Community College Teaching

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by dclawman, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. dclawman

    dclawman New Member

    I currently teach for a few different colleges online. I am somewhat interested in applying for full time traditional positions on campus. I am specifically interested in community colleges. In fact, one of my current employers has urged me to apply for an available position on campus.

    I have no teaching experience in person. I have been teaching online for the past two years. What is the interview process like for traditional positions at a community college? While, I know every college is different, I would appreciate some information from anyone who has been through this process. Are teaching presentations common during the interview process? I am a bit nervous about a “teaching presentation.”
  2. Michigan68

    Michigan68 Active Member

    When I interviewed, and later taught at the school, I was asked to create a PowerPoint on one of the subjects I would teach.

    I was in the front of the classroom, and in the seats were 6 teaching staff members from the school.

    I presented my information and then I had a question and answer session concerning the material I presented.

    I was 'graded' on my subject matter knowledge, eye contact, conversational quality . . . etc

    It lasted all about 20min.

  3. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    I've been involved in the hiring process at a small community college and a small private university. There are a lot of similarities with both...

    1. The teaching presentation is important. Very important. However, just prepare for it, and follow the instructions given. If it is a 20 minute presentation, it's 20 minutes. While the teaching presentation by itself will not land you the position; I am amazed at the number of teaching presentations that were obviously not rehearsed, off-topic, etc. Many candidates that I thought were good on paper and in the interview process knocked themselves out of consideration by a poor presentation.

    2. You will probably have 2 or 3 interviews on campus. These could consist of a team interview by faculty, an interview by the dean, and/or the Chief Academic Officer.

    3. Do your homework on the institution. If you can, get a copy of the latest self-study or assurance argument and review it. Look on the school's website. If the school is a public institution, they have to provide you a copy upon request since the report is considered an public record. For a private school - contact the school, ask for the Chief Accreditation Officer, and ask for the report.

    Best of luck!

  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    My community college periodically has a sort of "job fair" for faculty. It's a way for them to collect a whole bunch of adjuncts at one time. If you showed up reasonably well groomed and, at least claimed, to have a Masters degree you got an interview following one of these fairs. They didn't ask me to bring anything. I brought a sample powerpoint and a curriculum I had drawn up for a Human Resource topic (I believe it was Compensation Management). I got the job.

    As I talk to my fellow adjuncts, they did similar things (i.e. came prepared with curricula/powerpoint/publications etc.) I'm sure that there were people who just showed up with nothing on hand. But I also know that the Business Admin department was flooded with people when I went and dropped off my resume. They only hired about four of us. So I think there were a bunch of MBAs who figured it was a "safety" job and didn't bother putting forth the effort to actually get the job.

    I only had one interview because I had a full day interview schedule which included the dean. Most of the others I've talked to said they did two (one guy did three) separate interviews. I was willing to take a day off from work (where I interview people) to go and interview, so they were able to pack the day. It's just easier for me to take a full day rather than two half days.

    All in all, they were very flexible with me in terms of scheduling and the like.

    With regards to the actual interview experience I didn't get the sense that they were looking for an experienced teacher, per se. They seemed more keen on vetting my professional skills and seeing how comfortable I was talking in front of small groups. I also had a feather in my cap because one of my interviewers had attended a presentation I had made at SHRM so I'm sure he had some insight into how I am able to speak in front of groups.

    Our business department is almost entirely working professionals (the full timers are typically either retired business-y people or people who previously worked corporate side and decided they wanted to teach full-time). So it felt a little bit like I was interviewing with a professional association, in a way.

    The other departments tend to attract career teachers, unemployed Ph.D.'s (including a few people who taught at four year universities but didn't get tenure) so I can only imagine that those departments have a completely different hiring experience.
  5. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    When I was hired at my community college, I was interviewed by a committee, and I was asked to do a 20 minute teaching demonstration. That seems to be the standard where I am. I would agree with Shawn that the teaching demo is super important. Community Colleges aren't about research. They're about teaching. Folks who stand up and lecture for 20 minutes should just pack their bags and go home. You'll want to do something interactive to ensure that students are engaged.

    As far as interview questions are concerned, I was asked how I would fit in with the college community, how I could contribute to the college mission (so you better know what that is!) and what my views of assessment were. I also addressed how I kept current in my field, and what I had done in the past to motivate students. For us, it's all about student achievement, whether it's through instruction or help outside of the classroom. You might also want to mention work you've done with organizations and committees, because you may end up sponsoring a student club or chairing a campus committee.

  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I should add that, while I didn't have a teaching demo pre-hire, I had to sit in on a class taught by one of the full-time professors before I taught. That same professor sat in on my first class and gave me an evaluation and then randomly popped back to evaluate me later in the semester.

    While it sounds like my experience may not be typical of community colleges (honestly, but for this conversation, what basis would I have for comparison?) it wasn't terribly different from my wife's experience when she taught as an adjunct at Binghamton University. No demo to get hired. Evaluations during her first semester and coaching to enforce continual improvement onward.

    My particular CC has a fair amount of former university level faculty. So, maybe some of that worked its way into the culture. Or maybe my school is just unique. Or maybe my department half-assed the entire process and unknowingly did it in such a way that it made it somewhat similar to how SUNY Binghamton (they hate it when you call it that) interviews adjuncts.
  7. dclawman

    dclawman New Member

    Thank you all for the information. If a teaching presentation is required, do you typically receive time to prepare for this portion of the interview (hours, days, etc.)? Is the subject decided by the committee or applicant?

    I was thinking about a PowerPoint presentation, while being interactive with the “class.” Right idea?

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