THE JUMP: Adjunct Faculty to Full Time Faculty

“Every successful person in this world has jumped. You eventually are going to jump, you cannot just exist in this life”

steve harvey

                        -Steve Harvey

The above quote is an excerpt from the inspiring video of Steve Harvey delivering a speech to his Family Feud audience. It is one of my absolute favorite videos. (CLICK THE STEVE HARVEY PIC FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO). Take the time to watch it. It may inspire you in the same way it inspired me.

When I watched the video, I had already made the jump and I was already reaping the benefits of my bold decision. Watching it encouraged me to keep jumping. The video made me realize the significance of one of the many jumps I have made in my life. The jump I am referring to is my leap of faith decision to transition from adjunct faculty to full-time faculty at a community college. I only started teaching part-time because I thought I was going to be out of a job and I needed something to help me pay some of my bills. I started teaching, fell in love with it, and decided that full-time teaching was a path I wanted to follow, but was absolutely terrified of the decision I had made.

My decision meant going back to school to obtain an MA in Communication Studies. My decision was a financial and professional risk. Best case scenario: I graduate, a job opens up over the summer at the community college I want to teach at, and I start in the Fall. Worst case scenario: I graduate, nothing really opens up for years, I find nothing in my state, and I play the waiting game for a really long time since relocation was not an option for me, there is also the risk that the dream is never fully realized.

I decided to jump, and the best-case scenario presented itself when I completed the program. I am currently in my fourth year as a full-time professor at the community college I wanted to teach at, and I am nearly one year away from tenure (if accepted by the college by the end of my probationary period).  I am also the co-faculty developer for the Center of Teaching Learning and Engagement for my campus, a center committed to the personal and professional development of faculty and staff. I also present at conferences, have published chapters and web content for a university, and I do presentations for corporations and institutions in higher education. The topics include communication in the workplace and teaching strategies for faculty. None of this would have happened if I didn’t take the leap.

I encourage you to jump, but I strongly encourage you to carefully consider the positive and negative consequences of leaping into the fold. I made the jump, but I put a significant amount of thought into the consequences that could unfold as a result of that choice. The jump was so scary and it was risky, but it felt like a jump that I needed to take. While I was falling, like Steve Harvey said in the video, “my parachute did not open”. I had some doubts. I thought that there was a possibility that I had made a mistake.  I was worried that it wouldn’t open. It eventually opened for me. I had many conversations with God, myself, my husband, my friends, and my mentors. I had a vision for my future but knew it could only come into fruition if I took the jump. I’m so glad that I did. I would not be in the place that I am in today if I did not take the leap.





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