I am currently at a tenured track job at a community college and am about to begin my 3rd year. I accepted this job because at the time we were at the midst of the financial crisis and it was the best offer I received at the time. My ideal job would be at a SLAC with a 4-4 teaching load with some research involving undergraduate students. I was once told (in my Ph.D. program) that if you teach in a community college that you are essentially "doomed" and cannot recover. Is this true? I believe that teaching in a community college with a 5-5 course load has taught me a lot and I have become a much better teacher. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to conduct much research in the past 2 years (but have some publications which came out in 2011). Do you think I have a chance of getting a job at a SLAC? Do you have any advise about how I could frame my cover letter in a way that would be appealing to a SLAC? Thanks in advance.
Date: 07 Jun 2012 01:04
Number of posts: 5
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I bet you could get a job at a SLAC with a 4-4 load. A 3-3 could be harder but if you are aiming for a 4-4 I really think you could get it. Most schools with a 4-4 would be excited to have an applicant with so much teaching experience.
I think you could just say you love teaching but part of what you love about teaching is that you love involving students in your research. Also say that staying up on research in your field will make you an even better teacher. Good luck!
Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement! I appreciate it.
oh also, "doomed and cannot recover" probably refers to trying to get an R1 or even an elite SLAC with a 2-2. Yeah, those might be out of reach more or less permanently if you were coming from a community college. I think you'd at least need another position in between such as a postdoc or something else that allowed you to reinvent yourself with research. But for a 3-3 (or 3-2 maybe even) and especially a 4-4, you can do that coming from a community college. It's especially encouraging that you kept your research program alive (even if slow) in your current position, with your 2011 paper.
Thank you so much. That makes me feel much better. I was worried.