Teaching at a for-profit

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by cookderosa, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I answered a job post three different times since 2012 for the same school. It is a for-profit and it's a DL teacher in my specialty. The first two times, it was an adjunct, and they didn't reply - no biggie. Well, this last time they did. I've been invited to the next stage which involves me submitting a video of myself presenting a lesson and sending lecture materials via email. The rub, is that it's full time.
    For some reason, in my mind, I didn't feel strange working for/applying at this school as an adjunct, but it feels very different now that it's full time - I'm going to be honest and say that I worry about how it might look on my resume long term....but that might just be me over-edu-obsessing....which is easy to do when you hang on forums like this one.
    I think the long time members know my background- I've spent it all at the community college, initially as the dept chair and then adjunct when we started a family. Fast forward 2 decades, and I haven't worked *anywhere* full time since I've been homeschooling my crew. My kids are getting older, and of course I want to return to work full time (or work for myself or something) inside of 4 years....am I overthinking this? Does a for-profit full time job stain a resume or is that just me being paranoid?

    Edit to add: I have a part time job as a remote advisor to homeschooling families that I would probably have to give up if I am asked/accept.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2017
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    What are your longer term goals, i.e., what you want to do after you would have this position?
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I think a lot of it depends on the school; I think that for-profits get a bad rap in general, but I also think that some of the bad raps are deserved. Is it NA or RA? I think that matters, as well.

    I used to teach online for University of Phoenix; it was a foot in the door, and the initial training as well as continuing ed training were top-notch. I think it was a plus to have that on my resume, and I do think it helped me get my foot in the door with other schools. I gave it up simply because the pay stinks.
  4. TomE

    TomE New Member

    Do you have doubts as to whether or not you would like to stay with the institution for a the foreseeable future? It seems like if turned out to be a good work/life arrangement that you'd want to maintain the employment (possibly picking up some adjunct work on the side).

    However, I don't see how having full time teaching experience on your CV would "hurt' in comparison to part-time gigs that you are currently working (not implying these are bad at all; I just think that FT work will generally be received well) if you were to want to move into a different position at a different institution.

    Best of luck with the interview process!
  5. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    all good questions. I've decided to move forward with a positive attitude and give it a go. I'll keep you guys posted.
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Good decision. Act to maximize your options.
  7. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Since posting this, I've jumped through 2 hoops. First was to compile a lesson with syllabus/test and record myself teaching the lesson/attach the support material. Did that. After watching my video analytics for 2 weeks, I saw that only 1 person watched the video, and they did it for 1 minute from a phone at 10pm. The entire lesson was 6 minutes. (I found that disrespectful of my time....about 12 hours worth actually)

    Still, I was told that they were "impressed" by my lecture, and set me up for a ZOOM (like Skype) meeting with 7 people. I did that Friday.

    The opening statement for the interview was "we don't care how many letters you have after your name...." I think it might have been a colloquialism meant to indicate they wanted a good fit.... but this is, after all, a college, where the entire intent is to SELL letters after the names of our students. I didn't like the dig for having more education than the guy interviewing me (who would be my boss if I were hired).

    The second sentence out of his mouth- "no one here has seen your resume, audition video, or lesson packet, so why don't we start fresh and you tell them who you are...."
    Wow. Just wow. You couldn't email it to them- do they even know what job I'm applying for? So, who was that video for? Why can't they see me teach instead of me spending 10 minutes summarizing my qualifications? Also, now it's a little awkward that I have to tell them about my educational qualifications after the first opening comment.

    Their third sentence began with "well, this is pretty much a 24/7 job, we have students on 4 continents....."
    So, I'm thinking "wow, you guys must pay an extraordinary amount of money to have people working for you 24/7"

    I won't go too deep, but I will say you can probably predict that a big chunk of their inquiry centered around completers - how I would handle difficult students and variations on that theme. By the end of the session, I felt like THEY felt I wasn't aggressive enough, but they didn't say that- just my impression. The irony there, is that I actually have a really good understanding of their pain points, but my opportunity to go there was squashed as we made our way down their interview questions list.
    Them: "Rate your experience with Excel on a scale of 1-10"
    Me: "8"
    Them: "why?"
    Me: "because I'm one of those people that enjoy using spreadsheets, I even use Excel in my personal life almost daily"
    Them: "Ok. Rate your experience with PowerPoint on a scale of 1-10"
    and there you have it....for 45 minutes, more of the same.

