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Author Topic: CC jobseekers -- thread?  (Read 269070 times)
irinabaker
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2010, 7:49:59 PM »

The largest set of classes in English and math are the remedial courses. We have developmental courses for people who don't know that a sentence should start with a capital letter and end with a period. Most math teachers teach at least two of the remedial courses a semester. And they teach college algebra most often.

My experience is 6.5 years teaching math in CC. Almost 4 years as a full time instructor.
I agree with compdoc. We teach mostly remedial courses. I test all my classes for prerequisite skills and I'd like to recommend 70% of them to take lower level courses. How to teach those students?.. I know this question sounds more rhetorical :(
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books4jocks
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2010, 5:04:36 PM »

I like teaching "remedial" and developmental courses, so that's not a problem for me.

Sent in 2 more apps today...
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compdoc
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2010, 9:39:07 PM »

Question about ads #2: if the ad disappears, does that mean the job is filled? Or does it mean they're simply done collecting applications? Wish there was a CC wiki...

In my, very limited, experience, it means the job is filled. But this is only in three CC systems, with about 27 campuses.
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books4jocks
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« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2010, 9:24:43 AM »

Question about transcripts!

So, most of the ads I reply to ask for an MA in yadda yadda or "related field" with x hours in bla bla concentration. I have an MA in a related field and lots of hours in the concentration, but the hours are in my PhD program and the course descriptions are extremely vague (like "seminar in teaching and learning" times a thousand). Should I include a document with the catalog descriptions or syllabus descriptions of the course to clarify that I am, indeed, qualified? Am I risking rejection simply because some HR person can't interpret the transcript?
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plunkett
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2010, 9:46:09 AM »

I've taught at a CC for about ten years and have been on a bunch of searches.  No one looks at the courses you took in grad school .......
In what field is your master's?
Please realize that your chance of getting a full time CC job is unbelievably slim at this point in the depression/recession.  And if you have any "knock-out" factors that HR or the SC will notice, well ----- you will be knocked out.
Books4jocks --- you sound very enthusiastic, but I think you don't realize how competitive it is just to make the first cut .....
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books4jocks
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« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2010, 10:05:00 AM »

Please realize that your chance of getting a full time CC job is unbelievably slim at this point in the depression/recession.  And if you have any "knock-out" factors that HR or the SC will notice, well ----- you will be knocked out.
Books4jocks --- you sound very enthusiastic, but I think you don't realize how competitive it is just to make the first cut .....

So, your advice is to quit, that there's no point? We might as well shut the thread down now so no one else gets the foolish notion that applying to jobs might eventually lead to employment.
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plunkett
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« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2010, 10:09:50 AM »

I'm saying that if your field isn't English or comp-rhet .....AND if you don't have experience (three years) teaching in a CC, you're probably not going to get an interview for a job teaching composition or dev. English at a CC.  I'm just pointing out the fact that it's a very, very tough market these days, and people with ALL the qualifications are not getting called for interviews.
You sound very nicely enthusiastic but you sound somewhat out of touch with reality ....
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2010, 11:07:38 AM »

Question about transcripts!
 Should I include a document with the catalog descriptions or syllabus descriptions of the course to clarify that I am, indeed, qualified? Am I risking rejection simply because some HR person can't interpret the transcript?

Better plan: make sure your cover letter includes plain-English explanation such as "As my transcript shows, I have had xx hours of Teaching and Learning coursework which included this and that and the other" rather than burdening the reader -- whether it's HR or the search committee or the dean -- with the chore of wading through a document full of course descriptions.
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books4jocks
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« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2010, 12:04:48 PM »

You sound very nicely enthusiastic but you sound somewhat out of touch with reality ....

Well, I guess your reality check is intended as helpful but feels judgmental and rude. I'm not a fool: I understand it's a tough market. I'm trying to maximize my chances and learn. I'd be an asset to a lot of programs and hope that the technicalities on my applications don't prevent schools from considering me. Thanks for your "help."

Seniorscholar, thanks for the tip, sounds a lot simpler than creating yet another document.
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desmata
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« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2010, 12:56:06 PM »

books4jocks: Yes, I agree with seniorscholar's solution to vague course descriptions; pointedly demonstrate how your course work fits into what the job description requires.

