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Professor Mentors

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Sharon Jumper, JD, BA

Sharon Jumper, JD, BA

Education:

  • BA in Government, Wofford College, 1989
  • JD in Law, Wake Forest University, 1992

Areas Dr. Jumper Mentors Faculty In:

  • The Adjunctpreneur ® mindset
  • Improving one's academic pedigree
  • Conflict management
  • Academic rigor and integrity
  • Course development
  • Expatriate teaching opportunities
  • Classroom management & student issues
  • Thinking outside of the box in terms of credentials for jobs
  • Professional conference presentations and publications
  • Strategic planning and risk management
  • Contingency planning
  • Work-life balance

Been Teaching Since:

1996

Top 3 strengths as a mentor:

  1. I will give you an honest and objective appraisal of your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in higher education, along with suggestions for how you can make yourself more marketable.
  2. I'm a work-a-holic and will be there for you when you need me...and I promise to make you laugh when you need it.
  3. I'm an expert at high stress, time sensitive problem solving and conflict management.

In her own words...

Like many, my first foray into academia happened by being in the right place at the right time. A summer law clerk at our firm was the son of a university president. There was an adjunct who bailed on a teaching assignment for an MBA program two days before classes were supposed to start. The law clerk said, "Hey, my dad was wondering if you'd be interested in teaching a class..." and I agreed. I'd never given any thought to being a professor prior to that moment, but discovered that I really loved teaching. A few years after that, I discovered the world of online teaching and how I could expand my opportunities across cities, states, and even countries, as well as across disciplines, by working for several different schools. I then had my first opportunity to attend a faculty conference for one of my employers and learned about Dani Babb's first "Make a Living Teaching Online" book - and met several people who were actually doing just that. It was the beginning of a life changing experience that not only set me on the path to making six figures a year while working from "wherever," but it also resulted in my husband going back to grad school and becoming a professor himself.

In 2007, we got a bit adventurous and accepted a semester long contract to teach in a Joint US-Chinese program; we took our then 16 year old son along with us, and it was an amazing experience. In 2009, when our younger son graduated from high school, we literally sold our house and everything we had, packed up the dog, and set off on a three year adventure abroad that allowed us to see most of the world we wanted to see - all made possible by teaching online in the U.S. and acting as "Visiting faculty" in the United Arab Emirates and China. In the Summer of 2012, we returned to the U.S. and settled in Miami Beach, where I still "make a living teaching online" and add a class on campus every semester to keep from getting "too weird" or anti-social from spending 12+ hours working online each day.

In addition to being an "adjunctpreneur ®," I've also been a full-time faculty member, as well as a Department Chair. I'm an adjunct by choice. Why? Because of the empowerment and the lifestyle it affords me. I'm in control of where I work, what I teach, and when I teach. I learned about all of this from great mentors early in my career and so, I want to repay that debt by helping others to find the path that is right for them. This is also WHY I teach students. Education gives you a phenomenal set of tools that you can use to forge your career path and destiny, but merely having these tools isn't enough nor is it a guarantee. As a mentor, I can help you use these tools to find your own path to success. It's also important to note that as an Adjunctpreneur ®, you're essentially a business entity. This means that you've got to keep up with education trends and continue prospecting for opportunities, all while improving your substantive credentials and networking in your field.

So, how does one take control and have a sustainable stream of income as an adjunctpreneur ®? It's a combination of many factors, including academic credentials, street smarts, strategic planning, contingency planning, organization, communication skills, duty, honor, integrity, diligence, attention to detail, maintaining a professional image, and good, old fashioned hustle. You've got to have the ability to set clear expectations for students and be steadfast in your assessments of them. You can't take student performance personally, but at the same time, you've got to be able to assess your own performance to ensure that you have laid out a clear roadmap for success for them to follow. I can help you develop and improve upon all of these skills. I've also encountered every excuse, problem, or conflict scenario in the book, so I can help you think through the best approach to resolving problems when they occur - or simply be a sounding board if you want to vent, yell, or cry.

Sharon's Services