    They told me I'd hear back in 2 weeks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2017
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Wow!! :crazy:

    I teach (classroom based) for 3 RA non-profits, and their hiring process wasn't nearly as arduous as that. Sometimes I wonder if what I call "asterisk" schools (any combination of NA, for-profit, totally online, etc.) overcompensate when it comes to some things, such as hiring, as if to say "Look, we're even tougher than those other places".

    Continued good luck with the process, anyway!
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I think I prefer "non-traditional" to "asterisk", but I see why you'd group them for certain purposes.
  10. TomE

    TomE New Member

    Interesting experience and when reading about your most recent experience, it reminded me of my one interview process with a for-profit. Not as arduous as yours (only a PT position), but definitely more in-depth than any of my other interviews for teaching gigs had ever been. Bruce may definitely have a point with his observation!

    Regardless, best of luck moving forward and with deciding on how to best proceed with the process!
  11. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Thanks ;) They told me there were still "more" steps if I "make it" forward. If I am invited to complete the next stage, I will have to complete part of a course as a student to get a feel for their point of view, and I will have to grade/evaluate as a mock teacher. They also said something about attending meeting F2F and or recording video sessions in their "studio."
  12. TomE

    TomE New Member

    Yowzerz! That is quite the process and even sounds a bit more complex than many in-person teaching position application processes for major RA institutions. If you decide to keep moving forward it will be interesting to compare your experiences with others; maybe we can start a whole new topic on "application/interview processes" by institution type!
  13. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    This is crazy. I taught trades at a CC and I did none of that stuff! I only had one interview and one a computer test. Of course it was non academic. I also did teach a few police academy courses, but I guess those were trade courses as well?
  14. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I would say you could use Glassdoor, but I couldn't find much under "interviews" for this company. I'm not sure I'd say their name at this phase, although I'm sure the crack edu-detectives here have already figured it out. I'd rather not let their webcrawlers find this thread if it's all the same to everyone.
  15. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    ?? I don't know. Maybe.
    My husband had a lot of hoops and a long application process for his chef instructor application at Johnson & Wales, this is a little like that I think. I'm not turned off by the process, I'm annoyed that they (still) haven't watched my video lol.
  16. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    "Unfortunately, our team did not select you for further consideration. I would like to note that competition for jobs at (removed) is always strong and that we often have to make difficult choices between many high-caliber candidates.

    Thanks again for your interest and best of luck with your job search.


    I know this sounds like sour grapes, but I promise you it isn't. I'm actually SO glad I don't have to decide because I was really struggling with this. Initially, I was unsure about the school's reputation being a black mark my resume - I probably should have resolved that before applying, but I got over that and was worried about not having a good relationship with the guy who would have been my boss.... and still hasn't watched my video.

    So, that's it! Onward.
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Sometimes it's better to have the decision made for you.

    The good news is that you've gained experience from the process, and are now better prepared for any interview process in the future. I can't imagine any school out there having a more PITA process than that.

    Onward and upward!
  18. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Thank you. Also, this confirms to trust my gut. Before all of it, I posted here about my apprehension.....whether that "came through" in my attitude or not is unknown.
  19. jonlevy

    jonlevy Active Member

    Not all online schools are good actors. Some online for profits are great time wasters, when you apply and afterwards too. I remember trying to apply for one that had what appeared to be some version of the MMPI that took hours to fill out. Really good ones pay for your training time, most do not. Some require mandatory professional development on your own time as well as the uncompensated time spent at online staff meetings and other nonsense that could be conveyed in an email. Still others will badger you into an uncompensated supervisor role or offer some small fixed amount for course development etc. They really know how to skirt fair wage laws.

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