'Freeway flyers' increasing, here and in U.S.

Apr 15, 2015

City College of San Francisco fashion instructor Judy Jackson at the school's Evans Campus in the Bayview. Photo credit: James Fanucchi

City College of San Francisco fashion instructor Judy Jackson at the school's Evans Campus in the Bayview. Photo credit: James Fanucchi

Adjunct community college instructors log many miles, collect low pay

By Mary Strope

Cesar Chavez once compared part-time, temporary community college instructors to migrant farm workers. Like those laboring in the fields, they are poorly paid, constantly commuting between jobs, and enjoy little security.

Dubbed "freeway flyers," they carry the bulk of the teaching load at City College of San Francisco and at community colleges throughout California and the nation.

They go by different names: road scholars, adjuncts, part-timers, non-tenured faculty, lecturers, contingents. In New York City, they’re called “subway schleppers.”

Their many nicknames reflect their uneasy status in the halls of academia. They teach the same classes that tenured professors do, but don’t receive the same pay or benefits. 

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