Wednesday, June 21, 2006

ASF or Teaching Faculty?

I recently received a query from an academic service faculty (ASF) member of CLPA as regards a possible "jump" from his current rank (II-1) to a higher rank once he finishes his PhD. He told me that he is "confused" because he has been hearing people say that a PhD degree is not a requirement among ASFs. He is therefore thinking of converting from ASF to teaching faculty given his teaching and professional experience.

My reply? I told him that conversion is a very feasible option, especially if he has a clear professional development plan for himself. I also confirmed that a PhD is not required of an ASF (Faculty Manual, page 31). Personally, I do not believe that a PhD is required to function fully as an academic service personnel either. Maybe for teaching or research. But not for academic service. So if one really wants to put that PhD degree to good use, he should opt to join the teaching ranks.

As for promotion, an ASF needs to compile years of experience in his unit and produce outputs in order to earn promotion. If an ASF finds that a bit too slow, I recommend conversion. But of course, he needs to find a School to accept him first. And prepare for things like lesson planning, checking papers, being rated by students, observed by peers and superiors, using various teaching strategies, being available for student consultations, talking to parents, doing classroom research, developing instructional materials, etc.

In the end, there must be this realization that ASFs and teachers really have very different functions. It is a matter of choosing which of the two jobs satisfies our personal and professional goals.


At 1:36 PM , Blogger Caths Deen said...

I understand the point being made here. However, many ASFs were hired at a time when ASFs were still allowed to teach. Thus, they entered into a psychological contract where they can function as academic service faculty but also teach some courses. After some period, the definition of ASF changed and they were not allowed to teach. Converting to faculty status would mean they have to give up their accumulated years of service or their jobs for that matter. This became a major roadblock for ASFs. I don't know if I'm right but I would think that many ASFs construe their current standing as "something they did not necessarily sign up for" when they entered DLS-CSB.

At 7:42 PM , Blogger Zaldi said...

Thanks for the comments, Caths. Actually, a CSB old-timer told me that ASFs weren't really meant to teach. The time they were "allowed to teach" was in fact a trial period to find out if that arrangement is feasible. But at the end of that trial period, it was determined with finality that ASFs will not be given teaching assignments. So ASFs weren't actually hired with a promise that they will be allowed to teach.

And as for the conversion, it is a decision an individual has to make. Some may not find the need for it. But some, like Soc Bacay, who converted from ASF to teaching faculty, may see the advantage of doing so.

At 9:24 PM , Blogger Techie said...

Now I dont have to ask from an old timer as I am an old timer, but not necessarily old... :)

When I was hired as a counselor-trainor in 1990 I was given a status of an ASF. The mantra back then was partnership role of the teaching and non-teaching faculty. Both stand on equal footing in the education of the CSB students. The ASF were consultants of the TF in understanding the students, the TF were consultants of the ASF in devising more interventions for formation and learning to take place outside the classroom.

In terms of organizational structure, both had a say in the curriculum, policies and formation. I think to this day, the CSB org chart still reflects the strength of the ASF and TF partnership, and the role of their partnership in the formation of our students. And it is still evident that in some areas, most areas, that partnership is still evident in decisions made affecting the students, the college directions and its programs.

Anyway, I served as counselor-trainor for 10 years before I was invited to head an academic department. Part of the appointment came the need to change my status as a teaching faculty.

But as an ASF then, I had an opportunity to teach for a number of times, and quite a number of the ASF back then also had that opportunity. But there were very few us then, like maybe less than 10?

The option to teach was made possible only by invitation of the academic chairs. But invitation came only because the chairs did not have in their pool the teachers with the needed academic & professional training for particular subjects. Often times these subjects are in the area of Management, Psychology, Research, Statistics and SEPERDE (now ORDEV). But for SEPERDE I think there was a special arrangement that Counselor-trainors were prioritized as classroom teaching was used as a tool to strengthen the counselor-student relationship. But soon enough this changed too...

The ASF back then only came from two centers: the Human Resource Development Center that housed the counseling, lmo, student affairs, social action office; and the Center for Educational, Evaluation and Research that basically houses the current CLPA services + curriculum evaluation. The personnel hired in these offices had professional experiences in HR, or were previously middle managers & were into HR training, research, formation and organizing.

Teaching a subject or two for a given term was not a regular option. It was also considered as a separate work load, over and above our work load as ASF. But it was not a regular thing.

But as administrators and situations change, problems and options for solutions also changed. More teachers were hired, and the call for more formation interventions and opportunities also increased. So there were different demands, dynamics of students were changing and the whole college was taking shape because of many things going on all at the same time. And these things were weighed as to the needs to be addressed and interventions to be used.

Eventually, the invitations came less and given a few opportunity to teach it became part of our ASF load, thus no extra pay came with our teaching.

But while things back then appear to be no longer possible now, I believe that the partnership between the academic service faculty and the teaching faculty should remain true to this day. Quite similary, that partnership is very much needed today in the formation of our students to become the ideal professionals we envision them to be.

And for that partnership to thrive and have further impact in our students' lives, the faculty members providing academic services outside the classroom should recognize their role, and likewise be recognized as a partner standing on equal footing with the faculty members teaching inside the classroom.

And part of that recognition is having the opportunity and the support to become an expert, and to practice their expertise. Pursuing PhD and teaching could be some of those opportunities. But there are of course other ways, and these should also be explored and supported.

But these are of course just two items on the list of other things that we have been tasked to fulfill as faculty members of this institution, teaching insde the classroom or handling academic services. And at the end of the day, we can ask ourselves after all these discussions, have we made a positive impact in the lives of our students? Did that impact translate into the transformation of the students' lives such that the same students are now making their own contribution in transforming the lives of others?

And in our effort to make such transformation, have we done it in partnership with others? have we been transformed as a result of that partnership?


At 9:48 PM , Blogger Zaldi said...

Thanks for the kilometric post, Techie :-) I'm sure a lot of readers will gain valuable insights and appreciate your sharing as much as I did.

Do we have other inputs from our peers?

At 8:52 AM , Blogger Caths Deen said...

Thanks for the sharings. The reason why I mentioned the term psychological contract is that when I was invited to work in DLS-CSB, the "promise" of being allowed to teach and serve my function was one of the things I considered when making the decision. It came as a surprise when after about 2 years of service, this was changed and teaching was no longer an option. Regardless, it is a good thing that this is being discussed openly.


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