getting a job as a community college prof

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Anonymous User
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getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:56 pm

feasible as a (jobless) recent grad? or do they mostly just hire practicing attorneys?

JJ123
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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby JJ123 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:03 am

What subject?

Adjunct or tenure-track?

What college?

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:38 pm

JJ123 wrote:What subject?

Adjunct or tenure-track?

What college?


Legal subjects hopefully.. for a paralegal program for example

I'm curious about any type of position at any school in/near a large city. Very general I know, I'm just wondering what kind of opportunities are out there.

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Nova
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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Nova » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:44 pm

Im interested in this too.

I would personally be interested in teaching any 101 liberal arts class from english to soc to phil to poli sci...

HOW DO I REACH THESE KIDS?

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:47 pm

look up faculty profiles for the paralegal programs in the cities you are curious about. my feeling work experience is going to be a prerequisite to teaching in a paralegal program

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:look up faculty profiles for the paralegal programs in the cities you are curious about. my feeling work experience is going to be a prerequisite to teaching in a paralegal program


Work experience would be great but not required. But these positions usually go to people well known locally or to the college. You may consider applying to teach a gen ed class then work your way to the paralegal program.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:08 pm

I can think of a couple of places you can look for law-related teaching jobs: the Chronicle of Higher Ed has some (http://chronicle.com/jobCategory/Law-legal-studies/57/), and also HigherEdJobs.com (http://www.higheredjobs.com/faculty/sea ... JobCat=134) (there are more community college type gigs at the latter, I think). However, especially for community colleges, it's probably just as effective to identify programs local to you and send in an application to keep in their adjunct pool; most of the jobs listed at the above sites will be permanent positions, but schools can have openings come up relatively short notice based on enrollment and so on. Like the above person said, it will probably be useful to look around online, for community college websites, and take a look at their programs, what courses they offer, and what kinds of experience their instructors have (this can be harder to find for community colleges than, say, law schools, since a lot of their faculty aren't permanent and might not be listed anywhere, but it's still worth looking). The jobs section of CC websites often include a listing for the adjunct pool positions.

Generally, community colleges require something like 18 credits of graduate work in the program in which you're going to teach. The problem with using a JD to teach any of the basic liberal arts-type subjects is that there are TONS and TONS of people with MAs and PhDs in those subjects who are desperate for jobs, so CCs don't generally need to turn to a JD for those. (One exception I've seen is poli sci courses specifically on the courts/justice system.) I agree that paralegal programs are likely to want practice experience, though I don't know quite as much about them (a friend of mine has directed a number of these programs so I could put people in touch with her if they have specific questions). And it seems that a lot of the instructors in community college "criminal justice" programs have criminal justice degrees, too. But you never know.

My sense is also that it's quite common for people to start out teaching maybe 1 course a semester, and then you get more as you get more experience/become a known quantity (also, some CCs have express seniority policies for how courses are distributed). Most people I know working full-time CC positions had to work part-time to start. The pay for teaching-by-the-course is also frequently atrocious. (In 2007, I was offered one section of Western Civ at a CC-like school, teaching 60 students, for $1200. I mean, that was a while ago, but not THAT long ago.) But it varies - some CCs are great, some are awful.

To be honest, it's also going to be fairly difficult to get a job at a CC if you have no teaching experience. If you TAed during LS, or taught before LS, that will help a lot.

CVs and cover letters are fairly different in the academic setting from the legal setting, so if anyone wants more specific advice about converting those, feel free to PM me.

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Nova
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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Nova » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:13 pm

Great info. Thanks :mrgreen:

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:16 pm

My 3 credit sections are around $2400 each. Adjuncts can teach 9 credits per semester here (9 spring, 9 summer, 9 fall) so you can make about $21k as an adjunct max. It's probably the only way into a full-time/tenured position. Also my cc does not require CVs, good resume is fine. Teaching experience is highly valued, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary. What's important for candidate to know is: cc students are not like college students that many advanced degree holders are used to, so many candidate sunk their interviews when they do not recognize/express how to teach/motivate the different types of students.

