Higher Education Career Advice

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If you are only being paid for nine months of work, and you need summers for research, you need to set some limits, writes Nate Kreuter.

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February 22, 2009
Teresa Mangum offers perspective on the job search -- having launched hers during a previous economic downturn.
February 15, 2009
What, exactly, are CC faculty supposed to do that substantially distinguishes them from high school teachers? I don't mean this in a derogatory manner, I was a high school teacher and found the job incredibly fulfilling. Similarly, I was a full-time CC instructor on the tenure-track. In order to be approved for tenure I was expected to teach classes (actually semester hours) to a reasonable standard of competency. I was also expected to take part in the organizational structure of the college by serving on committees. It was expected that I keep current in the methods of pedagogy in my field and demonstrate that I was attempting to improve my instruction (note that this is pre-tenure).
February 11, 2009
I will be graduating from a smaller campus of a Big 10 University this May with a degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities. I have some definite concerns as I enter into the job market, being especially considerate of our economic situation right now. From the time that I began grad school two years ago, I knew that I wanted to teach.I will happily take a job anywhere I can get one! My first concern is that my degree is actually in Humanities, even though I concentrated in English Lit and Rhet/Comp. ( I have 6 credits of Rhet/Comp Theory and 15 in Lit, along with some theory classes and the typical research methods/thesis writing courses). I know I will be applying to many different schools, from community colleges to state universities and smaller liberal arts colleges. Do I tailor my CV, and for that matter, my cover letter to fit in with each "type" of school? How do I emphasize my competence in the Rhet Comp/English Lit area, especially since I have no real teaching experience?
February 2, 2009
I'm away from school working on my thesis at another institution. I noticed the other day that there was a letter to the editor in the local newspaper where some guy was mis-paraphrasing the Pope mis-quoting the recent Benotti et al. pharmaceuticals in drinking water study to say that the Pill is giving all men girl cooties and destroying society and should be banned immediately, by his Highly Scientific Viewpoint. So I wrote a replying letter to the editor, politely, with inline references and just a little snark, to refute it line by line. I was shooting for the tone used in LTEs in Nature or Science. My letter was never published, and today there's another missive of anti-choice wingnuttery from the same person, a week later. Apparently our local editor has granted this person's oppinions pride of place on the editorial pages. I would be slightly less freaked out if this wasn't the local rag for a town dominated by a major research institution-we're supposed to be scientifically minded here.
January 26, 2009
After recently reading Stanley Fish's NY Times blog oneducation, I felt moved to write in. I recently attended a talk aboutcurriculum and program design where large university decided to rollout a new undergraduate program (let's call it "computer sciencelite") since enrollments were collapsing in a related discipline("traditional computer science."). As part of the planning process atthis university, the committee asked for consultations fromprofessionals in the IT industry (and presumably other educators). TheIT sector said that graduates were clearly weak in professional skills(defined to be skills such as communications, project management etc).Industry feedback seemingly played a major, possibly decisive, role inthe design of this new undergraduate program. This focus on employerinput as central strikes me as interesting and rather unusual inhigher education.

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