Although I am in the science field, I have served on SC's of many disciplines. From my recent experiences I can say that more and more, SC's are using the job description as a checklist to assess the applicants. The quickest way for the SC to ascertain those qualifications is from the cover letter.

If the requirement is a terminal degree in X or closely related field, be sure you state that you either have said degree or briefly explain how your degree is closely related. Address the previous teaching experience requirement by giving number of years and courses you have taught. It is best to generally list the courses: non-majors biology rather than BIO 101, Introduction to Life and Living. The SC wants to know the category of courses with which you are familiar. If experience in a specific course is expected and you do not have it, try to find components of courses you taught that included similar topics. Follow this pattern through the entire job description. Be brief but clear about how you are highly qualified for the position.

Of course, you must back up your claims with supporting documents. You might even want to put in a "documents included" list at the end of your cover letter. On the subject of application documents: if possible, send your materials "snail mail" and not through the online application system. Too often the documents get mangled or lost and you may not know this. The SC sees an 'incomplete' application and that may be the end of your viability. The responsibilities of HR vary wildly. Some will check your documents and get back to you for discrepancies but with the sheer number of applications coming in now, it is more likely your jumble of documents gets shoved in a file for the SC to wade through. A thorough, explanatory cover letter can go a long way in steering the SC through your material.

While I agree that times are tough and applications are at a record high, I can say that your presentation can make a difference to the SC. The first round through the applications is for qualifications and completeness. Make sure you get over that hurdle and now you are in a much smaller pool of applicants.
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If scientists invented the legal system, eye witness testimony would be inadmissible evidence. --Neil deGrasse Tyson
plunkett
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« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2010, 3:47:57 PM »

I didn't mean to offend you,  OP, but you seem to have implied that you're applying in a field that is not your actual field.  In this market, that strikes me as highly unrealistic.
And we are not talking esoteric science here --- we are talking CC English dept., developmental studies depts, etc.  Those jobs are SWAMPED with candidates with English degrees, comp-rhet degrees, dev. studies degrees, TONS of experience, etc., etc. And nowadays, institutions tend to be adding full-time non-tenure track instructorships ONLY if they can't get away with just using adjuncts. There are some TT positions here and there, but they are like the proverbial hen's teeth nowadays .....
Just sayin'...........
Let's see where you are in six months.  I'll happily eat crow .........
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books4jocks
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« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2010, 6:51:45 PM »

plunkett, I appreciate your perspective but I didn't ask if my candidacy was realistic or viable. I asked if I should explain my coursework, which looks like a vague series of "PhD Seminars in Teaching and Learning"s rather than something more specific. My MA is in a tangential field but my PhD field is directly in line with English and developmental studies, as is my bachelor's degree and several years of teaching experience. If an ad asks only for MAs in English or Dev. Studies, I don't apply. So if you have 10 years of experience in CCs, it'd be great to hear your advice on getting a job, regardless of whether or not you think I should apply.
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plunkett
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« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2010, 1:35:45 PM »

Generally, SC for CC positions don't give a rip about your course work.  They analyze your vita using a rubric where points are given for years of teaching experience, communication ability, appropriate degree, community college experience, etc., etc., etc.
If you do not have a degree in the specific field they're seeking to fill, your chances are small to minimal.
Don't be overly sensitive --- the job-search world at the moment isn't particularly warm and cuddly.  And you sound a bit wet (as the Brits might say) or wet behind the ears (as statesiders might say).
Again, take this in good spirit. 
Hey, I could be wrong ----- maybe you'll swim into a job instantly .....
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rebelgirl
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"A hardened English teacher"--Disgruntled Student


« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2010, 2:47:35 PM »

OP, I got a job teaching English (comp & lit) at a rural cc after 10+ years at a SLAC, a job I got as a freshout from an R1 Ph.D. program.  I wanted to shift to a cc in part for political reasons, long story; also my SO and I wanted to move to a rural place.  Much of Compdoc's advice sounds dead on to me. I'll just add what I had to do to get taken seriously as a candidate:

First, I had to show that I understood the cc mission and workload and wanted to do it.  In my cover letter, I explained why I wanted to make this move in terms that showed I got the cc context.  I learned later from former search committee members that doing so was critical:  they feel concern that someone coming from an R1 or SLAC background won't be able to relate to the students or handle the workload.

