What Does an Associate Lecturer Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Classroom teaching is an important component of many associate lecturer positions.
Classroom teaching is an important component of many associate lecturer positions.

An associate lecturer provides instruction and mentoring for students and may participate in professional development through research and other activities. Such positions do not come with tenure, and thus have less job security than other members of the faculty at an institution of higher education. The benefits and pay can depend on the employer and the specifics of the position, but could include health care, pension payments, and other benefits. It may be possible to negotiate if an applicant has a strong record.

The status of an associate lecturer can vary, depending on the institution.
The status of an associate lecturer can vary, depending on the institution.

An important part of the work of an associate lecturer is classroom teaching. This requires the preparation of lesson plans and class materials. If the class is accredited, the associate lecturer needs to make sure it meets any curricular standards set by regulators. These may include specific topics that must be covered, along with particular assignments students need to complete to develop competence and skill. As requirements may change, associate lecturers need to keep up with academic guidelines.

An associate lecturer provides instruction and mentoring for students through classroom and research activities.
An associate lecturer provides instruction and mentoring for students through classroom and research activities.

Outside of class, the associate lecturer typically has office hours to provide assistance to students. Students can meet to discuss questions or concerns, get feedback on early drafts of papers, and solicit more information about topics of interest. Some associate lecturers may spend time in a lab, providing assistance to students completing assignments. Community outreach can also be a part of the job; an associate lecturer in entomology, for example, might identify insects for a university extension program.

Associate lecturers may be more likely to offer one-on-one tutoring than a tenured professor.
Associate lecturers may be more likely to offer one-on-one tutoring than a tenured professor.

Some participate in research and may actively conduct research and mentor students as they work on projects. An associate lecturer can also design and implement honors curricula, write letters of recommendation on behalf of students, and work on overall departmental development. This can include meetings with other faculty members to talk about curricula, events, and ways to attract and retain students. Some may be active with student or faculty organizations that advocate for various causes on campus, such as the teacher’s union.

An associate lecturer may be required to prepare lesson plans and class materials.
An associate lecturer may be required to prepare lesson plans and class materials.

The status of an associate lecturer can vary, depending on the institution. They may need to renew contracts each semester or year, rather than enjoying more long-term job security. For some, this is an advantage, as it may make it easier to change employers to pursue opportunities and work in new environments. Some are full time and teach a full load of classes, while others are hired on a part-time basis to meet teaching shortfalls. Part-time employees may not qualify for additional benefits, however, such as health insurance.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PracticalAdultInsights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a PracticalAdultInsights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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    • Classroom teaching is an important component of many associate lecturer positions.
      By: Africa Studio
      Classroom teaching is an important component of many associate lecturer positions.
    • The status of an associate lecturer can vary, depending on the institution.
      By: AlexOakenman
      The status of an associate lecturer can vary, depending on the institution.
    • An associate lecturer provides instruction and mentoring for students through classroom and research activities.
      By: Sergey Nivens
      An associate lecturer provides instruction and mentoring for students through classroom and research activities.
    • Associate lecturers may be more likely to offer one-on-one tutoring than a tenured professor.
      By: Tyler Olson
      Associate lecturers may be more likely to offer one-on-one tutoring than a tenured professor.
    • An associate lecturer may be required to prepare lesson plans and class materials.
      By: Dmitry Goygel-Sokol
      An associate lecturer may be required to prepare lesson plans and class materials.
    • An associate professor may work for years to earn a tenured position.
      By: yanlev
      An associate professor may work for years to earn a tenured position.