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Education required to teach at a community college?

  1. Sep 16, 2013 #1
    I checked the salaries for Humber College and from 99 "professors", and the salary range was from $100k to $133k.

    What kind of education do you need to work as an instructor for a community college (not university)?
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2013 #2


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  4. Sep 17, 2013 #3
    My professors at CCBC are not paid well. Some have a master degree and some have a doctor degree, but none of them are paid half of what you noted.
  5. Sep 17, 2013 #4
    I would think Masters. Most of the openings I see here state that. They say Ph.D. 'preferred', but there are a lot of politics at community colleges, much like anywhere else. In some ways, a Ph.D. could hurt you - you are not going to be doing research and you might have more education than some others in the department, which could bruise some egos.

    In my area, CC profs make $50k-90k. Chronicle.com has a list of salaries in different states for different institutions. See here: http://chronicle.com/article/2013-AAUP-Faculty-Salary/138291?cid=megamenu

    There's also some good info there about community colleges and what you need to do to help your chances. One guy writes a column about it. Basically, get the degree and adjunct teach a bunch, particularly at community colleges, other wise they'll view you as someone who will leave at the first possible moment. Also, don't put an research relevant items on your resume. I've linked to one article by the guy; you can find the rest.

  6. Sep 17, 2013 #5
    In my experience a PhD is strongly preferred. I've worked at a few community colleges, as a tutor. They were great places to work and the few openings they had were very competitive. We even had a PhD fly in from Europe just to interview for a position once. Getting a permanent position at a CC with only a masters will be very, very hard. Unless you apply to southern north dakota community college or the like. Otherwise, you may occasionally be able get a temporary, part time position with just a masters. I have only a masters but lots tutoring, TAing and some teaching experience. I have applied for the local CC's temporary positions every term but never been called back.
  7. Sep 17, 2013 #6


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    It actually depends on the field.

    Community colleges are generally geared more towards job training than they are academics. As such they offer programs in practical areas such as law enforcement or office administration. For those kinds of programs they don't want PhDs. They want people who have leadership experience in the field who can teach.

    The other thing to be wary of is the community colleges will often hire sessional instructors. Because there is a large pool of qualified people to teach something like a first year physics course, rather than hire a full-time professor, it's a lot more economically viable to pay someone on a contractual basis - say a few thousand dollars to teach a course. The full-time faculty then co-ordinate the sessionals. So within a department of 20 people, you'll have maybe two or three with full-time, high-paying positions and the rest just making peanuts (who don't get included in salary surveys because they are not full time).
  8. Sep 17, 2013 #7
    Good catch.
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