This downward trend in the job market...is it just because of the recession or is this a larger trend? Will it pass? (obviously you don't know the answers to these things...I'm just trying to consult with people who know more about this than I do). I'm probably looking at going into the market in 2 or 3 yrs.
Teaching at Community College(132 posts) (3 voices)
like most people on this board, I haven't had a beer in 4 weeks
Dude, "most people on this board" are hammered.
^^ Agree completely. The expectations are much higher today.
Skully, don't fret. Unfortunately most of the respondents here are clueless grad students at top 5 programs who can't imagine any reality other than the one they are being groomed for.
I've been in the profession more than a decade and i can tell you there are MANY colleagues in many disciplines who don't go to conferences, who don't network, and are not very engaged in their profession. Some are fine to excellent teachers. They read broadly, often outside their field, and they teach their tails off. And they have never published a word in their lives.
CC faculty are NOT expected to be research active. I think given your expressed interest in ideas, you may be better off at a 2nd or 3rd tier state school (what many are calling "LAC" here) rather than a CC. They have a similar student population but don't have the same teaching loads and resource constraints of CC's.
^^^^^ And this research active person could very easily get ignored at the CC because the current faculty don't want someone like that around to rock the boat.
"Unfortunately most of the respondents here are clueless grad students at top 5 programs who can't imagine any reality other than the one they are being groomed for."
This is 100% true, however it is fairly difficult to get a job at a university and solely teach, which no expectations to publish or engage the discipline at all. I have been on the job market twice and had about 10 interviews in total, with all but a couple at the 3/3, 4/4 teaching institution. Only one time have I had an interview in which tenure expectations did not include some level of publishing.
BTW, I also had an interview at a directional state university that had a 4/4 teaching load with one publications a year for tenure.
"1) As someone who has never been to a conference, apart from the informal networking and learning you do there, how do you get "credit" for going? Some of you seemed to imply that it was a "notch on the belt" element to attending conferences."
I do not know, but you can't isolate the various things you might do to prepare for some occupation. Reading some book might improve how you teach something or write something later on. This might influence later teaching evaluations or evaluations of your written work. Nobody will directly give you "credit" for reading any book, but it is stupid to believe that this makes it a waste of time to read anything or practice anything. Someting similar might apply to conferences.
@ aa - thanks a lot for your post...off the top of your head, could you give a few examples of 2nd or 3rd tier state school (what many are calling "LAC" here)?
Does not matter if OP is a troll or not, the answers are likely of interest to a number of readers. Most on this board are speculating about what CC's want because they have never pursued that option and R1's don't train us about that world.
First, teaching conferences would be great because you can learn a lot about teaching methods that will make classes better. Whether it is actual methods (simulations, for example) or class management, these are good venues because other CC faculty attend and contacts are always important in hiring.
Anyone with CC teaching is a stronger candidate to a CC search committee because it demonstrates familiarity with the environment and expectations. PhDs and ABDs with little teaching and strong research record have to convince they are serious about a CC full-time teaching job that will not reward or facilitate the research career on record.
Consider publishing on teaching-related topics, if you take a look at polisci/govt faculty CVs at many CCs, you will see many are giving talks and publishing on teaching methodology topics. Since it is unlikely that you'd have the chance to teach on the the classics, publishing in that area is a less valuable currency for CC hiring committees.
Many CCs do not have tenure at all. They have a "muli-year contract" system instead. Usually these are 5-10 year contracts, and are offered after several years on one-year contracts. It depends on the system, there is plenty of online info about this if you dig for it.
Yes, you can indeed live well on CC salary. See public records for any state that publishes salary for public employees. The issue will be, as for anyone looking for work in a gov't run outfit right now, availability. CCs are vulnerable places like anywhere else.
The best place to get info about CCs is from CCs themselves. Go to the websites for different places and look up their hiring and promotion policies, faculty CVs, course lists/loads and the information is there for the taking.
^ "FACULTY CV" are rarely online at CCs. You can rarely see them
^ depends on school, several states now require some form of CV on websites. Worth looking into if one is considering the CC option is all I suggest.
Go to the Council of Public Liberal Arts College. 2nd / 3rd tier state schools that I'd consider a good job and that self-describe as "the liberal arts school of ## state system"
UNC Asheville or Greensboro. Appalachian State. (Each of these will require some research but not a lot)
Some of the Cal State schools (though the system is now under serious strain, and some research will be required)
St Marys (Maryland)
There are really a lot out there if you look. These schools do not have overwhelming teaching loads like a CC, function like state schools, and some (UNC Asheville, St Marys) are in great places to live. That doesn't even start with lower ranked state schools that mainly have teaching missions.
Let me break it down for you. As a sample, here is a list of colleges & universities in Missouri:
A flagship R1 is U Missouri at Columbia
Beyond that, there are a number of regional publics (not to be confused with LACs), such as: Missouri State, SE Missouri State, Truman State, etc.
