Wichita, Kansas--February is Affiliate Faculty Appreciation Month at Southwestern College Professional Studies.
All Professional Studies courses are taught by part-time affiliate faculty members. Employing practitioner faculty who work or have worked full time in careers related to their academic disciplines is a benefit to adult learners. Our affiliates are able to share real-world applications of theories and concepts from classes that might otherwise seem abstract. This helps adults see the value in their courses and programs of study at Southwestern.
At the same time, this educational model can create a pressure cooker effect for affiliates. It isn’t easy to work in the office all day—focusing on your career—and then spend your evening teaching. There is little or no downtime in that scenario. The need to overcome these challenges is yet another way our affiliates relate to our adult learners.
Our affiliates do more than overcome these challenges, though—they conquer them and excel. “We set rigorous expectations for affiliates, and they rise to the challenge,” said Julie Galliart, Director of Faculty. “What impresses me the most, though, are the moments when our affiliates go above and beyond to assist learners who are struggling. I’m so glad we have Appreciation Month to remind us to say thank you for the passion and commitment they bring to their classrooms and to the college.”
We encourage our staff and our learners to reach out to our affiliate faculty this month to express appreciation. Our affiliates touch lives in different ways. Perhaps a learner was supported when an affiliate gave him extra time to complete an assignment, or he was given the opportunity to re-write something and learned a lot from the experience. Maybe an affiliate’s overall approach to a class was welcoming and encouraged good discussion. Maybe an affiliate took the time to explain something in a way that spoke to a learner on an individual level. Whatever the case may be, this is a time for staff and learners to reflect on the work they have seen from affiliates, and to say thank you.
Have you thanked an affiliate today?