When we think of fortune, we think of massive wealth, treasure hunts, gold mines, and fantastic hordes of gems and jewels. But this year, my idea of fortune is how I am feeling right now, today. Yesterday, I submitted final grades for my four classes of Speech Communication with 110 students. Also, I completed editing my roomie’s book on graceful aging.
Today, I feel accomplished, relieved, and euphoric that, during a pandemic, I am still earning a living by doing what I love. I enjoy teaching young people how to communicate impactfully. In my classes, people age 16 to 50 learn three things:
Outlining and References in APA Style
Now, that looks like a shortlist for a college course. But ask my students if it is that simple. They will tell you it is not.
So, I’m feeling accomplished because I managed to pull 90% of my students through the switch to online learning, once the lockdown caused our school to close. Of 110 students, seven dropped the course before the lockdown. Nine failed the course because they gave up due to technical difficulties. Perhaps, they did not have a computer or laptop. They may not have WiFi or an internet connection. They could have children at home and not be able to concentrate on schoolwork. There are a plethora of reasons why 16 students did not get through my Speech Communication course.
On the bright side, of the 94 students who made it through, there were:
44 As or 40%
28 Bs or 25%
14 Cs or 18%
8 Ds or 7%
10% of my 110 students this semester either dropped before or after the lockdown
I am off for 18 days. I will teach this course over the summer in three classes. Two are 12 weeks and one is six weeks. My challenge is to revert back to my lesson plans for shorter courses since the Fall and Spring terms were 16 weeks long. The fortune is that I taught this class in ONE month at three other schools. So, my real goal is to relax and enjoy my time off.
Throughout the years, several people and organizations have felt me worthy of being honored. Those moments are documented here.
Priscilla Dames (right) of Wingspan Seminars in Miami, FL nominated
Joan Cartwright for the 2011 Pea’ce Award.
Thanks to Howard Mandel and Laurie Dapice for honoring me as a 2019 Jazz Journalist Association (JJA) Jazz Hero.
Thanks to Brian Zimmerman, Digital Editor of Jazziz Magazine for presenting the award. Thanks to Marika Guyton for organizing the award ceremony. Photos: Gregory Reed
Thanks to Old Dillard Foundation for partnering with Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. for this program
The universe provides. Last week I got the news that the Speech class I taught for 3 years is moving online, leaving me without income in June-July. I cried. I felt helpless. However, as things always go, I have the opportunity to teach 3 classes at PBSC in Palm Beach Gardens, starting May 15, through the summer.
In July 2017, I completed my Doctorate in Business Administration/Marketing. I had been teaching Speech Communication since February 2016. I am still there. However, I only teach this class every four months and this does not sustain me. I had been teaching at Keiser University in Pembroke Pines but that was a commute of 100 miles per day, three days a week, and my car finally broke down. This commute cost me $250 in gas and tolls per month and the university did not reimburse me for those funds.
In the past three years, I have submitted hundreds of applications to schools in Florida like FAU, Palm Beach State College, Miami-Dade College, Strayer College, Lynn University, Broward College, and others. I had one interview in 2016, and nothing since then.
In actuality, very little has changed. White women continue to dominate the employment rolls. Black women are rarely seen waitressing, as airline stewardesses, on corporate boards, or as professors in the academy.
SPA Faculty Spring 2017
Last week, I found this article that explains why I am not getting hired to teach:
In fall 2016, of the 1.5 million faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, 53 percent were full time and 47 percent were part-time. Faculty included professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, assisting professors, adjunct professors, and interim professors.
Of all full-time faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2016, 41 percent were White males; 35 percent were White females; 6 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander males; 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander females; 3 percent each were Black males, Black females, and Hispanic males; and 2 percent were Hispanic females.1 Those who were American Indian/Alaska Native and those who were of Two or more races each made up 1 percent or less of full-time faculty in these institutions.
The racial, ethnic, and sex distribution of faculty varied by academic rank. For example, among full-time professors, [82% were white] 55 percent were White males, 27 percent were White females, 7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander males, and 3 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander females. Black males, Black females, and Hispanic males each accounted for 2 percent of full-time professors. Source: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=61
This reported showed that “For every full-time Black faculty member at a public college or university, there are 42 full-time, degree-seeking Black undergraduates. Forty institutions employ no full-time Black instructors. On 44% of public campuses, there are 10 or fewer full-time Black faculty members across all ranks and academic fields.” [Source]
My conclusion is that I need to find some other women of color with doctorates who have been unable to obtain employment. The travesty is that African-American women are the most educated group in the USA but are only 2-3% of teachers in the academy. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to repay but cannot get jobs with good salaries to pay off our debts.
Colleges and universities (in class or online) have no problem taking our money, signing us up for financial aid, knowing well that the policy of their institutions is to avoid hiring us. This is racial discrimination of the highest order. We suffer from gender discrimination as well and those of us who are middle-aged or above suffer from age discrimination.
