Yes to Equitable Student Success — Guest Post

PCC’s mission is accomplished at the edges of the organization, when students succeed in classes. 62% of class sections are taught by PTF across our primary campuses.

PCC’s foremost opportunity to positively impact equity in student success comes where students spend the most time; in classes taught by part-time faculty. Part-time faculty, whose contributions to equitable student learning opportunities and experiences seem unrecognized in the district.

This group has a primary set of responsibilities in delivering on PCC’s mission. They are underpaid, under-supported, under-recognized, under-benefited, and have limited mobility and advancement opportunities. They are not treated equitably.

Yet, the successful path to equitable student success goes right through the classroom, though the current campaign seems to be starting elsewhere.

These are the recognitions I’m hopeful of in negotiations:

1) The mission of PCC is realized at the edges, where educational opportunity lives, where students and instructors meet.

2) Part-time faculty teach most class hours. Most of students’ educational experience at PCC experience is with PTF.

3) Part-time faculty are in less-equitable employment circumstances than any other class of employees. Our pay is low, our employment is at risk, and most of us don’t receive benefits. Earning below a living wage and income insecurity is a difficult situation for many.

4) When better supported and motivated, part-time faculty can have the biggest impact in improving on the delivery of PCC’s mission.

PCC seems to regard PTF as a regulated workforce to be administered and negotiated to preserve the financial status quo. The administration doesn’t seem to see that PTFs’ concerns for equitable employment reflect the greatest opportunity for PCC’s success.

Part-time faculty: Inequitable employment. PCC’s best resource and opportunity to positively influence equitable student success.

The author has been a part-time instructor for 15+ years


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