Experience is best teacher

May 3, 2022Courtney Morris

Retired? Teach a class

After a 46-year career as a registered nurse and San Jacinto College faculty member, Becky Shuttlesworth deserved some R&R.

Adjunct teaching

When she retired in August 2020, she got the usual congratulations cards: "Now the fun begins!" But a year into her golden years, Shuttlesworth was catching "Law and Order" reruns for the second and third time and missing feeling useful.

"You can weed in your flowerbed only so much, and then there are no more weeds to pull," she said. "Every time you turn around, you're vacuuming again."

That's when Shuttlesworth got a call from the South Campus dean of health and natural sciences. Was she interested in a part-time adjunct opportunity?

Now the former simulation lab coordinator works 19.5 hours a week helping run the South Campus patient simulation lab for health science students. She stays busy while still having time for her hobbies.

"It's nice to have something to do for a few hours a week," she said. "It gives you a little spending money so you're not dipping into retirement funds, and I still get to work for a college I love."

We want you

Retired? Looking for a way to give back and earn extra income? You could share your expertise as a San Jac adjunct instructor.

"Adjunct teaching is the best opportunity for those who are retired," said Wayne Wauters, talent acquisition manager, human resources. "We look for those who have a solid foundation in their industry and have kept up to date with industry changes if they've been retired for a while."

Basic computer skills — Microsoft Office suite, email, etc. — are a must, but you can learn other skills like online conferencing.

If you don't have an advanced degree, don't worry. Many San Jac technical and health science programs require only an associate degree and at least three years of industry experience or significant industry experience instead of a college degree. These fields include ...

  • Computer information technology
  • Cosmetology (with current license)
  • Diesel technology
  • Electrical
  • Medical laboratory technology
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Process technology
  • Surgical technology
  • Welding
  • And more

Exceptions include academic Associate of Arts and Science programs, which require a master's degree. Also, nursing instructors must hold at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or higher, depending on the program.

You can find adjunct positions at careers.sanjac.edu. But note: San Jac posts these continuously to create pools of candidates, so a post may not mean the position is available yet.

"When there is a need, the hiring leader will look at the applicant pool," Wauters said.

If you've applied, the career site will send emails alerting you about any changes to positions.

Adjuncts earn an average of $43/hour and sometimes market premiums, depending on the field. Whether you teach online or in-person classes, you still must have some presence on campus.

Pay and time commitment vary. Computer information technology adjunct instructors, for example, teach about four hours a week for a 16-week class. The average pay per CIT course is $3,072.

Best of both worlds

Harold Logan, process technology adjunct faculty, came to San Jac from Exxon. He worked 30 years as a process operator, safety turnaround assistant, and trainer for new hires.

After Logan retired, a former coworker linked him to San Jac. In 2010, he started teaching a process instrumentation course. Now he teaches three classes at the College. Not only does he interact with young adults, but he also shares his lifetime of work experience.

"While I'm no longer interested in climbing ladders and the physical work associated with being an operator, it's important I keep my mind sharp," he said.

For Logan and Shuttlesworth, adjunct work keeps their retirement years fulfilling, not boring.

"It's the best of both worlds," Shuttlesworth said. "You get the best of retirement and the best of still working in an area you love."

Join Our Team

Have workforce experience to share? Consider applying to work at San Jacinto College. View job openings and apply at careers.sanjac.edu.

San Jac is an Equal Opportunity Institution.