Even at historically black colleges and universities like Howard University, a historically black institution in Washington, D.C., the faculty is only 58% black.
The disproportionate number of black, tenure-track college and university instructors — one out of every five — are clustered at 72 historically black four-year institutions that report the race of their employees. This despite the fact that those schools account for just 1.7% of all faculty nationwide.
Many predominantly white four-year public and nonprofit colleges and universities that have been promising for years to improve the diversity of their teaching ranks have made almost no progress in doing so.
It is time to bring this travesty to light. It is time for women of color to step up to the plate and call out the universities and colleges in this country for blatant racial, gender, and age discrimination. Perhaps, a class-action suit against colleges and universities will help to solve this problem in the USA.
Accreditation does now require diversity.
Accreditation is a voluntary, nongovernmental process involving the self-regulation of higher education that serves two purposes: assuring the public of quality and fostering institutional improvement. Accrediting agencies in the U.S. serve a broad range of institutions, thus making it difficult to implement diversity regulations across the board. Many agencies use standardized diversity policies or recommend that colleges and universities create their own objectives in this area, while others have relatively few or no requirements included in their accreditation standards. [Source]
Regarding diversity for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges stated that, “When peer reviewers evaluate a school for accreditation, they look to see if it claims to promote diversity and inclusion in its mission statement, and if so, they assess the institution’s efforts to do so” (Wheelan, 2005). [Source]
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is the largest national accrediting organization of degree-granting institutions that offer programs in professional, technical, and occupational fields. Perliter Walters-Gilliam, ACICS associate vice president of quality enhancement and training, says the council does not specifically have a diversity requirement in its accreditation standards. “The expectation is that diversity is included in the planning document every campus is required to complete,” Walters-Gilliam says. Specifically, each institution must complete an assessment of the effectiveness of its own diversity and inclusion efforts. [Source]
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is a regional accrediting agency serving public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific, as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S. in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Armenia. The commission uses a diversity policy in its accreditation guidelines, holding schools to both societal standards of institutional behavior and its own subset of standards. “Quality and diversity are profoundly connected in pursuing goals in the mission statements of colleges and universities themselves: goals of expanding knowledge, educating capable citizens, and serving public needs,” the policy states. [Source]
A poll I conducted on Facebook in March revealed that 70% of Black women professors are adjuncts, meaning that they have little job security and no benefits. “And most of those [30%] that are tenured work at HBCU’s[, while] only 2 percent work in primarily white institutions,” according to a Facebook poster.
Some 73 percent of all faculty positions are off the tenure track, according to a new analysis of federal data by the American Association of University Professors. “For the most part, these are insecure, unsupported positions with little job security and few protections for academic freedom,” reads AAUP’s “Data Snapshot: Contingent Faculty in U.S. Higher Ed.” The report is based on the most recent data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, from 2016 (Flaherty, 2018).
For three years, I have taught Speech Communication at a South Florida vocational college for medical students. I teach in March, July, and October. My bills are every month. I have not been able to acquire another course in my discipline – Business Administration/Marketing. One woman responded to my question: “Should we file a class action suit against colleges and universities” in this way, “I agree, Black women, in particular, we are the most educated of the groups and yet we continue to be pushed to the margins. She stated further that, “The problem is, although the research shows this, Black women would be reluctant to come aboard [for a class action suit] because it would kill their careers in higher education.”
In my opinion, some of us have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
In response to this post, a young MBA student from California, called me, today (April 4, 2019) to say that one reason why I might not be getting a response to my job applications is that I graduated from a university that is ASBCP accredited but not AACSB accredited, which is preferred.
ACBSP is a leading accrediting agency in the learning outcomes category. Like the AACSB, ACBSP has a rigorous review process to ensure programs meet accreditation standards, including assigning a mentor to help schools complete a plan for self-study. For more information on these accreditations go to https://programs.online.utica.edu/articles/aacsb-vs-acbsp-mba-accreditation
Ageism is more of a problem for women seeking employment.
A few years ago, the San Francisco Federal Reserve released one of the largest-ever studies on age discrimination in the workforce. After strategically submitting more than 40,000 fake applications to low-paying jobs often held by older workers (administrative assistants, janitorial staff, etc.), they found that young and middle-aged applicants had higher callback rates than older ones, and older female applicants fared far worse than their male counterparts. However, “Workers age 40 and up are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which forbids employers from treating applicants or employees less favorably because of their age through all aspects of employment. This does not protect employees under age 40, though some states have laws that do. ADEA also protects employees from harassment and from any employment policies that, specifically, have a negative impact on employees 40 or older” (Castle, 2019).
Harper, S. R. (2018). Black male student-athletes and racial inequities in NCAA Division I college sports: 2018 edition. Los Angeles: University of Southern California, Race and Equity Center.
