Two SCF Professors Use Grants to Improve Online Education

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State College of Florida
State College of Florida (State College of Florida)

Kim Ghiselin, chair of the Mathematics department at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) and Michael Bellissimo, a mathematics instructor at SCF, received minigrants from the American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges Foundation to ease the transition of their courses to an online format.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many instructors were required to hold courses online. The minigrants were awarded to help faculty obtain equipment, materials and software that would improve the quality of the learning experience.

Ghiselin’s award supported her efforts to serve different students’ learning styles. She offered downloadable exams for her Pre-Calculus course for students who preferred a pencil-and-paper option. Students returned the scanned tests for credit and feedback.

Bellissimo used his funds to purchase a high-quality document camera that uploads

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In higher education, the pandemic has been especially cruel to adjunct professors

The coronavirus has thrown the entire higher education industry into uncertainty, but it’s been especially cruel to the thousands of part-time professors undergirding New England’s colleges and universities. The effect has been to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots in higher education: While many tenure-track professors received pandemic-related extensions for their research, many adjuncts simply watched their jobs evaporate. While some professors may teach from home, adjuncts lucky enough to have courses often feel pressure to come to campus — even though their jobs rarely come with health insurance.

“They’re kind of like the Uber drivers,” said Gary Rhoades, who studies higher education at the University of Arizona. “COVID just heightens and surfaces the already existing inequities.”

Despite the stereotypical image of a college professor as a lofty intellectual with a large office and a lifetime appointment, part-time, non-tenure-track professors — adjuncts — have steadily become the majority

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