• April 19, 2014

Can I Teach at a Community College?

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Brian Taylor

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Brian Taylor

Question: I have a quandary that I hope you can help me with. I hold a master's degree in information science, traditionally known as "library school." In the new digital age, however, library schools have emerged as iSchools, or schools of information science. I have 21 credit hours in my area of specialization: information economics, management, and policy. I graduated with 49 credit hours, 48 at the master's level. I consider myself an information expert, having taught computer-training courses and worked in the field for several years before graduate school.

The iSchool movement is interdisciplinary, spanning fields such as computer science, cognitive science/psychology, management, policy, engineering, and information technology. People from my program are information architects who design and build Web sites; policy experts at the Library of Congress; records-management folks who work at law firms; and "usability engineers" at marketing companies. The list goes on. Of course, we also have our fair share of traditional librarians who are media specialists, archivists, and preservationists.

I had never thought about working as an instructor again, but in today's economic climate, I might consider teaching at a community college. I just wonder: How will my credentials be viewed?

Answer: A few weeks after receiving that e-mailed question from "Alina," I was visited in my office by "Kathryn," a graduate student at a nearby research university who has decided she wants to teach at a community college but whose professors can't tell her how to do that (not surprising, given that research-oriented professors don't consider teaching at a community college to be a viable career option for their doctoral students, but that's a topic for another day). Kathryn is working on a master's of education degree in educational psychology and wondered if that degree would qualify her to teach psychology at a two-year college.

The short answer, in Kathryn's case, is "Probably not." Similarly, the short answer to Alina's question—"How will my credentials be viewed?"—is, "Not too favorably."

In both cases, of course, the long answer involves numerous "ifs" and "buts." However, both Alina and Kathryn face the same fundamental problem: They have pursued graduate degrees that might not actually qualify them to teach anything, at least at a community college.

Consider Alina's case. What can she teach? I don't know of many two-year colleges that offer programs in information science, so that's probably out. Her e-mail mentions economics and management; might she be able to teach in one of those disciplines?

That depends on the number of graduate credit hours she completed in each. Generally, accrediting bodies across the country stipulate that instructors at community colleges should hold at least a master's degree with 18 graduate hours in the teaching field. Most accreditation guidelines allow for exceptions, but, in my experience, they are rare. Exceptions require administrators who are willing to do the necessary paperwork and perhaps risk running afoul of their superiors.

Alina has a master's degree, but does she have 18 graduate hours specifically in economics? Or in management? If not, she probably won't be considered qualified to teach either of those subjects at a community college, unless she encounters an unusually accommodating department chair or dean. Her only realistic option, if she's truly intent on becoming a community-college instructor, is to go back and take additional graduate courses in the area in which she wants to teach.

Kathryn's situation is slightly better. For one thing, she's only a couple of semesters into her program, so she still has time to change majors if that's what she decides to do. In fact, she and I talked about that very thing. She wondered if transferring into the M.A. program in educational psychology—which would mean she wouldn't lose many credit hours—would put her in a better position than sticking with the M.Ed.

Here, the answer is, "Possibly." If she completes the M.Ed. program, whether or not she can teach at a community college may hinge on how many of her graduate hours are actually in psychology and how many are in education.

As chair of a humanities department, I often saw similar cases involving applicants who had English-education degrees. The question was always: How many of their graduate-credit hours were in English and how many were in education? To teach English, they needed at least 18 graduate hours with ENGL or similar prefixes in front of the courses, and many candidates didn't have that. Fortunately, they usually weren't far off (most had 12 or 15 hours), so they were able to go back and complete the courses they needed to be credentialed.

Even if Kathryn transfers to the M.A. program in educational psychology, she'll still take many of the same courses as she would have in the M.Ed. program—and therein could lie another problem. While we were talking, I pulled up Web sites describing both programs on my laptop and saw that all of the educational psychology courses had EPSY prefixes. Traditional psychology courses begin with PSY or PSYCH. Would someone evaluating her transcript—a dean, a department chair, or an accreditation reviewer—consider those EPSY courses to be equivalent to PSYCH courses?