Harper, S. R., Smith, E. J., & Davis III, C. H. F. (2018). A critical race case analysis of Black undergraduate student success at an urban university. Urban Education, 53(1), 3-25.
Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., Wolniak, G. C., Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2016). How college affects students (Vol. 3): 21st-century evidence that higher education works. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
China called Dr. Joan Cartwright to teach Speech Communication at Shanghai Second Polytechnic University (SSPU) from December 10, 2018, to January 4, 2019. The 24-hour journey to Pudong Airport in Shanghai went without a hitch.
Dr. Cartwright had 59 Chinese students who learned public speaking. Dr. Cartwright has taught Speech for three years at Southeastern College in West Palm Beach and Keiser University in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
This opportunity to teach in China arose through Broward College that is affiliated with nine countries: China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Spain. This is a very exciting opportunity for Dr. Cartwright. She spent five months in China in 2006, singing at CJW Club. Teaching there was a new experience!
Upon her return, Dr. Cartwright has reflected on this one-month experience from December 10 to January 4. First, the campus is a high-tech environment with thousands of students.
Building 19, where us professors lived, is a hospitality training center affiliated with Intercontinental Hotel. Our rooms were beautiful and the restaurant where we ate Monday through Friday was lovely and offered delicious Chinese cuisine.
The classrooms in the adjoining building were large and airy but really too cold for this time of year.
During the week and on the weekends, we had a large shopping mall across the street where we could buy groceries at the Carrefour and dine at several restaurants.
The students were very respectful. However, it took two weeks to get them to speak up as most students believed that their responsibility was only to listen to what the professor said and to take notes. Speech Communication requires a lot of vocal feedback and Dr. Cartwright managed to get most of her students to respond by the third week. In the fourth week, every student had to speak as part of a team of five students on the topic the team chose. All of the speeches were interesting and well-researched. The first class 16 SCM (Supply Chain Management) had 25 students. They were very bright and a lot of fun. Although learning APA Style to format scholarly writing can be difficult, they toed the line and did the work!
The second class with 34 students was 16 WD (Internet Technology). There were only eight girls in this class. The boys were slightly reticent, at first, but they all came out shining with their speeches.
During the last week, we were happy to have a Toastmaster from Pudong visit our classes and evaluate some of our speeches. His name is Yezhe Zheng from the Mandarin-English club in Pudong, Shanghai, China. His input was invaluable for the students because he spoke to them in English and Mandarin about how they could improve their speaking skills.
Of course, like all teachers, Dr. Cartwright had her favorite students. Most were those who spoke up in class or helped to keep the class organized and informed.
Joan was so fortunate to have friends in Shanghai who took her out on the weekends. They were Richard, Daphne, and Tony Wu, Erin Peng, and Matthew Magers.
The real upside of this adventure were colleagues from Broward College, Dr. Tai Houser, Dr. Tuly Badillo, and Nicolae __________, with whom she had many laughs.
Since it was the holiday season, there were many opportunities for shopping and dining out in Shanghai. Erin, Joan, and her visitor for the last week Glenda McQueen visited Jing’ An Temple, Century Mall, and Xintiandi, where they had great meals
At the end, the students admitted that they learned a lot. Some of them gave Dr. Cartwright lovely gifts that she will have to remember them by.
Most memorable was the food and dining experience!
P.S. Today, this was my response to a question on Quora.com: What are the advantages of communication and its environment?
Joan Cartwright, Master of Arts Communication, Florida Atlantic University (1994)
For me, the advantage is that I am one of a handful of Speech Communication professors in the country and the world. In the few years I’ve been teaching, I’ve learned a lot about human intrapersonal and interpersonal communication. I’ve learned that each person in the world has a particular perspective and most do not see eye-to-eye. I’ve learned that social media has opened up the world to billions. However, in first-world countries like the USA, young people have stopped talking to each other and their elders, in lieu of messaging, using acronyms and emoticons. Therefore, their communications skills have become stunted.
Will this phenomenon level out before the next generation loses their command of language and social exchange?
I’m not sure about that. What I teach my students is critical thinking and critical listening, which encourages them to put the phones away and pay attention to what is going on around them, including what is being said by their parents, siblings, children, and friends.
You have not had difficult students until you teach in a foreign country. Usually, foreign students are much more respectful than American students. However, cultural differences make for challenges.
In my first week of teaching Speech Communication to Chinese students, I realized that the majority of them were not going to be as responsive as I needed them to be. In each of two classes, one or two students answered all the questions. One reason is that those students who responded had a better command of the English language. The second reason is that they were more outgoing than their fellow students.
One professor informed me that Chinese students do not want to be embarrassed in front of their peers. That helped me to understand them better. But I thought because they would be chatting away with each other as they entered the class that they would be talking to me much more. NOT. I had to drag answers out of them, making my job more difficult than it should have been.