There are also a few HBCU (historically black colleges and universities): Lincoln University and Harris-Stowe State University.
Then there are a number of LAC (liberal arts colleges) in the state, including: Park University, Missouri Baptist, William Jewel College, College of the Ozards, and lots of places you've never heard of. If they are ranked in the "regional" category, those are the mid-tier LACs. If USNWR doesn't even list them, they're third tier LACs.
SLAC is a *selective* liberal arts college, one that actually makes it into the national USNWR report rankings. I don't know of any SLACs in Missouri (I use top 100 as the cut off), but William Jewel College is ranked #131.
Missouri then has about a dozen CCs of various caliber.
But I would caution against the optimism who think you can just be mediocre and land a decent CC job. I am five years out of my PhD and have been lucky these past years to be teaching/researching at a decent place. But many many many of my grad school friends (across a range of differently ranked programs) were not so lucky. Increasingly, CC faculty are expected to have some research experience. Why? Because hungry unemployed Princeton and other top ranked PhD graduates are unemployed, willing to work just to feed their families. So if a CC can hire a grad with research experience, that slowly becomes the norm.
Fundamentally, however, you need to understand that there is no such think as "thinking about ideas" that is independent BOTH from "teaching" and from "doing research." If you're thinking about ideas in isolation, then you are NOT a scholar. If you really like thinking about ideas, you should enjoy conferences where you can hear other people's ideas, share your own, and engage in interesting discussions with your peers.
aa said: "there are MANY colleagues in many disciplines who don't go to conferences, who don't network, and are not very engaged in their profession"
This is becoming less and less true.
While I aspire to a higher level of mediocrity than "skully", given my professional goals and geographic preferences I'd consider pretty low-ranked teaching institutions in the right places. Faculty hired pre-1990 for sure and even to large extent pre-2000 look like aa described, but not the recent hires. Even by the mid-2000s places that used to hire barely-engaged teachers from nearby PhD programs were instead going for top-50 grads usually with pubs and always conference papers, even not unusual for their APs to have university press books (not necessarily at time of hire, but pre-tenure).
Their senior colleagues at such schools may only have a couple of book reviews in the Great Plains Journal of Misfit Manuscripts, but it takes a lot more engagement with political science than that to get hired and tenured at schools like those listed above these days.
The trend of requiring more publishing is a long-term one that is not driven exclusively by the recession. It is visible at every level of school in the academic hierarchy. The one mitigating factor (and this doesn't help theorists) is that there is much more acceptance of multiple co-authorship. I've even seen people get tenure at prominent R1s with basically everything co-authored with more senior people.
A couple of points.
First, assholes, gossips, and ****-kissers are in almost every profession. Learn to deal with it or become a monk.
Second, those who post on annonymous message boards hide behind their keyboards and post things that they would not say to someone's face. If you post something about yourself, expect vitriol, sarcasm, and condescension.
<considering monk school
^^^^^^^ UM Dearborn is a 3/3 load and, I believe, has a tenure requirement of 5 publications. It would be one thing to get hired at a place like that with no publications but if you want to get tenure you better do more than just teach.
the grad school i go to is in the southwest.....is it easier to get a job at a cc in this area or elsewhere?
What do LAC and SLAC mean?
"the grad school i go to is in the southwest.....is it easier to get a job at a cc in this area or elsewhere?"
It tends to be easier to find something in the area because not all cc's advertise nationally and travel is sometimes cheaper locally. On the other hand, I was in the Midwest and got an interview at a cc in the South. Ninety + percent of the faculty went to grad school in that state or a neighboring one, though self-selection probably played a role in that as well.
"UNC Asheville or Greensboro. Appalachian State. (Each of these will require some research but not a lot)"
It depends on what your definition of "a lot" is. My guess is that you are still talking about 3-4 articles or a book, which seems to be more research than the OP wants.
Yep. OP clearly wants to do the least amount possible to "pass" (in this case, get a job that pays $40-50k). Sadly, OP didn't realize that a) you can make that much with a bachelor's degree (or less) in many professions and b) that higher education level only translates to higher wages at the aggregate level.
I know many first year assistant professors who teach on tenure track jobs that require research who are making less than $50k. My first year on the market (only five years ago) I interviewed at a place that offered $42k. I took a job that paid $56k at a very highly ranked SLAC.
Here's a current list of community college job listings: http://www.higheredjobs.com/community/search.cfm?type=1&JobCat=238
A refined search turned up only 21 postings right now. I don't know the CC market, so no idea if this is high/low or if this late/early in the hiring season. Most are for adjuncts. I clicked on a few, but didn't see any salary information. That 5 minutes of effort made me think that the job market is just as tight at the CC level as at the other levels, which means people who could have gotten jobs in previous years at other levels will be applying for CC jobs.
^ A lot of community colleges don't advertise nationally for their full time positions. In some cases, they just post it on their own HR page. I know of one that posted the job on craigslist.
Curious about academic jobs posted on Craigs list. What salary did they advertise?