Once again, the answer is: "Maybe, and maybe not.". To some extent, it might depend on the dean or the chair, and how far he or she is willing to go out on a limb. Institutional climate may also be a factor: Some two-year colleges interpret degree and course guidelines more broadly than others.

Or the decision might simply come down to catalog-course descriptions. As chair, I once hired an adjunct instructor with a theater degree to teach speech (imagine that). The dean who reviewed her transcript declared her unqualified, insisting that she had to have 18 hours of graduate courses with SPCH prefixes. Fortunately, I was able to show the dean a transcript from one of our tenured professors whose courses all had SPCH prefixes but were exactly the same as the courses the new hire had taken in her theater program: performance and, elocution, for example.

Ultimately, though, to get back to Kathryn, I doubt that most hiring committees at community colleges will give as much weight to a master's in educational psychology as they will to a traditional M.A. in psychology. My advice, then, was that she needed to transfer to the psychology department, even if that meant losing some credit hours.

Speaking more broadly, my advice to undergraduates is this: If you want to be a high-school counselor or a librarian, then a degree in educational psychology or information science might be just the thing. But if you want to teach at a community college, you should probably earn your graduate degree in one of the core disciplines.

If you're a graduate student in an interdisciplinary program, or already hold such a degree, and you decide that what you really want to do in life is become a community-college instructor, then you must next decide whether it's worth taking additional courses in a specific discipline to qualify. If you conclude that it is, we'll look forward to seeing your application in a few years.

Rob Jenkins is an associate professor of English and director of the Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College. He blogs at www.academicleaders.org and writes monthly for our community-college column. If you would like to write for our regular column on faculty and administrative careers at two-year colleges, or have a topic to propose, we would like to hear from you. Send your ideas to careers@chronicle.com.


1. joneseagle - September 22, 2010 at 06:21 am

I want to teach Ethics - I have 36 SCHs graduate work across the disciplines in my graduate program; in seven departments. How would that work? I hold an M ED [EPsy], an MBA, and am working on a Doctorate in Higher Ed. Strange combination but ethics is facinating to me.
These credentials and a dollar will get me a cup of coffee but are institutions really willing to look in depth at credentials? Or, do they just take the easy way out and demand a graduate degree in the department you want to work?

2. tuxthepenguin - September 22, 2010 at 07:36 am

"research-oriented professors don't consider teaching at a community college to be a viable career option for their doctoral students, but that's a topic for another day"

What a ridiculous, irrelevant piece of unprofessional nonsense. It depends on the student. Some of our students don't have much hope of contributing anything useful to the world, so they might as well take a job that anyone can do. (See, we can both play the game of "taking shots" at one another.)

3. mindnbodybuilding - September 22, 2010 at 08:16 am

"Some of our students don't have much hope of contributing anything useful to the world, so they might as well take a job that anyone can do"

Do you really believe that?

4. robjenkins - September 22, 2010 at 08:31 am


I'll acknowledge that I should have said "most." But with that addition, I believe it's a fair statement, based on years of experience. I relate some of those experiences, and elaborate on that point, in my essay "Memorandum to Graduate Schools: Please Send Us Your Pearls," which ran in the Chronicle Review's special community college supplement last April.


5. msadler3 - September 22, 2010 at 08:39 am

Joneseagle: most schools evaluate your graduate hours by their identified discipline; in most cases "Ethics" is considered a philosophy discipline so you would need the minimum 18 hours in philosophy including the ethics course. I hope this helps.

Nota bene: One reason for the body of hours (18 in the discipline) is tho ensure the faculty member can help the student connect the subject to the larger corpus.

6. gwwyo04 - September 22, 2010 at 09:21 am

How is the requirement that people wishing to teach at the community college level have advanced courses in that area "the easy way out?" Or, is it a matter of, since we're not "contributing anything useful" at community colleges anyway, we should just allow any over-educated person into our classrooms?

