Ripped Off! Office hours at Cypress College

As students we try to make informed decisions when selecting a professor. We ask friends and other students about who the easiest is, or who’s a jerk. We even turn to the internet and look at “Rate my Professor” for answers. One thing I never considered was “is the professor full time or part time?”

Fulltime professors have paid office hours, and part time professors don’t. We pay the same amount of tuition for a fulltime or part time professor. We should get the same opportunity to have individual attention from a professor if he is fulltime or part time.

Learning a new concept in class is not always easy and sometimes students need to ask a professor to re explain something new taught in class. If the professor is part time students may not get the opportunity. Part time teachers don’t get paid for office hours; they only get paid for the hours they are teaching. Part timers must work multiple teaching positions to make a decent living.

Dean of Language Arts Eldon Young argues that there isn’t enough space for part time professors to have office hour and some meet with students out on the piazza.

No space for office hours is understandable but something must be done to ensure the fairness for all students regardless if a professor is full or part time.

Part time professors offer student’s time before or after class to ask questions, but that isn’t the same. We need uninterrupted time to speak to an instructor one on one.

“I don’t think it’s fair that we can’t see our part time professors during office hours,” said fulltime adult reentry, business administration student, Ronnie Corral. “We can only come to them during class.”

Corral is right. It’s difficult to ask professor a specific question about a concept that may take more than a couple of minutes to discuss during classroom hours. It takes away from the rest of the class and the subjects the professor is trying to teach the entire class.

Some may argue that community college tuition is low and we should pay for outside help. Not all of us have the money to do so, and why should we when other students have access to their fulltime professor twice a week and can ask all the questions they want for free?

Students who struggle in a particular subject should have the school catalog with them when choosing a professor and look in the back to see if their choice for a professor is fulltime. This may make a big difference on learning success.

The bottom line is the state of California needs to be fair and pay their part time professors for office hours so students can have the same quality education as a fulltime professor provides. Otherwise, students and part time professors are getting ripped off.

Registration for the spring semester is here. Let’s make informed decisions about the professors we select for a successful academic year.

“Knowledge is Power,” – English Philosopher Francis Bacon.

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