I need help with a dilemma

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Randell1234, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I am enrolled in the PhD program at NCU right now. I am on my third class and things are going very well. I like the school / customer service / etc. I am spending quite a bit of time on the program and do not know what I will do with a PhD when I am done.

    I love my job, but I am thinking about something less “corporate” and more academia for the future. I am looking at and really considering the MA in Humanities at CSU-DH. I would not complete the program; just get the 18 credits to teach at a CC.

    I love business management and I love humanities. I don’t think I can handle both programs at the same time.

    The big questions are:
    Which direction would give me the resume for a teaching position at a CC?
    Would one direction be better suited for adjunct and one for full time?
    Would one be better for on campus and one better for online?
    What background would best prepare me to just walk away from a corporate job and walk into an academic position?

    Lots of questions and lots of options.
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    (1) If you're looking at getting into your first position as a CC prof, I'd go for the full MA. The 18-hour rule is, I'm guessing, in the following cases: (a) you're Prof of Poli Sci and the Chrm of the Div of Soc Sci asks you to teach a freshman history sequence this Summer Term or (b) you're applying as MA cand (all but thesis).

    (2) I'd go for the full MA, apply for the adjunct position as MA cand., then go for the PhD when you're looking for full-time.

    (3) Not necessarily.

    (4) You're working on your PhD at NCU and have a corporate job. I'm guessing that you probably have an MBA. Look for adjunct positions as a business prof at your local B & M CC's and night-time MBA programs as well as online schools and then add history to your professioral portfolio when you finish you HUX MA @ CSUDH.

    Just my $0.02.
  3. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Do you have a bachelors degree in one of the five humanities subjects that you can specialize in at CSUDH-HUX? (They are history, philosophy, art history, literature and music.)

    I think that it's kind of a Degreeinfo myth that people can successfully land community college teaching jobs with nothing more than 18 graduate credits in the subject they propose to teach. Maybe it happens where somebody is friends with somebody, but it probably isn't going to work in a competitive hiring situation.

    Take philosophy. A community college typically offers an introduction to philosophy, a one or two-semester history of philosophy sequence, an introduction to world religions, perhaps a course on ethics or aesthetics, perhaps an introduction to formal logic and inevitably lots of sections in 'critical thinking' (informal logic).

    HUX doesn't even offer coursework in most of that stuff. Unless you've studied it as an undergraduate, you are proposing to teach stuff that you have never studied. And you are proposing to do it with no degrees in the subject.

    My feeling is that if it was me, if I had a business background and proposed to teach, I'd probably stick with the doctoral program. Community colleges typically have lots more openings in business subjects than in the humanities and they have more trouble filling them. Competition for business teaching slots is less intense.

    Besides, a Ph.D., even if it's a DL one from a low-prestige program, especially if it's added to years of work experience, will help make you more competitive in the community college environment.

    If you simply must take some graduate units from CSUDH, you might think about taking their DL graduate certificate in community college teaching sometime down the line. I assume that NorthCentral doesn't have anything like teaching assistantships, and a CC will want to see some evidence that you can actually teach.
  4. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    I agree with the 18 cr hr status not being suffient to land a job at a CC in most competitive hiring situations. BTW, the most recent hire at my CC has two Masters and a PhD!

    The best thing to do if you want a CC job FT is to teach at a CC as an adjunct. You already have the credentials to do so, start applying. I've taught at a CC and a small university as an adjunct, and I have no more--actually less-- credentials than you. The only way I know of to get a CC job FT w/o at least a Masters is as Bill says, to know somebody. There are a few who teach at my CC without a Masters, but they all knew somebody and were in the right place at the right time, some of them had been students at this very same CC and already had a reputation as a reliable, bright person, so they may have had a leg up on the hotshot with the Masters from out of state when they were hired. You get in the right place at the right time by being there as an adjunct, getting raves from student for your lecturing techniques, etc. You can always do the other Masters or PhD while teaching PT, I'm doing it myself, as are many others.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2005
  5. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Re: I need help with a dilemma

    I agree with the above and would also add that you are expecting to be hired ahead of the people who have the specific Philosophy degrees who have actually taken all those courses.
    This holds true for any specific area of study, not just Philosophy.
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Thanks for all your comments. I will investigate the "18 credit" myth a bit more.
  7. CoachTurner

    CoachTurner Member

    One good place to research that "myth" is on the Chronicle job listings.

    You'll likely find that upper level B&Ms will require a doctorate (or other terminal) in the discipline but that many CCs specify subject masters or masters plus 18 in the subject.

    While that meets the min requirement to apply, it often isn't sufficient to land the job in competitive markets. Much depends on the subject area as well.

