A few days ago

Community College – Teaching Advice?

After much thought and consultation with myself, I’ve decided I want to teach at the 2 year university level.

I like the idea of being able to have closer interactions with students like in a high school, but with more freedom to tailor my classes and curriculum to focus on things that I feel are important as a biologist.

Is there anyone teaching at that level who can offer any advice? I’ve heard people say to just keep my MS, others say get the PhD.

I’d love to get some experience before I go out and try to get a full time position, too. I’m willing to move as well, but don’t even know where to start.

Thanks for your help!

Top 1 Answers
A few days ago

Favorite Answer

I taught at the community college level before finishing my PhD, and found that there was little curricular flexibility, so you may want to alter your expectations.

I got three cc teaching jobs just by networking — going to local ccs, speaking to chairs of the departments in which I wanted to teach, bringing a CV, and offering my services.

Luckily for me, my university was very well respected in my discipline, and they’d employed PhD students in my area before. In each case, they hired me part time on the spot. I was also asked to go full time, but it was a pro forma request, as they knew I was near to finishing my dissertation, and would instead be looking for full time tenure track positions at universities.

My advice is, then, to speak to people in person. Do not emphasize curricular flexibility — you may not have any. Do emphasize your dedication to pedagogy, and your desire to introduce nontraditional students and traditional students to biology in an engaging way.

It is true that many ccs now prefer to hire professors with PhD in hand. Your competition will be stiff.

Best wishes to you.