Adjunct Teaching Assistant position at Ashford University (and anywhere else?)

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by suliabryon, Feb 25, 2013.

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  1. suliabryon

    suliabryon New Member

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    I've done a lot of searching online, and I'm having trouble finding positions to apply for. I'm currently enrolled in a Masters program at Ashford, in Teaching and Learning w/Technology, so DL and online teaching is the field I want to go into, and I've know that since I decided to finish my BA in English that way a couple of years ago, and experienced online classes for myself.

    Everything I've read about Ashford's online teaching assistant position led me to believe it meant pretty much fulfilling their requirements (having a BA in English or Journalism) and then after filling out the application packet, "passing" their interview/training process to get contracted for classes. I was eager to apply once I finished my BA, as I felt this would be ideal for getting my foot in the door for distance education. Perhaps this was naive of me, but the application packet was also quite simple to complete, and the e-mail I received from the person at Bridgepoint responsible for submitting the packet to the hiring committee basically said she wanted all of my info by a certain time, because their next "interview" three week process was beginning March 19th, and they wouldn't have another for quite some time. It sounded very much like the hiring committee was a formality, so long as I met the requirements, and the true "test" for this job was going to be this three week training/interview process. From what I've managed t find online from others who have gone through it, this was my overall impression.

    Today I received an e-mail from Bridgepoint thanking me for my application, but stating they've decided to "pursue other candidates". Maybe I shouldn't be, but I am totally shocked. I sent a very polite e-mail back, asking how I could improve my qualifications for future applications, as this is the field I want to pursue, and any insights into how to be a better candidate would be appreciated. I got back a single sentence, stating that no feedback was available, but they "do not have a need for my background/experience at this time".

    My understanding was that this was an entry level position. I have my BA (required). I'm in the process of getting my Masters through their school, in the field that would most suit this job. I don't understand how I fail to qualify, and I guess I was pinning a lot of hopes on this, and just assumed I would at least make it to the "interview", because I'm feeling pretty crushed right now. I'm also floundering about where to go next. I don't qualify for a full time faculty position (no Masters yet), and I can't seem to find any other adjunct TA positions to apply for, even though other schools must have them.

    Any insights or advice?
     
  2. suliabryon

    suliabryon New Member

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    I just saw the sticky up above "good schools to get online adjunct positions", so maybe that will help me. :)
     
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    The supply of adjuncts is far more than the demand. This is especially the case in fields like Education. If you want a better chance at teaching credit courses online, take 18 graduate semester-hours in something in demand, like Statistics, Finance, or Accounting.

    I wish it weren't so, but there it is.
     
  4. suliabryon

    suliabryon New Member

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    That's...really depressing. I have no interest in teaching accounting, statistics, or finance, sadly. I have a BA in English, and I am a writer. Math is my least favorite subject. While I understand that is an area always in demand, why go to all of the energy and effort to get my education only to teach something I dislike?

    This was my plan:

    ~ finish my BA (check)

    ~ get a Masters (in process - I chose Teaching and Learning w/Technology, because it still qualifies as an MAT, and I figured I could always fall back to teaching in a traditional classroom with it if I had to. However, my husband teaches high school English, so I'm pretty familiar w/that route, and the online environment appeals to me a lot more. I believe that's the direction the future is headed with technology, and everything I'm learning in my Masters program just confirms that.)

    ~ Get 18+ graduate credits in my field of study: ie, English and/or writing. As stated, I am a writer. I love writing first and foremost. I have plans to apply to one of the two Masters programs in Writing Popular Fiction that are offered here in the US. This would allow me to pursue my first love while getting a second Masters that still applies to my field of study, or so I thought. However, now I'm not so sure that will cut it. It's what I WANT to do, but will those graduate credits count as my "field of study" or do employees only want to see traditional English credits on an application?
     
  5. jam937

    jam937 New Member

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    What kind of trouble? Few openings? You don't meet requirements? You don't have experience?

    I found almost all online adjunct jobs want 1-2 years experience and a masters degree in the field of study. I found a job at a local nationally accredited college that only required a bachelors to teach associate level courses while I finish my masters. Many community colleges only require a bachelors as well. Regionally accredited colleges will almost always require a masters. The competition is very tough for these jobs. Especially in the liberal arts fields.

    Why did you choose the "Master in Teaching and Learning w/Technology" instead of a Master in English? The Master in English might be better for college teaching and I would think you could fall back to traditional teaching with either degree.
     
  6. suliabryon

    suliabryon New Member

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    Finding openings that I am qualified for has been tough. Ashford's seemed almost unique, in that as an "assistant" position, it required only a BA in English or Journalism. Most jobs seem to also require a Masters, and the aforementioned 18+ graduate credits in your chosen field. I wanted to to something part time while I am still in school that also starts to give me experience in my chosen profession - teaching online - so yes, I am looking for most jobs like Ashford's assistant adjunct position. Your idea of looking at my local community college has merit. I will check into that.

    In Oregon, you are required to have a BA in your chosen field, as well as completing an MAT or similar that certifies you in education (MAT=Master in Arts Teaching). You CAN get hired with only a BA, but it's harder, at a lower pay rate, and has the stipulation that you have a certain amount of time to finish your masters. A Masters in English would still require me to get an MAt or equivalent. that's why I chose the Master in Teaching and Learning w/Technology. To me, it is also much more relevant to where education is going (online) than the traditional MAT.

    That supposition has been born out as I've continued through the program by many conversations with my husband on things I'm learning. There are a lot of parallels to what I'm learning in my program, and where school districts are headed in education right now.
     
  7. Klgm326

    Klgm326 New Member

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    I just read your post. I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but Ashford is having to re-apply for accreditation. This may be why they couldn't pick you up right now. Either they are 1. not hiring at all or 2. only hiring people with advanced degrees. I was picked up last summer as a TA (I have an MA in Spanish, but experience and licensure in ESL, School Administration, and experience in K-college).

    I am nervous about future employment with them myself. So far so good, but they even asked "us" for updated resumes just a few weeks ago. Don't get discouraged. Once you get your MA, it will open doors. University of Phoenix sent me a similar letter last spring (for Spanish) and I had all the qualifications. I thought that perhaps I was just too old. Then, out of the blue around two months ago, I got an email saying that they weren't able to hire then, but could now. They simply had hired no one. So, you just never know. Keep moving forward. An MA will never hurt you.

    Best of luck!
     

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