7. madeliza - September 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

I find that the biggest challenge to breaking into the adjunct community college teaching ranks is that they often want to hire someone with teaching experience. I can't say that I blame them.

I have a M.A. in English and a B.S in Secondary Education in English. That means that I focused on content English courses, wrote a thesis and was trained as an educator. Sounds like the best of both worlds. Yes? Not always, because I have never taught at the college level I am passed over for positions.

It is a vicious cycle. You can't get hired because you have no experience, but you can't get experience until you're hired.

8. betsyny1 - September 22, 2010 at 10:58 am

I really hate the snobbery against Community Colleges that is present in this article and some of the comments.

First, in my experience branching out into teaching at community colleges, since so many people have advanced degrees now, PhDs are highly preferred. This idea of taking more grad classes without looking at the particular college's Website about number of credit hours they require is just uninformed nonsense. How about advising students to ask the community colleges directly, instead of assuming what the situation is?

Nothing better to do? This is my whole problem with research universities - too many professors think they're somehow better because they do research (as if community college profs don't), when in fact, they are terrible teachers themselves and aren't contributing much to anybody anyway, except maybe their own self-deluded ideas about their own superiority.

Teaching community college is a challenge on many levels. First, you teach mostly lower level courses, and not everyone can tolerate that for their entire careers. Second, there are so many different ability levels in the same class that it is a challenge not to teach to the lowest common denominator.

Why would you do this then, even if, as the article implies, you are not a complete loser? Community college students are often adults or immigrants. Their life stories and the lengths to which they will go to better themselves are inspiring. In fact, so inspiring, that they in turn, inspire you to teach them. That's mostly why any person who actually cares about the teaching element of their college career would stay. Anyone can do research, NOT just anyone can be an effective teacher. THAT is the actual truth.

9. unusedusername - September 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

madeliza, good luck on your job search. It is tough to break into the job market. So many people are applying for positions, it's hard to get a job without either experience or a Ph.D. (and a growing number of CC profs have PhDs.) You can usually get experience as an adjunct, but you seem to have problems even getting an adjunct position. This is less common. It is usually easier to get an adjunct position since they don't get paid much. Keep trying. My guess is that a position will open up.

10. ladykaty - September 22, 2010 at 11:10 am

Alina, your credentials may be a perfect fit with instructional librarianship. Many community colleges (and universities) have faculty librarians who teach: credit courses, research sessions for other courses, one-on-one at the Reference Desk, etc. I encourage you to get involved with your state chapter of the ACRL and to network with academic librarians.

A Happy Community College Instructional/Reference Librarian

11. aephirah - September 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

The bias among many faculty members at R-1 institutions is not limited to community colleges. My husband is finishing grad school at a metropolitan research institution and, during the capstone course, students were advised that they might have to suck it up and settle for inferior positions at Master's comprehensive regional institutions (like the one where I'm employed) to tide them over until they could find a real position at an institution comparable to the one where they were studying. They were also advised to lie about their intentions to stay at anything less than a R-1, to get the job and then to move on as quickly as they could. Given the fact that R-1 positions do NOT make up the majority of available teaching slots, and the tighness of the current market, this advice seems irresponsible at best. It also prejudices these soon-to-be-grads against some very rewarding career opportunities. Let's just hope some of them who resort to lying to get the job might turn out to be both good educators and open-minded enough to realize the rewards of teaching at non R-1 institutions!

12. olivia55 - September 22, 2010 at 01:14 pm

Hey Tux: Hate to contradict you but I'm with Rob on this. Lots of looking down through the nose at community college faculty. I've experienced this all too often from the Harvard of the Midwest university that sends their students across town about 4 miles to our "junior high" when these students can't grasp the basics. "Junior high" is what some of those same students refer to in regards to our classes until they find out how academically rigorous the courses really are.

I've had female/so-called feminist mentors who formed a pedagogy group at the university that I attended give me the cold shoulder when I announced that snagged a job at a community college and one with a great reputation!

