Community college jobs

9/7/2018 3:59:40 PM

Once again, the fall faculty hiring season is upon us. This year, we’d like to focus on a few topics related to academic hiring that haven’t received much attention in the past.   

Often overlooked are faculty and support positions at community colleges. According to the American Association of Community Colleges’ Fast Facts, there are more than 1,100 community colleges across the U.S. with more than 7 million students enrolled. And, with many cities and states now starting to offer free tuition to residents, enrollment at community colleges is on the rise.  

In general, community colleges are a subset of primarily undergraduate institutions (i.e., a primary focus on teaching) but can grant only two-year associate’s degrees or certificates. Like any other higher-education institution, community colleges are organized into departments with full-time and part-time (adjunct) faculty members and related lab and technical support staff.  

In the sciences, community college students often are enrolled in allied health (e.g., nursing) or other applied degree programs (e.g., manufacturing). There also are a significant number of students who plan on transferring to four-year institutions, but start at community colleges for a number of valid reasons (e.g., save money, explore degree options, improve grades).  

The student populations at community colleges are diverse. Aubrey Smith, associate professor of biology at Montgomery College, recently wrote a poignant piece in the ASBMB Today on the value of teaching biology at a community college, especially for this reason.  

Smith also describes how being a faculty member at a community college is like working at any other undergraduate institution, with responsibilities for curriculum design, teaching courses and advising students. Additionally, as Smith mentions, you don’t have to give up research either. In fact, there has been a push among community colleges to incorporate undergraduate research experiences into the curriculum to better prepare students for transferring to a four-year degree program.  

For example, check out the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative, which is developing an inquiry-based teaching model for this purpose. The CCURI website has a number of useful publications on the topic, in addition to this recent essay that explains the need for broadening participation in undergraduate research further. 

Weekly jobs roundup

For this week’s job roundup, we looked into job openings for faculty and instructors (and a few relevant support positions) at community colleges. All of these are regular full-time or part-time positions (i.e., non-adjunct). As you can see from the minimum qualifications, community colleges also are a great opportunity for master’s degree holders who want to teach. To note, a Ph.D. may be preferred for many of the tenure-track faculty positions as well.  

  • The Department of Biological Sciences and Geology at Queensborough Community College (Bayside, Queens, N.Y.) is hiring several lecturers to teach first-year general biology, anatomy and physiology and/or biology for non-majors. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in the biological sciences and two to three years of undergraduate teaching experience. The application deadline is Sept. 12.  
  • Delaware Technical Community College (Newark, Del.) is seeking a biology instructor to teach lecture and lab courses that may include genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry and biology. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in a related field (master’s preferred) and four years of relevant experience. No application deadline is provided.  
  • Skyline College (San Bruno, Calif.), a designated Hispanic Serving Institution and part of the San Mateo County Community College District, is searching for a tenure-track faculty member to teach and develop courses in biotechnology and biomanufacturing. Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree in a relevant field and demonstrated teaching or work experience in the subject matters. The review of applications began on Aug. 3, so consider contacting the college to make sure the position is still open.  
  • The Science, Engineering and Technology Division at Howard Community College (Columbia, Md.) is recruiting a full-time faculty member in the area of anatomy and physiology to teach courses, develop curriculum and supervise adjunct faculty. The posting also mentions a preference for candidates who are interested in mentoring students in undergraduate research. Minimum qualifications include a master's degree in anatomy, biology, physiology or related field and college teaching experience. For priority consideration, applications should be submitted by Sept. 24.  
  • Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana is searching for a full-time faculty member to teach anatomy and physiology courses for health science students at its South Bend campus. Minimum qualifications include a master’s or higher degree in the biological sciences (or 18 hours of graduate credit in biology courses). No application deadline is provided.  
  • Ivy Tech also is looking for a part-time project coordinator to manage its Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program. This position is located in Indianapolis, Ind. The coordinator will connect program participants with the resources and professional-development opportunities needed to increase their career readiness in the STEM fields. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in a STEM area. No application deadline is provided.  
  • The STEM Division at Massachusetts Bay Community College has openings for both a laboratory manager and laboratory technician. These positions have responsibility for ensuring the prep and setup of science labs across the Wellesley and Framingham campuses. See the job postings for details on qualifications. Both positions are open until filled. However, the initial application closings dates have passed, so I suggest reaching out to the division to check on the hiring status.  

Other job seeker resources

Here are a few job boards that specifically list out positions at community colleges. There are a number of open faculty positions in chemistry and biology areas listed on these sites and not included in this week’s roundup. Also, you may want to review the following related blog posts for a comprehensive list of other academic job boards and resources. As always, be sure to check the legitimacy of any job boards and be cautious if asked to pay for access or employment services.


Related posts

Donna Kridelbaugh is a contributor to the ASBMB Careers Blog. She holds an advanced degree in microbiology and is a former lab manager.   

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