AACC represents the nation's nearly 1,200 community colleges, and is writing in support of safe harbors for adjunct faculty that will clearly reflect their employment status at member institutions. Community colleges are tremendously reliant upon adjunct faculty to fulfill their educational missions. A full 45% of all credits at community colleges are taught by adjunct or part-time faculty members. Thirty-eight percent of all of the adjunct faculty or part-time faculty working at institutions of higher education teach at community colleges.
Unfortunately, the recent recession, coupled with the ongoing expectation that community colleges should provide education at substantially less cost than other types of institutions, have created acute financial pressures on these colleges. Community colleges are now receiving less public support per student than they did ten years ago; and students are paying the price. Significantly increased health care costs resulting from the PPACA will very likely result in increased tuition and/or a reduction in educational services. AACC’s comments are designed to ensure that federal regulations do not create significant new financial obligations for AACC member institutions with respect to adjunct faculty members who are not in fact full-time employees. Such a result could have unintended negative consequences for students.
Read the full letter here.