Yeah. We may not have to publish tomes of writing that will be recirculated like stale air among our university colleagues, but we do have to research, counsel, advise, and teach thousands of students who may find community college faculty to be that one point of humane contact they need to continue on in the wacky world of academe.

13. panacea - September 22, 2010 at 02:42 pm

What are the credentials of a graduate of a community college ADN program or of a graduate of a university BSN?


What is the pay scale of a graduate of a community college ADN vs the graduate of the university BSN?

They are the same.

What clinical areas can the graduate of a community college ADN work vs the university BSN graduate?

Both can work in any clinical setting, often as new grads.

It doesn't matter where you go to school as a nurse until you are ready to go into management or staff education; only then does the BSN give you a leg up.

14. superfluous - September 22, 2010 at 03:38 pm

I know how frustrating it is with the experience dilemma. I got "around" that (for lack of a better way of saying this) by designing and teaching courses in my discipline for community education programs and at senior citzen centers. Laugh all you want, but the hiring department appreciated my initiative and dedication to my field, even if it was "only" to teach for a non-credit course. A few of the classes actually paid me, too.

15. mystery345 - September 22, 2010 at 04:47 pm

For those interested in the California CCs here is a pretty straightforward explanation of what is needed to teach at a CC. Notice number 4 which talks about the equivalency policy. This is one way for those who have the wrong prefix in front of their courses to get into the system.


16. punkassninja - September 22, 2010 at 05:39 pm

As a CC professor I know my advisor (who was an awful man and an alchoholic, so hurrah for him) disapproved when I took my CC job. But I'm tenured and make more money than half of the University profs I know after 8 years in the biz, all without writing research that no one will read. Not too shabby, I say. And I get to do what I love, TEACH.

17. knevith1 - September 22, 2010 at 06:37 pm

Professor Jenkins,

I would love your insight. I am a current doctoral student in higher ed admin program at a large state university. I have taught full time as an instructor (history) at a small university (non tenure track, one year renewable appointments), as well as an adjunct at a couple of community colleges in Georgia (AMC and GMC). I have even been offered adjunct assignments at GPC but was unable to fit my schedule around it while living in Atlanta. However, I have never been able to secure a full-time position at a CC although I have applied at least a dozen times. I have a masters in secondary education social sciences with 18 graduate hours in History (Yes I have taught several years on the secondary level as well - middle and high school).

My question is this: While I'm currently in my doctoral program, I have considered also taking 18 more graduate hours in another content field (i.e. English, Psychology, etc.) to make myself more marketable since history seems to be a difficult field to break into. From your experience, what area do you see as being more in demand that would make such an investment worthwhile. (One caveat - I am not so great in Math so hopefully that's not your only recommendation ;-)

Thank you for your insight,

Aspiring Community College faculty & administrator.

18. pterodactyl123 - September 22, 2010 at 08:31 pm

I'm with punkassninja, although my R-1 advisors actually congratulated and supported me when I landed a tenure-track job at a CC. I graduated at the top of the bad market, and I really didn't have any pre-set ideas about where I wanted to work. I just wanted a stable, well-paying, meaningful job in my field.

Since I started at my CC a few years ago, I've had nothing but incremental raises (we have a great union). According to the Chronicle's faculty salary chart, I'm making the equivalent of what TT Assistant profs make at most Masters institutions, and I am even on par with some R-1 Assistant profs. I have fantastic benefits and since we are part of a major research university, I have access to those academic resources.

I am expected to research (though not as much as R-1 folks). I advise and mentor, serve on committees, apply for research grants, etc. I am learning to become a better teacher, and I enjoy my life.

19. robjenkins - September 22, 2010 at 09:00 pm


I'm afraid there probably is no field that's easy to break into these days. Maybe the STEM fields--although, since you're math-challenged, like me, that probably nixes that idea--but I'm not sure even those are easy right now. It just seems to be a bad job market all around.

