My husband Jack Killion teaches at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Madison. It is very much a very part-time avocation where, as an adjunct professor, he recently has been teaching Corporate Innovation for evening MBA students in the FDU Business School. Watching him come home so energized from his classes it occurred to me to suggest more qualified "Garden State Women" think about enriching their careers and giving back as adjunct professors in areas that fit their areas of interest, education and experiences.
Being a full professor requires having a PhD. However, with his Masters from MIT's Sloan Business School, Jack can teach as an adjunct professor which he has also done over the past 20 years at Rutgers and Montclair State University as well as at FDU.
Jack's current class includes 10 MBA students ranging in ages from early 20's to mid 40's. Most are holding various types of jobs in addition to working toward their MBA at night and some weekends. They are making sacrifices to raise their educational credentials and, according to Jack, are terrifiic to work with, smart and highly motivated.
Like many of the women in our Garden State Woman audience, Jack has a ton of real life business experiences he can share with his students. Through his extensive network he can also reach out to exceptional guests whom he brings into his classes almost every session.
Teaching at the university level as an adjunct professor hardly qualifies as a get rich scheme. Jack earns about $2500 for teaching two nights a week ( 3.5 hours per class) for about 15 weeks. Plus he puts in plenty of time before and after every class getting ready and then evaluating the students' papers, presentations and tests. But the things he learns from the students and from the guests he brings to class and the relationships he builds with the students and other faculty members is a huge payoff in Jack's mind. The personal satisfaction he gets from having a "great" class session is obvious when he walks in the door at the end of the night.
Each university puts out guidelines on the key things to be accomplished in each class but Jack still has as lot of leeway in how he accomplishes the learning goals. In his current class, for example, besides using Good to Great as the core text book Jack also gave each student the flexibility to pick their own second "text" book. He encouraged them to pick and then report on a book dealing with innovation and entrepreneurship that fit their specific areas of interest. Students loved this ability to partially shape their own learning experiences. Students were also encouraged to bring in appropriate guests to the class from their own networks
All of us are busy so I realize teaching part-time isn't in the cards for most of us. But, for those with a strong academic background and things to share with younger people, teaching part time at the universitry level can be an awesome experience and a unqiue way to give back while adding to your career track record.
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