December 14, 2010

Ethical question

Let's say you are a poor graduate student desperately applying to every adjunct pool in area because you have no summer funding.

And you notice that a local for-profit college is hiring instructors in your field. One of those very expensive, thinly accredited colleges that deceive students about the job market and encourage them to take out massive loans for a degree that will be viewed with suspicion because it came from one of "those places." When you type in the name of the college on google, the first suggestion is "[name] college scam."

So even though I feel confident that my students would benefit from taking my class at any college, I am hesitant to contribute to a predatory institution that takes money from poor, disadvantaged students who would be better off at community college.

That said, I need summer funding badly, and I'm in no position to be picky. I wouldn't feel good about stripping either, but it might come to that.

So, all things considered, would it be unethical to apply to teach at this school?

Even though the chances that I would get this particular job are low, I need to think about this question because another obvious last resort option is teaching online classes. Many credible, nonprofit schools offer online classes, but it seems like there are more job opportunities with for-profit schools.

3 Comments:

  • Didi, I say do it if you are desperate. It's better than stripping and even if students are not getting an excellent degree, that doesn't mean they might not benefit from or enjoy your class

    Many hugs and good wishes, I feel bad for you stuck in this situation :(

    By Blogger Psycgirl, at 12/14/10, 5:28 PM  

  • I would do it. And, in fact, many adjucts who teach here at my cc also teach online at one of these schools - just to make ends meet. And one of my favorite bloggers got his start at at a for-profit school, too... http://suburbdad.blogspot.com/

    However, note that you may not get to teach the class as you would like. Most of these online schools have a canned course that you just moderate. So I don't know that your student would get as much out of it there as they would at a different college. If that makes sense.

    By Blogger caroline, at 12/14/10, 6:20 PM  

  • Thanks for the responses. At first I was thinking "probably not" but now I'm thinking I might try, especially since there are very few other jobs right now.

    By Blogger Di Di, at 12/19/10, 5:04 AM  

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