Second--and I think most critical--I tailored every app to that specific cc. (Good advice for any search nowadays.) I searched their websites, looked at how they framed their mission statements, looked at courses offered in their English depts, and then specifically explained what I could do to serve each component of their tenure requirements:  teaching, committee work, advising, professional development, community service.  Seriously.  I mean down to naming specific courses in their catalogs, stating what I could bring to, say, the assessment committee.  This was extraordinarily time consuming, but I was a finalist for half the jobs I applied for.  It made me the top candidate, I found out later, at my cc:  "you researched us," I was told after I arrived.  "It was obvious that you really were interested and if we interviewed you, it wouldn't be a waste of our time." 

Good luck with your search.  CCs are hard places to work.  They're also very rewarding if you are willing to dedicate yourself to a service mission.  And realize:  research is icing on the cake at a cc.  It's a plus if you do it, but you cannot be seen placing it ahead of teaching, advising, and service.
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dittmann
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« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2010, 2:51:16 PM »

Generally, SC for CC positions don't give a rip about your course work.  They analyze your vita using a rubric where points are given for years of teaching experience, communication ability, appropriate degree, community college experience, etc., etc., etc.
If you do not have a degree in the specific field they're seeking to fill, your chances are small to minimal.
Don't be overly sensitive --- the job-search world at the moment isn't particularly warm and cuddly.  And you sound a bit wet (as the Brits might say) or wet behind the ears (as statesiders might say).
Again, take this in good spirit.  
Hey, I could be wrong ----- maybe you'll swim into a job instantly .....

Speaking as an institutional effectiveness person at a SACS accredited institution, most SACS accredited CCs do give a rip about coursework, actually.  Once upon a time, for SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) you had to have a master's with at least 18 hours of coursework in field to teach transfer level courses.  Today, that standard has changed.  The master's/18 hours is still the level for no questions asked, but institutions can use folks with alternative credentials (work experience, related fields, certifications, awards, etc.).  This is harder to deal with because you have to document everything to SACS and they can tell you that you can't use someone based on the credentials you have presented (actually - you get a recommendation for not having "qualified faculty").  For developmental/remedial, you generally need at least a Bachelor's in field, though many institutions will jump to the Master's so that these folks can teach both transfer and remedial courses.  "In field" means precisely that.  If you want to teach transfer level English/composition, you must have 18 graduate hours of ENGL/ENG courses - preferrably with at least some of them being composition/writing classes.  If you want to teach remedial English (assuming they are looking for the Bachelor's), then you must have majored in ENGL/ENG as an undergrad.  If your coursework is in Engish Education (and the courses start with EDUC) or in Communication or Journalism, then that may rule you out at many CCs or, at the very least, put you in the pile of folks needing to justify alternative credentials.  When I have run searches, I have, for some searches, been able to eliminate anyone without a PhD specifically in field and still have a reasonable pool, even for remedial positions at a CC.

Books4jocks -- if you want a CC job, then it is in your best interest (especially if it is vague) to spell out how your coursework qualifies you for the job.  This can be done in the letter if it is simple, or as a separate document if it is complex.  It is important to note that some CCs won't consider "seminars" in the 18 hours.  If your coursework consists of a lot of these and if they have specific associated topics, then it may be useful to send course descriptions.  My recommendation is to contact a CC or two and show them your credentials (you can PM me and I will be happy to take a look at what you have).  Let them know that you want to work full-time at a CC and that you know that are not hiring (or maybe they are) and that you just want some advice on if they would consider you qualified.  If you can teach part-time for a CC, that would be a plus.  If you ever attended a CC, that is also a plus at many CCs.  Anything you can do to show that you will be able to understand their students is a plus.  If you have no experience at a CC, then try to demonstrate to them that you understand the open admissions policies that they likely have.  You will get everyone at these schools from HS dropouts with GEDs to the top end students out of the local schools who are trying to save money before moving on to those students who want to get into the local uni (if there is one).  I wish you the best of luck in your search process.

On preview - I will go a step further than rebelgirl (everything she says is correct!) by saying that some CCs appreciate the extra effort you put in to doing research.  Some frown on it - because you should be spending that time teaching.  If the ad doesn't mention reseach, I would avoid that topic and focus on teaching and service.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 2:54:15 PM by georgiaprof » Logged
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