Jobs are certainly out there as adjuncts, especially for sections with undesirable time slots.
Last edited by r6_philly on Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Randomnumbers
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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Randomnumbers » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:16 pm

JD's are apparently infamous in the community college circles for applying to jobs, thinking that a JD actually is enough to let them teach almost anything. I can't imagine a JD being enough to let you teach anything at the community college level without actual substantive experience, including paralegal classes. What the hell does a JD teach you about being a paralegal?

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Nova » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:36 pm

Randomnumbers wrote: I can't imagine a JD being enough to let you teach anything at the community college level without actual substantive experience

:|

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:38 pm

I agree - a JD and no job experience means you know squat about being a paralegal. There are people with high-school degrees and experience as a paralegal who would own you at teaching.

Lawyers are to Paralegals as Engineers are to Technicians. One knows the theory, the other turns the screwdriver. Both are important, but knowing calculus doesn't mean you know how to change a muffler.

You could MAYBE teach some low level writing classes - shit, all my law school writing professors were just lawyers. Maybe even teach some philosophy or logic - but you'd have to show you know a thing or two about that stuff - the JD itself isn't enough to distinguish you.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:43 pm

Randomnumbers wrote:JD's are apparently infamous in the community college circles for applying to jobs, thinking that a JD actually is enough to let them teach almost anything. I can't imagine a JD being enough to let you teach anything at the community college level without actual substantive experience, including paralegal classes. What the hell does a JD teach you about being a paralegal?


The JD does not, but if you were a summer at a firm, intern for a judge, extern during the school year, RA, etc. you are largely doing paralegal type of support work. Roughly half of the paralegal requirement actually deals with familiarity with substantive law, that's why JDs are still teaching these classes. The practical skills can be learned fairly quickly. Come on, you are going to spend 36-48 hours teaching practical skills to HS grads, and you think a JD couldn't learn those skills in about the same amount of prep time?

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Randomnumbers » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:47 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Randomnumbers wrote:JD's are apparently infamous in the community college circles for applying to jobs, thinking that a JD actually is enough to let them teach almost anything. I can't imagine a JD being enough to let you teach anything at the community college level without actual substantive experience, including paralegal classes. What the hell does a JD teach you about being a paralegal?


The JD does not, but if you were a summer at a firm, intern for a judge, extern during the school year, RA, etc. you are largely doing paralegal type of support work. Roughly half of the paralegal requirement actually deals with familiarity with substantive law, that's why JDs are still teaching these classes. The practical skills can be learned fairly quickly. Come on, you are going to spend 36-48 hours teaching practical skills to HS grads, and you think a JD couldn't learn those skills in about the same amount of prep time?


You don't get it. A typical CC opening in a liberal arts discipline gets ~200 applicants. Most of them have at a minimum a masters degree in a relevant discipline, a large number have PHD's. There are plenty of actual people with actual paralegal experience available to hire. It's not 'could a JD do this'. It's 'why the fuck would a CC hire a JD with no experience to do this'.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:55 pm

Randomnumbers wrote:
You don't get it. A typical CC opening in a liberal arts discipline gets ~200 applicants. Most of them have at a minimum a masters degree in a relevant discipline, a large number have PHD's. There are plenty of actual people with actual paralegal experience available to hire. It's not 'could a JD do this'. It's 'why the fuck would a CC hire a JD with no experience to do this'.


I do, I am an adjunct. Have been all through law school.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:00 pm

And clearly you didn't get your adjunct position because of a JD.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:And clearly you didn't get your adjunct position because of a JD.


No, I was an adjunct in a different field. But my law school education allowed me to put myself in a position to teach a crossover elective and get into the paralegal pool. Re-read my first response, I did suggest trying to get another course first, one that may be easier to get. If they like you, they can take your JD and allow you to teach another subject, and some course are hard to fill by adjuncts because adjuncts usually have other jobs. So middle of the day, late night, or Saturday classes are easier to get.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Randomnumbers » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:23 pm

Tell me how someone with a ba and a jd and no work experience is supposed to land that other class in another field.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:48 pm

Randomnumbers wrote:Tell me how someone with a ba and a jd and no work experience is supposed to land that other class in another field.