That said, your idea of picking up 18 graduate hours in another discipline isn't bad, assuming you can handle the workload associated with taking all those courses while also finishing your Ph.D. You might want to consider a field that's a little closer to history, though--maybe something like political science. At a lot of community colleges, those two are in the same department. Being able to "wear two hats" could potentially give you a leg up in your job search, because that would provide a chair with added flexibility in scheduling. You may want to focus your search on small schools with small social science departments, as they might find the two-hat thing especially attractive.

Hope that helps. Best of luck in your search.


20. knevith1 - September 23, 2010 at 12:12 am

Thank you for the advice!

21. rkdrury - September 23, 2010 at 11:38 am

#1 and others--the 18 credit hours isn't just the choice of the institution. It's often tied to accreditation (certainly it is to SACS). An institution has to show that its faculty have earned at least 18 credit hours at the graduate level in a field before s/he is permitted to teach at the college level. Otherwise--accreditation could be in jeopardy.

22. jayhbernstein - September 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Ladykaty (10) is right. (She beat me to making the same point I wanted to make.) But Alina should be sure to find a job with FACULTY status. This is easier said than done, which is why she may have to take a non-faculty position first. It is unclear that Alina, for all her educational background, has more than the one master's degree. If not, it would be very useful for Alina to finish another master's degree and equip herself to do research and writing for publication, which are generally required for tenure and promotion in faculty jobs.

23. lost_angeleno - September 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

If administration spouces can teach freshman comp just because they're administration spouces . . . heck yes, you, too, can teach at a cc!

24. gloriawalker - September 25, 2010 at 07:00 pm

Teaching at a coomunity college is more than a challenge. One must have the required formal training, teach 5 classes each term, work with students that do not have college preparation but expect an A in each class, take crap from administrators that are out of their field, do all the clerical work needed, serve on several committees, do community service and anything else deemed important by the secretaries and administrators. MOST SECRETARIES IN CC HAVE THE POWER TO DO NO WORK, MAKE DECISIONS AND HAVE SUPPORT FROM THE CHAIRS OR DEANS. SHE SHOULD GET A JOB AS A CLERK OR SECRETARY AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE.

25. hzoggyieh - September 25, 2010 at 11:56 pm

To Mr./Ms. tuxthepenguin (#2 above), is it really necessary to characterize professor Jenkin's advice as a "ridiculous, irreleveant piece of professional nonsense"? Couldn't you simply have quoted him and proceeeded to say "I strongly disagree with that view because..."?

Like many colleagues, I read these columns almost religiously, and half the time, I don't agree with the conclusions of the writers (some of professor Jenkin's pieces included), but I think we owe it to our profession to be civil when we disagree. How can we expect to teach our students about how to debate *academically* (as in agreeing to respectfully disagree) if we cannot do that ourselves? I am assuming, of course, that it is the way the author sees his/her role in the classroom?

If not, if I am mistaken about that assumption, then the academe is in an even sorrier state than I previously thought!

26. pterodactyl123 - September 26, 2010 at 08:10 am


Like the Penguin, I too grow tired of some of the generalizations that Professor Jenkins makes about CCs and about R-1s. I think it would be useful to have a different CC professor write supplementary columns that debunk some of the stereotypes that Professor Jenkins brings to the table (you don't need to engage in research or scholarship at a CC, for one). Maybe that is true at HIS CC, but it is not true across the board. I also don't think it is necesssary to express antipathy towards R-1s each time you write a column about CCs.

Nevertheless, I agree with your point about civility. I look forward to some diversity in the ongoing discussion on CCs.

27. robjenkins - September 26, 2010 at 09:46 am


Generalizations, yes. I write for such a large potential audience of CC folks (and would-be CC folks) across the country that I can't help but speak often in generalizations, although I usually try to identify them as such. But stereotypes? I don't think that's fair. To say that "faculty members at most community colleges are not required to do research" is a true statement, exceptions notwithstanding. I'm not stereotyping CC's or CC faculty by saying something that is neither untrue nor demeaning.

