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Teaching at the College Level
Hi BPN! I am currently in a graduate program and will be graduating Spring 2015. My career mission is to gain a tenure track position at the community college or university level. I will have a Master's degree in Mass Comm and do not want nor care to seek a Phd. (for financial reasons-to much student loan debt already). I do not have any teaching experience at this point only my desire and passion for teaching. Any advise on how to ''get my foot in the door'' at the JC level? Or, if teaching at the University level is even possible these days with only a Masters? Please help, signed, Ready to graduate, Ready to teach
Teaching at the university level almost always requires a PhD and it is rare that someone with a masters level degree is hired. My experience is that lecturers who have a masters degree/not a PhD were hired b/c of their 'real-world' experience (e.g., experienced therapist, local newscaster, etc.). I don't know any tenure-track or tenured faculty who do not have a PhD. Think long and hard before pursuing life as a lecturer because those folks are typically not reimbursed well and have a very shaky level of job security.
If it's really just an issue of student loan debt, you might consider applying to the larger PhD programs where you typically get a TA/GSI type of teaching position and receive a stipend from the university and they cover your tuition/fees. With a masters degree you may be more competitive for those programs than on the first round of applications. CSU professor
Seems like your dedicated so here's what you need to do. If you goal is to teach in the Bay Area apply you will have to keep an eye on the college's web site to see when they post positions for pool hiring. There are 32 colleges in Bay Area and this process happens every 3-5 years. Once in the hiring pool that doesn't mean you have a job, it just means you'll be considered along with everyone else if they have an opportunity. After a couple of years you'll be flushed from the pool and have to start all over.
California's education system is still going through budget cuts. Classes that don't lead to a certificate or degree or that aren't core transfer to 4 year colleges are being cut. It all comes down to what you want to teach and where. California's education system is rated in the bottom three in the nation. If you want to teach outside of California it's a slightly different story but not by much. (It's still STEM, certificates, and degrees.)
If you plan on teaching STEM classes you will find none of these policies apply and you will get hired immediately under the STEM emergency hire policy. If your goal is to teach, consider STEM with emphasis on the math. If you look around you will find grants and programs to pay for your PhD education if you teach STEM.
The way education is right now you might consider a PhD. Teaching at a four requires a PhD, (few exceptions.) Another reason for getting a PhD is pay and ranking. There's enough of a pay difference a PhD is worth the investment. Once in the classroom be prepared for students who need a calculator to divide 60 by 10, think to, too and two are spelling variations of the same word.
Curious to hear what others have to say. If you go the STEM route I would be more than happy to be your mentor. Best of luck to you. ANON
After 12 years of working in my field, I am considering graduate school to obtain a master's degree (possibly continuing on to a PhD after), which would allow me to teach at the graduate level within my field. I think I would enjoy teaching, but feel it is a big risk to spend close to 20K on a graduate degree to obtain a job I may not ultimately like. Is there any way to know if I would enjoy it? Can anyone who teaches at the college level give me advice? Tell me what I should expect? Any advice? (Btw, I do know that jobs are available locally in my field, so it isn't a matter of not being able to find a teaching job...just whether I would enjoy it.) Future Teacher?
''Teaching college can be either a very rewarding or frustrating experience, particularly if one is "adjuncting." I have taught in the science field for 12 years, first part- time, now full-time. There are times that I feel the experience is truly rewarding. These occasions happen when I know I have made a difference in helping some students to achieve their academic goals. However, often I feel somewhat exasperated when dealing with some of the less motivated students. Regardless of what I try, they are unprepared and unreceptive to learn properly. To sum it up, if you enjoy helping others using your expertise, and your financial security is not paramount (adjuncting is a tough way to make a living!), go for it.'' Prof's wife
1. Do you like ''being on stage''?
2. Are you good at explaining complicated things by breaking them apart into little pieces?
3. Are you patient, especially with incompetence?
4. Are you okay with doing a lot of prepping before classes and grading after? (Depends on your subject, though)
5. Would you be okay working on short (semester to semester, quarter to quarter) contracts? How important is job security to you? Benefits? (You said there were jobs, but funding can switch quickly).
6. How much do you like being around a lot of other people who may or may not treat you with respect or give you attention? Your world will be FULL of people.
7. Are you organized?
1. Teach an adult education class for which you are
qualified. Or volunteer to teach your expertise for free for
five weeks to a community group or something like that.
2. Don't think just of the cost of getting the degree in money, but also in time. Do you like school?
3. Go talk to as many instructors/professors in your field as possible and see what they like and don't like. Think about whether you can live with what they don't like. See if you can be a guest speaker for a single day of class.
4. I don't think teaching is some mystic ''calling'' or something like that, but some people just aren't good at it and never will be. There are natural teachers and teachers who are good enough that they improve, but not everyone can do it (even with a lot of support). Anonymous
A friend of mine wants to teach at the community college level. He has an MBA and would love to teach economics, general business, stuff like that. He has great people skills and is a natural 'teacher.' He does not have a credential, and has not taught before. He obviously needs experience having taught before or needs to take some courses to learn how to teach. Does anyone out there know what is required to become a community college teacher (besides having subject matter knowledge?) There are courses through UC Extension on teaching but I think before he starts taking courses it would be best to get advice from someone who knows specifically what is needed. Thanks!!!
As far as I know, there are no classes to take to teach you how to teach at cc. His best bet with no teaching experience under his belt may be to apply to different districts as a part-timer to get his foot in the door. He should know that he will be competing against people with years of experience, but you never know what will happen.
You don't say if this is intended as a career change or what, but you should know that full time positions are few and far between at cc. Community colleges are funded the same way that k-12 schools are, on a per pupil attendance subsidy, not from fees as well as state money as the CSUs and UCs are. That makes our budgets really, really tight, and well, the commitment to funding a full time position is something that a lot of schools just won't do right now. I'd say it's harder to get a full time job at a cc than at a UC (at UC you can bring in your own money through grants and stuff, not so much at cc).
If he can get his foot in the door, all the more power to him. Departments are being cut, jobs eliminated and everyone is being asked to do more with less. But you never know.
It can be done, but it won't be easy. Claire
I've been off any sort of professional track for several years now, busy starting and raising a family. I'm now ready for re-entry and one of the things I'd love to do is teach some intro or advanced-undergraduate psych. courses (can be at any type of college: UC, State, Jr. College, etc.). I have a PhD (Social Psych.) but no teaching background, other than a couple of guest lectures as a grad. student many years ago. Given my lack of teaching background, is this even a possibility? Or, should I just give up and find something else? I would love any feedback, info., etc. you have to offer!
I am also interested in hearing from those of you that have or are or will be making this transition as to what resources you've found or used to help write an up to date resume w/all the volunteer work you did while ''not working'', where you've looked for employment -- esp. flexible hour jobs! -- and anything else you think might come in handy. Thanks! Stephanie
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