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          Jan Norton's comments are right on.
          Whenever possible, I wrangle teaching assignments from the centre
          leaders of both the Upgrading and General Studies centres for my
          professional staff.  Most of them teach two or three 8 week
          coureses per year.

          The benefits:
          FOR THE PROGRAM
          -flexibility for the program areas when a skilled professional is
          needed at short notice:  large classes split, eg. My staff already
          know the institution and how it works.

          --Learning centre instructors understand the learning process and
          so they spend time in their courses helping students learn to
          learn--rather than focusing solely on content.

          FOR THE CENTRE
          -enhanced credibility for our staff:  they are seen as instructors,
          not "merely" as tutors (I know that's unfair, but...)
          Faculty see them as peers and interact with them as such. Networks
          are  built.
          -My staff are included in staff meetings! and curriculum
          committees--therefore have a say in centre deliberations,and are
          able to temper the "sink or swim" mentality of some faculty.

          --inclusion in professional development opportunities provided by
          the area in which they teach in extends my $$

          --increased student use of the Learning Centre:  students will come
          in to see instructors they know and trust.  Since that first visit
          is the hardest, this is a plus.

          --instructors do not lose touch with the reality of classroom
          teaching.  It can be easy to get down on classroom instructors when
          you have the luxury of one-on-one or small group teaching all the
          time.

          --Since my staff are all part-time, an enhanced paycheck.  Hours in
          the classroom are paid at 2x the rate for hours in the Learning
          Centre.

          THE DISADVANTAGES

          -Adminstratively, scheduling is a problem, especially if staff is
          "raided" at the last minute.  I re-do my schedule for pretty well
          each eight week block.

          -Balancing hours:  A full time instructor on our campus teaches 18
          hours per semester.  Learning Centre professinals work 2 hours for
          each hour of instructional pay, since their assignment does not
          include prep and marking outside of paid work time.  We have found
          that the best balance of Learning Centre-teaching  ratio is 15
          hours weekly in the Learning Centre and 10 hours( 1 course-8 weeks-
          80 hours) teaching--at the max. Assuming an eight hour day, this

          allows two hours daily for marking/prep/office hours, an hour for
          lunch.

          Even if the course had fewer hours/longer weeks, I would not
          recommend more than one prep.

          -Delicate negotiations required if centre is unhappy with the
          performance of the Learning Centre instructor to retain Learning
          Centre reputation.

          FACULTY/STAFF?
          Anyone who holds teaching responsibility is faculty on our campus.


          In my opinion, our faculty status and our close relationships with
          faculty is what keeps our Learning Centre healthy in times of
          cutbacks. (The other factor is that we offer flexible credit
          programming to round out student schedules when conflicts occur)
          We are not seen as appendices, and so are not quite as easy to "lop
          off".


          Rika Snip
          The Learning Centre @ LCC
          Lethbridge Community College
          Lethbridge, AB
          Canada

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