This week, Matt and I received an email from a European adjunct inquiring about the outlook for international adjuncts teaching for US online programs or universities. This particular adjunct had several graduate degrees in popular academic disciplines and many years of college teaching experience.
We seek input from our community in helping answer this adjunct’s question. Our first instinct is that she will meet with the same challenges US-based adjuncts meet in finding steady online teaching work – the unbalanced ratio of online jobs available to willing and capable adjuncts looking for those positions. As we’ve seen, some US-based schools even have geographical restrictions within the US (see: For South Florida Residents Online – Geograpically-Bound Online Positions).
I do believe a lot of US schools are open to the idea of non-citizens teaching in the US. When writing the 500-character job descriptions for the jobs we post, I often see the phrase “eligible to work in the United States” as opposed to “US citizen.” I take this to mean as long as the international adjunct can satisfy all the documentation requirements, that the job would be open to him or her.
All of this is interesting, as one would think that the mission of an online program would be to open up education and teaching opportunities to anyone across the globe – making the world smaller, isn’t that one of the goals/perks of the internet? Alas, there are rules, procedures, and administrative things that I’m unaware of that make this a more complex matter than what it seems to be.
There are, however, schools across the globe that welcome, encourage, and specifically hire a multi-national faculty and recruit the same diversity of students. I’m thinking particularly here of the University of Roehampton – London Online. I recently went through some online faculty training with them their mission was repeated to us ad nauseam: To create a multinational community of online instructors and students and to capitalize on the diversity of thought afforded by that openness. Great mission and encouraging to the adjunct who wrote this email to us.
So, my advice is to look into what it would take to become “eligible to work in the US” and research schools who have a particular mission toward recruiting a multinational faculty.
What have been your alls experiences? Can you help us answer this adjunct’s question by commenting below? We’d all very much appreciate it!