Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Ask the Administrator: No Experience without a Job..
I have been trying to get my foot in the door in CC's in southern California for a year now. I must've called a dozen or more schools, applied through the online systems, and informally sent my CV and cover letters to the chairs and vice chairs of several departments. While I am still trying, I am also applying to full-time jobs. I've read that CC experience is a must--that I must have experience teaching the CC student body. While I have not taught at a CC, I have taught 8 independent intersession courses: 3 at my R1 where I am currently ABD and 5 at my alma mater, a city college (part of the City University of New York). The city college has a diverse student population and is pretty much an open-door school, with very low SAT admissions. Thus, I do believe I have the desired experience with students from a variety of backgrounds, both academically and socioeconomically. I emphasized this in my cover letter, as did two of my recommenders.
My questions are: 1) Is CC experience essential? Should I even bother applying to FT TT positions without having taught at a CC, despite my other experiences? 2) Is intersession work not as important or weighed as heavily as full semester teaching? I'm assuming that teaching one class in the winter and summer may not
Have a question? Ask the Administrator at deandad (at) gmail (dot) com.
I agree that the subject area matters. My CC hires every year in some fields and every 20 in others. I recommend looking at the on-line course search or faculty directory for some colleges and see what is going on in your subject area. (Also a good way to see if there are some TBA or Staff assignments for classes this summer and fall in your area that you could teach.)
You can get a job with limited CC teaching experience, but not if there is a lot of competition -- and there is likely a lot in a region thick with R1 schools like yours is. It must be even worse with the budget constraints in California. How many have they hired in the last few years?
You definitely need to teach a class or three as an adjunct. (A single intersession class sounds like a vacation to me.) Do some teaching over the summer and fall and you will at least be positioned for the next hiring cycle. If there aren't any adjunct jobs in your field, there likely won't be any TT jobs.
Finally, as DD notes, sending in a vita when there is no job posting simply will not work. They might not even shift it to the adjunct hiring pool if you say you are looking for a full-time opening. But you can apply to the adjunct pool at any time, although my CC has very little need for new adjuncts in the summer.
For example, see the page of the English Department at Pierce College.
I hate to say it, but if we received your resume during our current search for a full time science professor who is retiring, you probably would not receive an interview. We require at least three years or the equivalent of teaching. Your intersession courses really aren't the same. Yes, you might cover the same material, but intersession is so short that many of the possible student/social issues that crop up during a semester don't have time to transpire (and drag on) during intersession. You haven't really shown that you can handle this part of teaching, which, especially at a CC, is sometimes a lot trickier than just getting the information across.