(Confession: perhaps I do stereotype R-1's occasionally--and unfairly--although I would characterize it more as tweaking. But I have to say, I had a great experience at a local R-1 this past week, where I was invited to speak to a large and eager group of graduate students. The professors there were incredibly cordial and collegial, and they were deeply interested in my perspective as a community college professor. The discussion with the grad students was lively and stimulating, not to mention a lot of fun. I still believe there's an anti-CC bias in most R-1 graduate departments around the country--that is, they don't want their students "ending up" at a CC--but clearly the ice is thawing a bit.)

All of that said, your suggestion that we introduce fresh voices, even contrary voices, is an excellent one, and one to which The Chronicle's editors are always open. As the blurb at the end of each Two-Year Track column states, "If you would like to write for our regular column on faculty and administrative careers at two-year colleges, or have a topic to propose, we would like to hear from you. Send your ideas to careers@chronicle.com."

When my editor and I created The Two-Year Track segement about six years ago, the idea was always that we would have more than one writer each month. We were looking to create a healthy dialog about community colleges in the pages (actual or virtual) of The Chronicle. But so far, few of my colleagues have stepped up to the plate.

Along those lines, we are now working on putting together a community college blog, which will include at least four other voices besides mine. (I think I'm allowed to give that away.) Look for the blog to be rolled out in late October or early November, if the software gods are willing.

Best wishes,

28. pterodactyl123 - September 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

I'm admittedly new to the CC world, but every tenure-track faculty member whom I have met at recent conferences is required to do either research or creative work as part of their tenure/promotion. At my own CC, we are explicitly told that X-amount of research and/or creative work is expected each year if we hope to get tenure.

The bar is admittedly much lower than at an R-1, but I think you are just feeding stereotypes that we don't do anything but teaching and service if you stick to your own institution or region and assume that the rest of the country mirrors your local standards.

29. pterodactyl123 - September 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

And thanks for the invitation to get involved as a contributor to this topic. I may take you up on it.

Best wishes,

30. truthfirst - September 26, 2010 at 07:47 pm

Could this be at the center of the problem of what is going on in higher education. Early in this comment section we saw professors going at each other. Hello this is about the student who needed help. GET IT.

31. esteban - September 28, 2010 at 09:23 am

The administrators are being lazy if they consider a course prefix that important. Why should anyone get paid to look at course prefixes? Does it take 18 graduate hours in Education to correctly identify the course prefixes?

Rather, seriously evaluate.

32. hjordannh - September 28, 2010 at 10:01 am

Since others are asking for job advice, I'll add mine:
I want to teach at a CC. I have a dual UG degree in Journalism/English, a M.Ed with a concentration in teaching writing, over 10 years of experience as a professional journalist, over 5 years as a public relations professional, and 5 years as a fund raiser. I've also published fiction and poetry. I am currently teaching a PR writing class at a 4-year institution as an adjunct -- my first class. Should I have any problems getting considered by a hiring committee at a CC? What could I do in the next few years to make myself more marketable?

33. alechas - September 28, 2010 at 10:54 am

Although I had 10 part-time years as an adjunct at 2 schools, it took me those 10 years of trying, to get a full-time instructor position at a community college within 60 miles of me, the competition is so very tight. I feel so blessed to have found this opportunity. Teaching at a community college is fantastic, most of the students really want to be here, and there is a real emphasis on developing students for the workforce. It requires a lot of hours and work, and it definitely helps to have 18 graduate hours in a speciality (ex: criminal justice), but I encourage you to definitely try, it is very, very rewarding.

34. tprestby - September 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm

to #24 Gloriawalker:
"...do all the clerical work needed, serve on several committees, do community service and anything else deemed important by the secretaries and administrators. MOST SECRETARIES IN CC HAVE THE POWER TO DO NO WORK, MAKE DECISIONS AND HAVE SUPPORT FROM THE CHAIRS OR DEANS. SHE SHOULD GET A JOB AS A CLERK OR SECRETARY AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE."

