22 February 2008

Work Updates

So I need to spend a bit more time in here . . . update things and such. I need to start being more proactive about blogging. I'm in the process of applying for a few jobs in Washington state; the hubs and I are thinking that it might be good to be living somewhere we can see ourselves indefinitely before we buy a house and put down real roots of our own. So, on that front, I have a few applications and copies of my vita to send out this weekend. Cross your fingers for me--I'm hoping to at least get a call back.

Community college jobs are a bit different than those at four-year schools. Not only are the course loads usually a bit bigger (four to five courses per term vs. three to four courses per term), but the amount of administrative tasks that are delegated to faculty members are more time-consuming and more numerous at community colleges, in general. Not that teaching is easy on any level, but community colleges usually don't have the administrative staff that four-year schools have.

So, when a community college hires, they might be willing to hire someone who has only an MA or a MFA, but that person needs to have community-college teaching experience, knowledge and experience with course-level assessment (and sometimes program-level assessment), someone who can design and teach online classes, someone who can (and will) devote hours every semester to advising students--and not just those in their major, but also a large number of transient and undecided students who sometimes don't even belong in college yet. The potential faculty member also must be someone with experience selecting textbooks and designing a course curriculum on their own . . . and someone who's willing to serve on a variety of committees. This is all exhausting work--but in many cases, a candidate with this kind of experience in her bag of tricks is going to be serious competition to a candidate who has a PhD but no teaching experience beyond her teaching assistantship. But that's just my opinion.

And my hope, too. I've done all of these things and more for over five years at my current school. I'm hoping that the places I'm applying will see me as a real contender for these faculty positions, because there's very little they can throw at me that I haven't already had to do at JCC. I'm still going to cross my fingers, though . . . just in case.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting to read your opinions on this, Amy! I'm working in an English program at a university, but our students aren't taking courses for credit. I hope to work at a community college sometime, when we move away from this college town.


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