Only teach a class if you took the class?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by jam937, Jan 3, 2014.

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  1. jam937

    jam937 New Member

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    I just ran into this situation. Is this common?

    "You cannot teach web design or development courses if you did not take any web development courses as part of your masters or doctorate program." - ACME Large for Profit College


    I have 20 years experience with numerous languages in various environments including web development. I would be comfortable teaching almost any kind of software development course using any language.

    Should I take a few more graduate courses to make sure I cover areas I wish to teach?
     
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    That sounds either like they're misinterpreting an accreditor's guidelines for faculty members being academically qualified, or they're using it as a lazy filter.
     
  3. INeedHelp

    INeedHelp New Member

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    As a student and hopefully a future adjunct professor somewhere, I think I would care about the following from a professor teaching any course:

    Can you, as a professor, capably answer a question I, as a student, would have about a particular issue I might have in a course within a decent amount of time?

    Will you be a professor that merely teaches by syllabus and just expect students to just do assignments while you are out playing golf, or tending to other matters?

    My whole thing, from the perspective of the student, is that I'd just want a professor to be not just knowledgeable, but also accessible. Many professors have not just academic credentials that allow them to teach a course, but also real life experience, and I'm ok with that, but I care more about his/her accessibility when I need to address the professor.

    So, if you are otherwise qualified, I would think, no, you wouldn't need to take a few more grad courses if your experience and academic credentials otherwise allow you to teach a course in web design. My colleague teaches courses at state schools (as an adjunct) with just a BS in EET from TESC, of all places. No Master's...just that. That was my sole motivation to get my own BSc and a MBA from a state school. That is pretty much why I lean toward no to that question.
     
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    "Of all places"? What's wrong with TESC?
     
  5. INeedHelp

    INeedHelp New Member

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    Settle down there...obviously nothing. Your question kind of deviates from the point I was making though.
     
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    Most questions deviate from the point on here but it is still a valid question.
     
  7. INeedHelp

    INeedHelp New Member

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    Fair enough, and I believe I answered it. But the manner in which it was asked was certainly jumping the gun to a defense that was not needed; there is nothing at all wrong with TESC, and such.

    Look, personally, I just want an idea of what I'm going to do post-MBA. I believe that if a guy can be a college instructor with just a BSc from TESC, of all places (now I'm just being a smart-ass, fyi...) then it is my hope my MBA from a AACSB school will afford me the same type of deal, although I am willing to pursue a doctorate, if need be.
     
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    Most AS / tech level classes or certificate programs only require a BS/BA (depending on specialty or experience an AS might be okay). Bachelors programs usually require a masters or greater. If you do get an MBA, be sure you have a specialty with at least 18 grad level credits in that discipline.

    I had an instructor at the community college that did not have a degree but was Cisco Certified teaching Cisco classes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2014
  9. graymatter

    graymatter New Member

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    Shoot, I've WRITTEN the curriculum for classes I've never taken. :)
     
  10. Tedium42

    Tedium42 New Member

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    It's probably just the school feeling hyper-defensive about the rigor of their programs.
     
  11. jam937

    jam937 New Member

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    I asked about people who have research doctorates like PhD in Computer Science from a UK school. I was told those people cannot teach at this school.
     
  12. mattbrent

    mattbrent New Member

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    I was told that SACS (our regional accreditor) likes for us to at least have coursework in similar areas. For example, the vast majority of my graduate history work is in modern or American history. My dean suggested I take a few courses in ancient history just to cover my bases, and so I did. Technically I had the magic 18 hours (I actually had more) so I could teach history, but I can understand why they'd want me to have a more diverse background.

    -Matt
     
  13. Tedium42

    Tedium42 New Member

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    It is understandable to a point, but that is a lazy filter if the candidate can demonstrate proficiency in the subject area.
     
  14. PuppyMama

    PuppyMama New Member

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    Jam937,

    I am running into this problem as well. My background and education have more than qualified me to teach a couple of different subjects. However, when I apply for adjunct teaching jobs, they are under the narrow-minded impression that I am a robot (like they are) and therefore am ONLY capable of teaching undergraduate courses in educational psychology (and at this point, I'm not sure if those even exist). In so many words, I'm being told that as far as adjunct teaching is concerned, my master's degree might as well be useless. Ironically, I actually worked as a TA when I was an undergraduate under a special program at a state university but now that I have my master's, I'm somehow incapable of teaching at all. Make sense? I didn't think so either.

    Interestingly enough, I was a social work student for a time (never finished) and one of my instructors (I believe she was probably adjunct) at my R1 state university did not have a social work degree. She told us that back when she was in university, such a degree did not exist. So if she can competently teach our course (and believe me, she was great) without a degree specific to the discipline, why can't I teach a course that may not have the title of my degree, but be very closely related to the material that I studied, especially when the curriculum is canned, anyway? I just need to know how to grade papers and submit those grades in the system, right? I could facilitate a course on astrophysics if this were the case (I am joking, of course)!

    I don't mean to sound bitter or ungrateful, but after all of the work, discipline and endurance that a master's degree requires - not to mention the out-of-the box thinking, problem finding and solving, etc. that one must satisfactorily demonstrate, I find it to be a bit of an insult to humanity as a whole when a person is practically told that while they may have been intelligent enough to succeed in graduate school, they are incapable of teaching a very closely related field, even a field that partially comprises their discipline. This goes for most jobs in our market - if a person is not highly experienced in one field or another, the employer believes that they are incapable of learning and are therefore not qualified for a job. Again, we are not robots like their H.R. weed-out software.

    I have considered taking more courses that would qualify me for certain teaching jobs, but I'm afraid that I'll end up in the never-ending vicious pay-to-play cycle without ever actually finding an adjunct teaching position. I've decided that I need to find a way to make this work for me because by the time I pay for more classes, my measly potential adjunct income will not be able to justify the investment. I may pursue a doctorate, but not for the sake of adjuncting. It will be for other reasons. If a teaching position comes to fruition because of it, great, but I'm not going to count on it.

    Good luck to you!
     

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