Really? The bitterness and resentment are clearly obvious. That comment clearly shows the lack of respect towards clerical staff at community colleges, which I might add probably do more work to make YOU look good than should be necessary. As a Program Specialst (ahh yes.. clerical) at a one of California's top community colleges, I am truly offended your remarks. We probably have more power and know more because we have to so that we can HELP the students while you are busy degrading us and bemoaning how much clerical work you have to do. Hope you keep that in mind when you need something from those secretaries and clerical workers next time.. oh but wait, that's right "they do no work" so they probably won't help you anyway!
These types of comments are truly offensive and demonstrate a lack of professionalism that we have had to endure for years from faculty like you. When I have finished my doctorate and come to colleges where faculty with this mindset are employed, I hope to be able to encourage those with that form of ignorance to seek other employement alternatives.

35. mme_x_42501 - September 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I just spent the summer trying to talk a friend out of doing an interdisciplinary social sciences masters' at a so-so private college nearby. He was extremely angry with me at first, but I was arguing from the standpoint that I have two masters- one in LIS and the other in history (from a very solid public university)- and I sit on a lot of hiring committees at the community college where I'm tenured...I *know* the pecking order, as it were. Where is the moral responsibility of the college he planned to attend concerning his future employability with that degree? Fortunately, I succeeded in channelling him back into a masters' in his undergraduate discipline, but not without a lot of hard feelings. At least with that degree, he will have 18-plus graduate hours in his disciplline and a thesis related specifcially to it.

36. wrandallsexton - September 28, 2010 at 01:16 pm

Hi All,

Let me preface my comments by saying that I am a relatively new subscriber to The Chronicle. I do appreciate the Community College section of the publication because that appears to be where I must start my return to academia.

As I started college years ago, I planned to be a high school business teacher and wrestlng coach. After receiving an A.A. degree in Secondary Education I decided to change my major to Business Administration.

After a career of over 30 years in business, all spent in Supply Chain Management, and an M.B.A from a respected local university, I am tryng to return to academia. I am finding it extremely difficult to "break into" the teaching ranks. I have taught for many years in a church setting but have no collegge/university experience.

I have enjoyed reading Professor Jenkins article and the various reader comments. Thanks for them. Anyone with a formula that has worked for you in making this transition from business to the classroom, I would love to hear it. I have thought of the avenue mentioned by "superfluous" in comment #14 above, but not sure how that would work with Sourcing/Procurement/Materials Management programs.


37. robjenkins - September 28, 2010 at 06:55 pm


You say you have an M.Ed. with a concentration in teaching writing. How many graduate semester hours with ENGL or similar prefixes do you have on your transcript?


38. hjordannh - September 29, 2010 at 09:50 am

Rob, thanks for responding. I believe it's 21 hours with an EN in the front.
This fascinates me because I had NEVER heard of this as a job qualification. And perusing the ads in the Chronicle validate this 18 credit hours minimum. Why didn't anyone tell me about this?

What else to faculty hiring committees look at?

39. mikey - October 06, 2010 at 06:56 pm

The writer of this article is shockingly ignorant. Elocution? Theater = speech? Please note that elocution is a 19th century term, and speech has been communication for a couple of decades. Maybe join NCA and learn something about the discipline of communication?

40. robjenkins - October 08, 2010 at 07:53 pm


Ignorance is talking about things you don't know anything about--and you don't know anything about the situation I'm referring to. It's true that communication is not my field--so why would I join NCA?--but as a humanities department chair and dean I've seen hundreds of transcipts from people applying for speech positions. I can tell you that, at some colleges and universities, speech and theater are still in the same department or school--or at least they have been very recently, within the last decade or so. I can also tell you that some of those transcripts, including the two I mentioned, list courses in elocution.


41. lesseducated - October 11, 2010 at 12:24 pm

New York State has no equirements for adjuncts.

To teach at Broome Community College you are supposed to have earned a 4-yr degree in your discipline and then supposedely earn a masters in ANY area.

Adjuncts are the majority of instructors at Broome and there are some without a 2-yr degree and no work related experience. Many adjuncts spend upwards of 5 years hoping to be hired full time.

Middle Sates seems unconcerned.

42. lesseducated - October 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm


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