Contract and Employment Questions

Can we take classes?

I know that full time employees at BYUI have free tuition if they want to take any classes. As adjunct instructors, do we have any subsidized or free tuition if we want to take a class? 

If it's not something that BYUI currently offers, is it something BYUI is considering? 

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  • Random thought: What about letting instructors fill empty spots in classes that aren't full? This could be done with the understanding that they're essentially on a "waiting list," and may not get a spot if the class fills up. Maybe this would totally not work, but it might allow a partial education benefit without having to hire any new instructors....

    • I love this idea, Kimberly. It sounds like a very practical, doable solution. I think the biggest obstacle (still) may be getting us all set up with student numbers and logins and stuff.

      (I can't believe I'm saying this, but I kinda sorta wanna sign up to take Math 100G just so I can see what the student experience is like on the other side, and to brush up on my very rusty math skills.  Maybe someday it will be an option.)

  • Miriam,  Thanks for asking this question. I enjoyed learning about this topic in the responses. 

  • In last month's Winter Webinar David Ashby made an interesting point about our opportunities to basically "audit" any online courses offered by BYU-I. Basically we would need the name of the instructor teaching the course and then request them to add us as an observer (I think that's the term). This doesn't help for people trying to earn credits on a transcript for another bachelor degree, but for those wanting to take, say a Natural Disasters course, or Pakistan: Global Hotspots just for the sake of learning, it would seem that we have permission to gain access to that material. 

    • Perfect answer Austin.  :)

      • David, I would like to audit a Speech class to help me in my day job. Who would I need to speak with about doing something like that? Do I have to go on to the school's website to see who teaches a Speech class and then contact that person? I'm curious about how this is done. Thank you.

      • I've been thinking even more about this, David. If we can only see the course, that doesn't seem to do much good. I mean, I can go to the library and check out books on any topic. I am not sure how this is much different. The idea of being able to actually take the course--do assignments and get feedback on them--is what would be interesting to me. For example, I've been interested in taking a writing class. I can read about writing all I want, but it's the feedback that would help me the most.

        I think this is a matter of investing in us as instructors. I know that the way teaching groups are set up is supposed to be how we receive continuing education (and I appreciate that), but I think we could get a little more! I understand that BYUI is trying to save money and the online program is a great way to do that since you have so many instructors that work part time, don't need benefits, and don't need buildings--but surely it's not too much to let us take a class every now and then!

        I'd love to advocate for investing in us as instructors. Who can I talk to about that? Who was in charge of tabling the idea for the time being?

        I'm really hopeful this can happen! I've been working for BYUI for three years--it's been a good experience--and this is something that would make it even more worthwhile!

        • Wow, Miriam, I appreciate you starting this discussion. I have been thinking about calling the admin office to find out about this as I need to take classes to renew my certificate. I appreciate all that everyone else has shared. This has been a learning experience reading all of these posts. Thanks again.

          • Hi Phyllis,

            I am currently taking continuing education courses to renew my teaching license for the state of Utah. I have to take a certain number of classes every 5 years to keep my license up to date. I have been fulfilling this requirement through BYU-Idaho Online courses. I re-applied to the school as I graduated with my bachelors in 2007, and I take classes online. I pay the tuition but I'm limited to only 1 class at a time. Basically my income from BYU-Idaho/Pathway covers my tuition. It's not ideal but I'm grateful that it's not dipping into our other funds. I'd love to have some kind of benefit such as paid tuition or even offers of scholarship if we choose to further our postgraduate education at another school. I would hope that this would be something that BYU-Idaho would encourage and stand beside us as we worked on these goals. David Ashby and Alan Young have both assured me that they are talking actively about this. 

        • After asking the question in a couple of meetings this week, I have learned the tuition benefit is still a topic of ongoing discussion (good news!). That being said, there are various factors to consider beyond any financial impact this might incur, so the decision is not as easy to make as it may appear. Thankfully, those involved are very invested in online instructor morale and know of the increasing desire for the tuition benefit to become available.

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