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Adjunct Faculty Award





Nature of the Program

Awarded by the Rockland Community College President, the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes consistently superior teaching by members of the Rockland Community College Adjunct Faculty Association, Local 4896, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO in keeping with the College’s commitment to providing its students with instruction of the highest quality.


Selection Criteria

The primary criterion is skill in teaching. Additionally, consideration may also be given to sound scholarship (usually demonstrated through publications or artistic productions), outstanding service to students, as well as service to the College. The following criteria are to be used in selecting nominees for this Award:


  • Teaching Techniques and Representative Materials – There must be positive evidence that the candidate performs superbly in the classroom. The nominee must maintain a flexible instructional policy that adapts readily to student needs, interests and problems. Mastery of teaching techniques must be demonstrated and substantiated.

    Student evaluations (in the form of student questionnaires administered and compiled by persons other than the nominee) presented for several different courses over a period of the last six years may provide a clear idea of the nominee's impact on students.
  • Scholarship and Professional Growth – Candidates must be teachers who keep abreast of their own field and who use the relevant contemporary data from that field and related disciplines in their teaching. Evidence in this area includes, but is not limited to, publications, grants, internal and external presentations, staff development, professional experience, artistic productions, community activities, etc.
  • Student Services – In relating to students, candidates must be generous with personal time, easily accessible, and must demonstrate a continual concern for the intellectual growth of individual students. The focus here is the accessibility of the nominee to students outside of class; e.g. phone calls, emails, and meetings with students outside the classroom.
  • Academic Standards and Requirements, and Evaluation of Student Performance – Candidates must set high standards for students and help them attain academic excellence. Quantity and quality of work that is more than average for the subject must be required of the students. Candidates must work actively with individual students to help them improve their scholarly or artistic performance. This individual interaction is an important source of information that indicates the nature and level of instruction offered by the nominee. Consideration is to be given to the quality, quantity, and difficulty of the tasks or work assigned to students.

    Candidates' evaluations of students' work must be strongly supported by evidence. Candidates must be willing to give greater weight to each student's final level of competence than to the performance at the beginning of the course. Since expert teachers enable students to achieve high levels of scholarship, it is possible that the candidates' marking records may be somewhat above average. There must also be evidence that candidates do not hesitate to give low evaluations to students who do poorly. For this category, consideration should be given to grading patterns, particularly grade distributions for all courses in at least two recent semesters. Evidence in support of student performance may also be assessed by the accomplishments of students, including placement and achievement levels.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Academic Background – Candidates must be part-time teaching faculty who have taught one or more courses in the academic year in which the award is given. Candidates must have at least a master’s degree or doctorate in the area of teaching or a closely related field.
  • Academic Position – Candidates may be Adjunct Faculty, Adjunct Science Lab Instructors (a/k/a hourly professional lab instructors) and Adjunct Clinical Nurse Instructors (a/k/a hourly professional nursing instructors).
  • Length of Service – Candidates must have taught at least 10 class sections (excluding learning contracts and group contracts) at any time during the past six academic years. (Note: Teachers of nursing clinical, science laboratory and physical education courses in which credit hours are normally low will be considered.) Semesters of teaching do not need to be consecutive in order to meet eligibility requirements.
  • Restrictions – Individuals who are full-time administrators, full-time faculty members, civil service employees or managerial/confidential employees of Rockland Community College are not eligible. Awards will not be given posthumously. Recipients of an Excellence Award may not be nominated for another Excellence Award within a five-year interval and may not be re-nominated for an award in the same category.






Coordination of the selection and nomination process for Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching is the responsibility of the College President in consultation with a specifically-constituted committee. The primary function of the Selection Committee is to review all nominations and make a recommendation(s) to the College President based on the criteria set forth above. Nominations must be the product of an objective and rigorous campus review. 


Selection is contingent upon approval of recommendation(s) by the College President. Rockland Community College Board of Trustees action is not involved in the selection of the Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching process.


Committee Appointment and Structure – The Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching Selection Committee will be comprised of:

  • One representative from the Faculty Senate
  • One representative from the Student Government Association
  • One representative from the Rockland Community College Federation of Teachers, Local 1871 (Full-Time Faculty Union)
  • Two representatives from the Rockland Community College Adjunct Faculty Association, Local 4896, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO (Part-Time Faculty Union)
  • One representative from the division/Department Chairs
  • Two student representatives – one regular member, one alternate
  • Ex-Officio – as appointed by the President 



Individual committee appointments must be approved by the College President.


Committee Role – The Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching Selection Committee solicits nominations; conducts an objective and rigorous evaluation of the merits of candidates nominated; and recommends candidates to the College President. The Selection Committee must determine that its candidate(s) meets, and preferably surpasses, each selection criteria for the award. Consequently, nominations received by the College President should represent the finest exemplars of the qualities recognized through this award. 


Nomination Process – The nomination process should benefit from the involvement of a broad spectrum of the campus community including the faculty, the student body and administration. Nominations from department or division chairs and deans are encouraged.


Under no circumstance may individuals apply – or self-nominate – for this award. 

The nomination letter must include:

  • How the nominator knows the nominee (relationship between the nominator and nominee).
  • How long the nominator has known the nominee.
  • How the nominee meets the award criteria for teaching.


Documentation –Candidates for the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching must prepare a teaching portfolio. Portfolio materials should be labeled and organized as follows:

  • Table of contents
  • Letter of nomination (may be forwarded to the candidate by the Ex-Officio)
  • A bulleted list of pertinent activities related to teaching
  • Reflection of professional growth & development over time in area of teaching
  • Description of a teaching innovation used in a course
  • Current vitae
  • Sample syllabus
  • Three letters of support:
    • Two (2) letters must be peer evaluations of teaching style and effectiveness for on campus as well as distance learning, if applicable. Details regarding the date of the classroom observation and the length of observation need to be included in the peer evaluation. If a candidate does not have two peer evaluations, the candidate may request an evaluation through the department chair.
    • One (1) letter of support from the department chair or division chair.
  • Student evaluations for the three most recent terms taught and evaluated. This would include Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer (if available).


Submission to the College President – The Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching Selection Committee shall make its report in the form of a Summary Presentation to the College President and shall forward to the College President no more than three (3) recommendations.


Summary Presentation – The Summary Presentation provides the rationale for the Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching Selection Committee’s recommendation of a particular candidate and sets forth candidate merit for selection. It should reflect the selection committee’s objectivity and impartiality in coming to its decision in what is generally a highly competitive process. It must address how the candidate excels in each criterion for selection for the Award, the candidate's most outstanding qualifications and major achievements attained. The quality of the evidence provided is critical to recommendation. Although excerpts from the recommendations can and should be included, the Summary Presentation must be more than a testimonial. There must be specific, concrete examples of how the nominee fulfills each criterion.

The Summary Presentation is limited to a maximum of five pages, excluding the cover sheet.


Number of Awards – The nomination process is competitive. The College President will award no more than three (3) Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching in any academic year. A limit is placed on the number of recipients of the Award in order to preserve the honor and prestige of selection.


Award Announcements – Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching are announced at the College Commencement.


Confidentiality – Selection for an Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is an event of great joy and pride for the recipient and the campus. Conversely, non-selection generates enormous disappointment. The sensitivities inherent in such recognition programs and the nature of the supporting documentation involved make it imperative that all deliberations of the Adjunct Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching Selection Committee remain strictly confidential. 

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