Hunter Students Benefit from Adjuncts’ Real-World Experience

Some professors may particularly stand out to you as you navigate through your semesters here at Hunter. Some of your professors are full-time and teach multiple classes, while others serve as adjunct instructors who work part-time and might only teach just a few classes each semester.

Hunter College’s Film and Media Department boasts 75 adjunct instructors. Many of whom work in prominent media organizations in New York City. Adjunct professors differ from full-time faculty members because they have contracts to teach one or more courses per year. 

Professor Claire Tighe, who is one of them, began her part-time career at Hunter this Spring 2023 semester and shares her reality of what it’s like to be an adjunct. “It’s great to support deepening journalism, training for young people, for working people, and really strengthening the field, especially for audio journalism.” 

Adjuncts play an essential role in the college curriculum and frequently make the most suitable match for the classes they instruct, and most primarily work outside of campus, says Tighe.  

“ I think professionals who are adjuncts can be very advantageous to be a part of the system because most professors are able to continue to work in their field.”

By sharing their personal experiences and letting the students see the world through their own eyes, adjuncts are able to contribute a large amount of help. Students can change their point of view in a way that they aren’t typically able to. 

And since most of the time, adjuncts aren’t too far along in their career, there is a sense of familiarity that a student might feel when they are teaching them. “I’m able to continue having a hand in the production and the trends, the jobs, and the industry change, and I can also bring in knowledge and experience training about what’s happening in the field now,” says Tighe.

And for students, it is refreshing (and less intimidating) to see an instructor that can relate to them in numerous ways.

“It’s not often you come across a professional in your field who is willing to break down the industry into pieces of information to educate students,” says Maria Montero, a junior hawk. 

Adjuncts also discuss how concepts relate to real-world situations and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of specific circumstances that students might not be able to foresee at a point in their education.

Although Montero understands that adjuncts’ main focus is not primarily on the courses they teach, she believes it can be beneficial in some instances. “Having a professor work outside of the school can be tough, but this is a great way to connect with your classmates and allow yourself to network.”

With so much knowledge and wisdom to share, adjunct instructors can help students better understand career paths and the truth about specific job opportunities.

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