Flexible Jobs Mean Happy Instructors

With two young children and a new job teaching communications classes online, Rebecca Chase could be forgiven for sounding a little harried. But instead she has an air of serenity throughout a 45-minute phone interview—even when her 4-year-old son bursts forth to complain about his injury du jour, from their cat, Schrodinger.

Adjunct instructors are often a disgruntled lot. But for Ms. Chase and other instructors at Rio Salado College, based in Tempe, Ariz., the low pay and lack of benefits are more than offset by the flexibility of the job, and the professional way in which the college prepares new instructors to teach online.

Rio Salado is among the colleges that received high marks in the category of job satisfaction in The Chronicle’s sixth annual Great Colleges to Work For survey. The college, part of the Maricopa County Community College District, has 67,300 students, about 40,000 of whom take classes only online. Ms. Chase, who has a master’s degree from Texas A&M University and teaches exclusively online, signed on at Rio Salado last fall so she could supplement her husband’s income from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, while also staying home with their two children.

“The expectations of me were very clear,” Ms. Chase says. “I don’t recall ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed or unsure. And now I can work in between naps, during play dates, and after the kids go to bed.” <Read more.>

Via Ben Gose, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

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