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Teaching STEM at Community College Level Credentials?

  1. Dec 7, 2014 #1
    I'm wondering what the minimum educational attainment is for teaching at a community college (particularly in a STEM field)? And is there such a thing as "tenure" at a community college that is equivalent to tenure at a "regular" university?

    Lastly, is it easy to procure a teaching position at a community college with the basic minimum credentials?

    ETA: How does this compare to teaching STEM in high school?...Credentials, salary, marketplace for STEM teachers, etc.?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2014 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    In our local comm college, you had to have a related BS and 18 graduate credit hours in the field you wanted to teach. In my case, I got an interview and got rejected because I had 17 hours but they said if I ever get that one more credit to come on back which I did but could never find the right time and location to teach. Oh well...
     
  4. Dec 7, 2014 #3

    Maylis

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    At least in California, you need a Master's Degree
     
  5. Dec 7, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    It depends on the state and the college, but it is common to require a Masters. Some places require a Secondary Ed certification. It is relatively easy to get a part-time job teaching one course per term, sometimes two, but full-time positions are rare and competitive. It's not uncommon for more than 80% of the faculty to be part time - largely high school teachers looking for a little extra income. Full-time faculty can get tenure, but there are not many of them.
     
  6. Dec 9, 2014 #5
    Thanks guys.

    I was wondering in terms of those who do make it to full-time professors, would the distinguishing criteria for them need to be some kind of publication(s) in academic journals like it often is for regular four-year college/university institutions?

    I wouldn't mind teaching at a community college if things didn't work out for me in my own desired path of studies. But I would never want to teach high school on the other hand. Too many scary stories of immature student behavior there (I have a sister who teaches English in a NYC public high school, so I know how bad things can sometimes be).
     
  7. Dec 9, 2014 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Yes, 2-year colleges have the same criteria as 4-year colleges (and universities) although on average the weighting is different - slanted more towards teaching.
     
  8. Dec 9, 2014 #7
    I'm currently teaching at a community college full-time due to horrific 3 month post doc tenure. A masters is the minimum. However, I would say at least half of the full time faculty hold doctorates in the science department. Some of the full time employees actually publish (via other universities). However, the pay for part-time is close to half of what the full time faculty get paid per semester/hour. Yes, it's competitive and I feel very lucky that I got into the position (thanks to a fellow graduate student that graduated a year prior). From my understanding, the faculty that do stay eventually move into administrative positions because of the pay. Two things that surprised me is the additional income I can make by teaching extra courses and the benefit packages were more than I expected. Not to go into a rant on the job market, but I would consider myself very lucky because a good portion of graduates are still unemployed and many are pursuing employment in related fields. I'm just glad that I'm working to drastically pay off student loans.
     
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