Retaining Quality Adjunct Faculty through Faculty-led Mentoring
Social work academic programs are challenged to provide students with foundation and practice level courses as well as electives. Full-time tenured track faculty struggle to meet this challenge and fulfill all the obligations of a university citizen — scholarship, service, and teaching. Therefore adjunct faculty are selected to bring valuable skills and expertise to the classroom. However, there are challenges. Adjuncts often need support in understanding program, course design, and pedagogy for both online as well as face-to-face courses. Success and effective use of adjuncts rests on mentoring and valuing adjuncts (Lyons, 2007). Administrators must help adjuncts 1) familiarize themselves with the university and program, 2) learn about specific aspects of effective teaching, and 3) explore scholarship (Peters & Boylston, 2006). The benefits of mentoring programs create a connection to the curriculum, program, and university for the adjunct. A faculty-led mentoring initiative has noteworthy results for mentors, mentees, and the program.