Well, if you have absolutely no work experience what so ever, then getting any kind of job may be difficult. However, there is a way to get into CCs by doing any of the following:

Apply to teach GED classes (they would love BA/JD holders because reading/writing/social studies needs)
Apply for an administrative position (get in the door)
Apply to be a tutor/instructional assistant (teaching exp. and in the door)
Apply to work anywhere in any teaching capacity
Volunteer to work anywhere in any teaching capacity

Any of those things will be viewed favorably upon by CC dean/department head if you do a good job. Then, find an opening (if an opening is posted, then they probably can't fill it internally) and sell yourself toward it (if you think you qualify to teach substantively and will do a good job). Apply and write a good/substantive cover letter along with a sample syllabus for that particular section. Submit a cc-oriented teaching philosophy statement. If you already work or is affiliated with the cc, then visit and chat with the department about it. Degree/experience is only a proxy for how competent you will be. If you can present yourself properly, you will be seriously considered.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:52 pm

Also, adjuncts tried to teach everywhere because of the course/credit limit. So the circle is fairly small. If you get involved in any teaching activities, you may be able to meet others who can recommend you or pass your resume (I have done it multiple times, including my law school classmates).

Also, you can get involved with the paralegal program or cc in other ways. Offer to be a volunteer mentor. Offer to help student groups (like mock trial, paralegal society, etc.). Just get yourself some exposure. Not everyone enjoy teaching/being around cc and cc students. You can stand yourself apart from the rest of job seekers if you can demonstrate a real interest.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:58 pm

I think the above is all correct and good advice. (Although IME getting the GED classes isn't necessarily that easy because, again, there are tons of advanced-degree holders in the relevant fields who would take those jobs. This probably depends on where you are, though, and how many grad students are studying in that location, that kind of thing.) If you're a jobless grad looking for work right now, though, just be aware this path could take a little while to break into if you don't already have relevant experience.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby r6_philly » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:13 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think the above is all correct and good advice. (Although IME getting the GED classes isn't necessarily that easy because, again, there are tons of advanced-degree holders in the relevant fields who would take those jobs. This probably depends on where you are, though, and how many grad students are studying in that location, that kind of thing.) If you're a jobless grad looking for work right now, though, just be aware this path could take a little while to break into if you don't already have relevant experience.


Luck absolutely has a lot to do with it. Although I think a genuine interest in working in cc makes you stand out from the horde of other grad students/grads. So all the extra stuff helps out in that regard. When I went on my interview, the same was said to me -- that many people are looking for a paycheck, and some people are looking to help the students. When you lack experience, create some. 6 months of relevant, persuasive experience is better than a PhD in the field (as other people alluded to earlier in the thread).

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:26 pm

r6_philly wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think the above is all correct and good advice. (Although IME getting the GED classes isn't necessarily that easy because, again, there are tons of advanced-degree holders in the relevant fields who would take those jobs. This probably depends on where you are, though, and how many grad students are studying in that location, that kind of thing.) If you're a jobless grad looking for work right now, though, just be aware this path could take a little while to break into if you don't already have relevant experience.


Luck absolutely has a lot to do with it. Although I think a genuine interest in working in cc makes you stand out from the horde of other grad students/grads. So all the extra stuff helps out in that regard. When I went on my interview, the same was said to me -- that many people are looking for a paycheck, and some people are looking to help the students. When you lack experience, create some. 6 months of relevant, persuasive experience is better than a PhD in the field (as other people alluded to earlier in the thread).

Yes, absolutely. Plenty of people with PhDs strike out at CCs because they don't understand their mission and, like you said, can't speak to CC students. Anything that gets you experience with/shows interest in the demographic is really helpful.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:10 am

My plan C is to move abroad and teach American legal classes at a foreign university. As an pol sci BA and JD, I know of people who got hired teaching intro to American government classes in English in universities in china and Europe.

It is basically teaching AP Gov with a lot of con law mixed in.

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Re: getting a job as a community college prof

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:00 am

however, if you want to earn a decent/good salary in foreign countries you will need a PhD to become a professor.
I am not even sure if you can earn a decent salary in China, with the exception of Hong Kong, which operates under a different system and where professors earn quite a good living.




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