Gosh I think I'm a Quitter! Looking for Clearness!

I am an adjunct university instructor for a number of institutions; Mount St. Mary's University, University of Phoenix online, University of Phoenix Harrisburg campus, and Frederick Community College. I had also, some time ago, applied to Kaplan University and have been accepted there. I am currently going through the training process with Kaplan. Online schools make faculty undergo rigorous training before they let you into the classroom (traditional schools kind of just turn you loose). I say this because after being trained with the University of Phoenix I knew what to expect with Kaplan training.

Here's the thing. Kaplan feels very corporate to me. I've had to do many corporate style training modules even before the faculty training. Maybe I'm hypersensitive to the model since I am a refugee from corporate America (biotechnology). But I've noticed some things that I feel I should probably pay attention to. The first time I was enrolled in the training I had to withdraw because I couldn't find the time to do the 3 week course. I'm currently enrolled this second time around and completely blanked on the mandatory seminar (I didn't put it on my calendar and therefore it ceased to exist). I'll have to be enrolled a 3rd time (and last time) into the entire course to complete this mandatory seminar. All the other work I've done will transfer over no problem.

Clearly there is some part of me that is balking at this new job. I feel like I should listen and resign....in the middle of training! At this stage my plate is full. Comfortably I would teach fewer online classes in the Spring and Fall semesters because my traditional classes are full, and teach more online classes in the summer when my traditional schools don't tend to offer adjunct contracts. I'm teaching 5 classes right now, for example. I don't know what will happen in July and August, but I expect I'll be offered more classes by Phoenix. Kaplan would help to take up the slack. At most I imagine teaching no more than 2 or 3 Kaplan classes a year.

Do I re-enroll this 3rd and last time in the Kaplan training? Do I resign?


Views: 140

Comment by Rosemary Gould on 6th mo. 7, 2010 at 8:08pm
Paula, could you explain more why the "corporate" culture of Kaplan bothers you? And how do you feel about yourself while you're doing it?
Comment by Richard B. Miller on 6th mo. 8, 2010 at 8:51am
I've taught for over thirty years and our institution is also pushing on-line education now. I understand your reservations. Teaching online is being pushed by people who want to make money and have little or no interest in actual education. The more tuition checks they can collect the happier they are. I think that nobody seriously thinks that online courses teach students as much as traditional face to face courses. They are a cheap substitute. How could they be anything else since students do not see the instructor, cannot read the body language, hear the vocal inflections etc. For the online instructor to make the course half as good as a face to face course she has to work twice as hard. And since the pay for these courses is low, this usually means that the instructor needs to teach more students to survive.

Online materials can be an excellent supplement to traditional teaching but they are a very poor substitute.
Comment by Paula Roberts on 6th mo. 8, 2010 at 2:57pm
Hi Richard. You misunderstand. I teach online with the University of Phoenix, as well as teaching in the traditional settings. I've taken traditional classes as well as online classes myself, and thoroughly enjoy online classes. I think the atmosphere at Kaplan is different from the University of Phoenix.

Rosemary, the corporate feel came from all the 'training' I had to go through before the training for faculty. The usual stuff; confidentiality, technology agreements, harassment, etc. It reminded me of my corporate experience.
Comment by Paula Roberts on 6th mo. 8, 2010 at 4:31pm
Rosemary, how do I feel while doing the training? I am not enjoying myself as I have in other teaching and learning environments. For example, I stumbled across some missing assignments and I don't want to do them. I think it is clear that this isn't for me.
Comment by Rosemary Gould on 6th mo. 8, 2010 at 5:10pm
It sounds like you're clear, Paula. That's wonderful!
Comment by Paula Roberts on 6th mo. 8, 2010 at 9:47pm
Indeed. I wrote a letter of resignation today. Thank thee for thy counsel.


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