Kennesaw State University

Connecting with Colleagues at SPACE

May 25, 2017 | by Mandy McGrew | Kennesaw State University

After organizing events and workshops for part-time faculty over the course of the past three years, I hear some version of the same refrain following every event: “It was so great to meet and talk to other part-time instructors.” A recent survey conducted at KSU supported what I was hearing: 1. Collaborating with other part-time instructors and 2. Collaborating with full-time faculty were ranked among the top 3 opportunities part-time faculty are seeking at the university. Part-time faculty are clearly interested in being part of the academic community by meeting, sharing knowledge with, and learning from other part-timers. With this in mind, CETL created SPACE: The Symposium for Part-time, Adjunct, and Contingent Educators—a conference for and by contingent faculty members.

On June 10, 2018, part-time faculty from around the nation will convene in Atlanta, Georgia, for the second annual SPACE. The conference includes three tracks (teaching and learning, research and creative activity, and leadership and administration) of sessions that highlight the contributions of part-time, adjunct, and limited term instructors in all disciplines of higher education. This group makes up over half of higher education faculty nationwide, but are often excluded from professional development opportunities, like academic conferences, and rarely receive funding to travel to these conferences—something full-time faculty consider an integral and inherent part of their jobs. Through the creation and promotion of SPACE and the issues surrounding the integration of part-time faculty into the academic community, we hope to change the status quo.

At SPACE, contingent faculty members have the opportunity to share the teaching innovations that garner success in the classroom. Many part-time faculty members have much experience to share with their colleagues on what works and what does not. Others may be new to teaching, but have studied the research on teaching and learning and are incorporating it into their classrooms with much success. Contingent faculty regularly use new and exciting technologies in their teaching, and can share the challenges and triumphs of doing so with their peers. The SPACE teaching and learning track offers both 25 and 55 minute sessions where attendees can find out more about specific tools, educational theories, or adapting a presenter’s model to their own course.SPACE’s research and creative activity track gives attendees the chance to see what folks in a variety of disciplines are doing outside of the classroom. Creative sessions will include poetry and novel readings, an animation demonstration, and folk music. Research sessions in fields such as business, engineering, and humanities also spotlight the work that part-time faculty are engaging in—sometimes with, but often without support from the institutions at which they teach. All attendees can attend the creative sessions, which will support their teaching repertoire and personal academic journey.

Furthermore, the SPACE invited speaker this year is NEA Reg Weaver Award winner, Dr. Paul Hernandez, author of The Pedagogy of Real Talk. Dr. Hernandez is a dynamic speaker who will share his story of going from a gang member to adjunct instructor to college administrator. Ultimately, SPACE provides a literal space for contingent faculty to come together and discuss their experiences as teachers, scholars, and leaders in higher education. SPACE attendees will enrich their understanding of what it means to be a contingent faculty member.
Please visit the SPACE website: www.spaceducators.com , or contact Mandy McGrew at mandymcgrew@kennesaw.edu , CETL Educational Specialist for Part-time Faculty Support for more information.  

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