Ask the Administrator
February 15, 2009 - 3:49am
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 - 12:07pm
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?
January 26, 2009 - 1:11pm
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.
January 25, 2009 - 1:14pm
After six years of teaching and academic administration at two proprietary schools (neither one being your Proprietary U unless you've disguised it incredibly well), I am applying for a position at a local community college. As someone who has made the transition, what concerns do you think I should be prepared to address on the off chance I get an interview? I know I have no experience working with a faculty union, but I have worked at an R1, so I am at least familiar with the concepts and structures of faculty governance. I'm a little more concerned about what assumptions, groundless or otherwise, they'll have about my background. As ever, advice from wise and worldly readers is welcome. Having done this myself, I agree that there are both fair and unfair barriers you'll need to be prepared to address.
January 22, 2009 - 12:22pm
The letter about the horrible adjunct struck a cord for me, but for a very different reason. I am an adjunct at a local community college and it while I have enjoyed it, and learned a lot about what works and what doesn't in the CC classroom, I can't help but wonder if there aren't more 'horrible adjuncts' out there. I can imagine there are, because although I believe I am competent and capable, I have never had an official evaluation (in fact, no one has ever come to watch me teach), nor are there official student evaluations of courses. And that doesn't even begin to address the issues with the dean, who has told instructors that students shouldn't be called out for texting in class and has accused others of racism for questioning the removal of basic English language competency requirements, or for failing students who stop showing up to class.So I guess my question is, where does one go when it seems the whole college is one giant lump of incompetence? And yes, this is partly selfish, because the school I'm teaching at is on the brink of losing its accreditation, and how does that look on a CV? But more than that, I worry about the students who pay good money, and think that they are getting an education, when what they are getting may or may not be.