Richard Nisa is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has created an interactive map “exploring the relationships between adjunct instructor pay (taken from the most recent data submitted to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s The Adjunct Project) and state minimum wage data.” The data compare the average per course pay and then show how many courses would be necessary to teach to reach the equivalent of one year of full-time work (2,080 hours) at the state’s minimum wage. For instance, at Ithaca College in New York, where the tuition tops $38,000 per year, adjuncts and part-time faculty reported earning $3,833 per 3-credit hour course. In New York, the minimum wage is $8.25. This means that an adjunct faculty member teaching at Ithaca College would need to teach 4.7 courses to earn a salary equivalent to a year of minimum wage work.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. A full-time minimum wage employee earns $15,080 annually. In 2014, the poverty threshold for a single person was $11,770 and $24,250 for a family of four.
Check out the interactive map here.