I have been working at Community College of Philadelphia part-time (More than 5 years)
Pay rate is pretty good for most part time faculty, with some partially paid benefits available. Bring able to work directly with students is the best part and keeps me coming back despite chronic institutional problems. Some pretty good professional development opportunities too.
Senior management does not believe in the college's mission, is more interested in making the college more corporate and looking good on paper than in actually educating. The organizational culture is stagnant, bureaucratic, and increasingly intrusive with surveillance. HR has a paternalistic attitude toward staff and contingent faculty, assumes employees are slackers and scammers; have known to dig through security camera footage and ID card swipe logs to 'get' employees on minor technical violations. FT faculty whine about reduced availability of sabbaticals while adjuncts and lowest paid staff can barely make ends meet. Adjunct faculty are second class citizens and actively disrespected.
Advice to Management
Stop treating employees like naughty children, listen to feedback and act on it, reduce the number of administrators instead of cutting benefits or work hours for part time faculty. Board needs to be transparent: no more secret "executive sessions"
I worked at Community College of Philadelphia full-time (More than a year)
Summer hours - four longer work days followed by Fridays off in summer months; great benefits 100% paid for by the College.
Tyrannical department head who demanded my time and attention 24/7 - nights, weekends, and holidays were in no way sacred.
The most important thing here is the sense of a shared mission: we serve our students. We recognize the disadvantages too many of our students face upon entry - many are poor, and most are products of the direly failing Philadelphia Public School system, where the only requirement for graduation seems to be physically surviving 12 years. Just about every person I work with directly and many of the other staff and faculty I've met are committed to truly educating our students: helping them become skilled and self-sufficient from Day One through graduation and beyond. Employees of CCP seem to genuinely enjoy our students' success and take pride in contributing to it.
For an adjunct, the pay is pretty good. Much of this is due to our strong union, which represents all faculty and staff, not just teaching faculty. Benefits are pretty good for full-time positions, and even as an adjunct the College pays half my medical insurance premium.
Our biggest challenge right now is not so much our budget problems (which every public institution faces now) but our lack of leadership at the top. The President of our College is disconnected from the realities that students, staff, and faculty face, and refuses to engage in dialogue about how to either increase funding or make do with decreased funding - in fact, at a recent forum, he stated that we all have to tighten our belts, yet when asked if he would take a voluntary pay cut just like the Mayor of Philadelphia did, he refused to even discuss it.
The College has added administrators at an alarming rate over the last decade, now accounting for 21% of our total payroll (up from 14%), without any visible benefit - and at the expense of teaching and support faculty. Hours and resources for libraries, tutoring, and educational support services have been slashed, and many students cannot get the help they need simply because facilities are closed or unstaffed.
Senior administration neither listens to or appears to care about students, low-paid staff, or adjuncts (who make up more than half the employees). At present there is a huge divide between senior administration and the rest of the College's employees, and it is just getting worse each day. We are in the midst of a long-standing contract negotiation, and have been working without a contract since September 2011. The administration has spent absurd amounts of money hiring outside counsel during the negotiations, and has repeatedly violated the terms of negotiation by issuing press releases regarding the contract talks with outright false information.
Faculty and staff perceive the administration as uncaring, unwilling to listen, secretive and selfish. On the other hand, the administrators with whom I've spoken generally perceive faculty as entrenched bureaucrats who are unwilling to change when necessary. The result has been a heightening of tensions and an increased divide - an "Us against Them" mentality on both sides.
The college is excessively bureaucratic, stuck in dysfunctional and stagnant habits, and shows the worst aspects of being in Philadelphia: a reluctance to change or even care about changing for the better. We are too "Philly Corrupt" at CCP, and our students are suffering when they need us most.
Morale among faculty and educational support staff is heading south - many of our best people are already looking for employment elsewhere. Students also feel left out, and the ones who speak up to either raise issues or offer solutions are routinely ignored or even punished (a student who asked the President about taking a voluntary pay cut was slapped with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct simply for asking the question).
Communication is terrible - just to find out simple information on procedures, policies, or contact info requires a trip through a labyrinth of false leads and misinformation. Add to that the recent PR hype issuing from the President's office and the morale issue is no surprise.
If we continue as we are now, there may not be a Community College of Philadelphia in the next decade.
Advice to Management
Open your minds, ears, and hearts to students, staff, and faculty! There is no "Us vs. Them".
Stand in a student' shoes for a day or two (or a week), see how it is to try to figure out who your adviser is, what classes you need and how to register for them, how to afford textbooks and fees, how to try to communicate outside of class with your instructor who has to commute between three different campuses just to make ends meet.
Stand in the shoes of the lowest-paid staff at the College and see what it feels like to be told that not only you will get no pay raise - not even a cost of living increase - but that you will also have to pay an out-of-pocket deductible for medical tests that are beyond your means, meaning that you or your family may face having to forego necessary health care.
Stand in the shoes of adjunct faculty who can't budget their lives beyond the current semester since they have no idea whether or not they will be working during the next one (or even if their current hours will last through the term), who pay as much as half their take home salaries back to the College for medical and prescription coverage, or face having to choose not to carry prescription coverage just to afford food, rent, and utilities.
Be the leaders the College desperately needs - or step aside for those who will.
Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
Salaries were entrenched in a salary schedule. Movement vertically about the schedule was guaranteed by contract.
Promotions were awarded in a capricious and arbitrary way, making horizontal movement about the schedule impossible, unless one curried favors with the administration.
Advice to Management
Leave! I know that you have had greater longevity than previous management, but it is only because you can't find jobs elsewhere. Leave now, for the good of the college!
There are great students! Great value! The Walmart of education in Philly.
I've never encountered such dark attitudes in a place set aside for enlightenment. Rude, discourteous, surly and devoid decorum are the bulk of those that work there. Unprofessional!
Advice to Management
Get in touch with your purpose-built your mission! Discontinue to condone bad behavior; it's not becoming.
Huge student body across an age/abilities spectrum including a large and highly motivated immigrant population along with significant numbers of part time continuing ed professionals seeking career advancement training. If you can teach to this widely varied population then YOU CAN TEACH ANYWHERE!
College is poorly funded by a bloated city government and main campus is located in a high crime area. Administrators are largely pencil pushing bureaucrats with extremely poor people skills who spend most of their time hiding in their offices so no one will notice their incompetence and lack of knowledge.
Advice to Management
Senior management should immediately take some of the college's own courses in psychology, sociology, and elementary business management. Middle echelon management consists largely of fairly knowledgeable and motivated faculty whose advice is largely ignored by the imbeciles flying the plane. These folks should immediately return to the classroom where they'll be more appreciated and better utilized.
This will replace the current featured review for targeted profile. Are you sure you want to replace it?
Are you sure you want to remove this review from being featured for targeted profile?