    I'd bet that there are an abundence of MA History folk out there applying for the FT CC jobs for example but not as many looking for the adjunct one class per semester jobs that can very well get your foot in the door.
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I sent this email to the HR Department at the local college. They used to be a CC now they offer BA/BS degrees so they are just a college (Not CC)

    I am interested in teaching Humanities classes in the future. I currently have a Bachelor of Science in Business & Technology and a Master of Science in Information Technology Management. I am currently enrolled in a PhD in
    Business Administration / Management program.

    I realize my background does not sound like the "ideal" humanities instructor but it is the field I have a true passion for. I am considering enrolling in a graduate level humanities program and earning 18 credits so I could teach at a community college.

    I have several questions:
    * I do not have an undergraduate degree in humanities so would earning only 18 graduate credits in humanities be sufficient to teach?
    * Are humanities teaching positions competitive?
    * Would I need a PhD in humanities to teach in a competitive situation?
    * My questions are geared toward an adjunct position right now but I may consider a full time position in the future. Are the qualifications the same?

    Here is the response-

    * I do not have an undergraduate degree in humanities so would earning only 18 graduate credits in humanities be sufficient to teach?

    * Are humanities teaching positions competitive? I do not have an answer for this question. I suggest contacting the program Director(s) on the campus(es) you are interested in working on:

    * Would I need a PhD in humanities to teach in a competitive situation?
    The PhD is required for the upper level courses, a MA is all that is needed along with the 18 grad hours.

    * My questions are geared toward an adjunct position right now but I may consider a full time position in the future. Are the qualifications the same?
    Yes, As for the courses you will be taking, I suggest discussing these with one of the Program Directors.

    I called the program director and asked if the 18 credits would be enough and he said yes. He said the biggest factor is, after the 18 credits, my teaching experience. Next is the time I would be able to teach. If I can only teach at night and they need a daytime instructor...well you get the idea.

    I asked if there are certain classes that would not could as Humanities such as HUX 505 - Defining the Humanities: Philosophy count as a Philosophy class or a Humanities class.
    He said, "It sound like you are looking at CSU-DH. We had another intructor that wanted to change disciplines and took the 18 credits and start to teach. The school accepts and the credits as Humanities. She has just coimpleted her last class an is going to start on the thesis."

    I really think I am going to go for it.
  9. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    good luck with your choice and best wishes for the future.

  10. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I don't know...

    Teaching something at the college level after having taken only 18 units in the subject, undergraduate and graduate, just doesn't sound ethical to me. It's even worse if the classes taken don't even correspond to the classes to be taught.

    I just can't shake the idea that college teachers should know more than their students about the subjects they are teaching.
  11. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Agreed! What a prof teaches should be just the tip of the iceberg of what s/he actually knows.
  12. Tireman44

    Tireman44 member


    Are you going to take these 18 hours at CSU-Dominguez Hills while taking courses at Northcentral? I know it can be done, but whew you are going to be tired. Unless.....you can cram 18 hours( 6 courses) in the Summer I and Summer II semesters. That is feasible, I think. Good luck to you. Would you teach history?
  13. Jodokk

    Jodokk Member


    We are so much alike. We both got our Bachelors at Cosc in 2003 and have both been involved in more than one graduate program and we are both hell-bent to get to teaching. I know you are impatient. I think anyone who goes the cosc route will get a tad bogged down with actual time requirements involved in these graduate programs.
    I posted a similar complaining rant not long ago about the time its taking to get through my MFA (I'm half way through and so ancy I could cry.) And I've looked at the HUX program pretty carefully. I would be somewhat worried that it doesn't seem, at first glance, to allow for the eighteen credits that one needs for the specific concentrations.
    However, my advice, for what it's worth, is for you to go ahead and do the whole program. An additional masters degree on your cv can never hurt.
    It seems to be a great program. I wish you the best of luck!

    Dan B
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2005
  14. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Do you think every lit teacher has taken several grad classes covering every writer. Computer classes are taught by professors that have not taken a computer class on every O/S but they still know their stuff.

    I am OK with it.
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I plan to take one HUX class and one NCU class per semester. The great part is my wifes interest in humanities. This will be something we can do as a team. We will both read the books and discuss the assignments, then I will do the assignments.

    I will do the work but unlike the NCU courses, I will not lock myself in my office and shut out the world.

    I would love to teach history. That may be the next 18 credits I will go for...many years from now.
  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Re: Randell

    I do not think I would go for another masters degree. 18 credits in humanities and an MS in ITM plus my CCU MBA is enough. I would just keep getting 18 credits in things like history or lit.

    I don't see the value in another masters...maybe I am wrong.
  17. Tireman44

    Tireman44 member


    If you ever need help or advice in the teaching or taking of history courses, just yell. You have my personal email address and I will be happy to help.
  18. Leslie

    Leslie New Member

    One can know a lot about something without having "credits" in that subject area. I am teaching several subjects for which I have "only" 18 graduate hours. However I know more than that about those subjects by virtue of the work I've done in those fields over the years. So I wouldn't assume just because one "only" has 18 grad hours in a particular subject area that they don't know enough about it to teach :)

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