvine Valley Colleges’ part-time faculty contribute their personal time, exceeding their teaching requirements, offering advantages and guidance to their students.

April is part-time awareness month, according to Beth Clary, part-time chair representative and film studies instructor. She said that she wants people to know that, “they care just as much for the district and work just as hard,” as full-time staff.

“They’re an important part of the foundation for the district,” Clary said.         

Randy Pile, part-time music instructor teaches Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced and Ensemble Guitar as well as online Fundamentals of Music in four different districts at Saddleback, IVC, Orange Coast College, Mesa and Palomar.

“I think we have more rules and deadlines to remember since each school has their own,” Pile said.

Regardless of the extra effort that Pile provides, he remains enthusiastic about his students’ success.

“[I enjoy] sharing something that I really love with so many different people and
seeing them come to some understanding of the material,” Pile said. “Some students go on to be great musicians and some learn to appreciate what it takes to be a great musician.”

Clary said that a few issues that part-timers face include having to work at several districts to support themselves, little health benefits, stress and pressure figuring out the different school schedules and rules, and having no office space or time allotted to meet with students.

“Lack of office space means lack of privacy,” Clary said.

She refers to part-timers as “freeway fliers,” since they are constantly driving between schools.

Since the part-time staff members don’t get paid for regular office hours, some offer their own personal time to meet with students.

“[I offer] my availability outside of class, and beyond the subject matter, to students
that have a sincere enthusiasm about music,” Pile said.

Clary said that it’s difficult not knowing whether or not they have a job from semester to semester, regardless of how many years they’ve been at a school or what classes they’ve been consistently teaching.

“I probably work 60 hours a week, but the compensation is not 60, it’s barely 10!” Christina Hinkle, political science, part-time teacher said.

Hinkle expressed that they get paid decently for the time spent in the classroom, but extra time is not covered.

“There is an inequality. [Part-timers] have no idea if they will be given a class, the same class or the number or classes,” Clary said.

For info on California part-time faculty association go to:

Beth Clary:

Randy Pile: