Any undergrad proffs here?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by emt1581, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    I've applied for a job at a local college. One of the duties of that postion is to teach a college 101 course of sorts. I had to take it in undergrad, and I think everyone has to now.

    Hopefully I'll get an interview and if I do, I'd like to have all my ducks in order. I figure it'd impress the hell out of them if I can gather up data on their course and then build my own syllabus for it to show them.

    What I'm wondering is...

    1) Do colleges usually give the professor the syllabus to follow or at least various topics that need to be covered or do they expect the professor to have their own plans to propose for the course?

    2) Is there anywhere online that is good to look at for formulating a syllabus?

    If there is any other info that would be helpful, please feel free to share.

    Thanks!:)

    -Emt1581
     
  2. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    It varies. Most of the time the instructor can come up with his or her own syllabus. Many times it doesn't even need to be approved.

    But sometimes a department will want cookie cutter versions of existing syllabi, and have things approved by the department chair.

    Search for that course topic name on the internet, and you'll probably start finding a bunch of syllabi posted at various college websites.

    For a 101 course, and for an adjunct, they might have their own syllabus they want you to use. Not always, but a distinct possibility.

    The amount of academic freedom can be astounding :)
     

  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    You mentioned being an adjunct, but that is one of my two jobs at that college...should I get the position. So I'd have my own office, it would just be something I have to do once a week with a group of students.

    I just got off the phone with one of my advisors who is a proff at that college. He said they gave him a syllabus from another proff and then he added his own stuff to it. But I still want to have one of my own when I walk into the interview. At best, I'll be able to use it. At worst, it'll make me look more prepared and appropriate for the position.

    Something else I thought about is approaching the registrar's office and come from the standpoint of a student and get the current syllabus for it (as well as a few other courses) to see if they'll transfer to my university. Now obviously, I'm not a student, but it'd help get me what I need.

    My main concern is that I've never created a syllabus before so any tips/sites/etc...would be a big help.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  4. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Does the Registrar have a copy of the syllabus? They usually don't. Unless the college has some policy of them controlling weblinks to that stuff.

    Let's do it this way. What's the title of the course? Looks like it is some sort of study skills course. Do all students have to take it? Or just the special admits who aren't yet considered qualified students?

    Either way, sounds like a developmental course that they likely control the syllabus. Lots of faculty probably don't want that course to be a requirement, and would see it as a waste of time for the students, and would want the college to admit better preparred students in the first place. So, the administration that is supporting the course is probably trying to show that it has an impact, and there could be all sorts of internal political issues surrounding the course.

    You should find a copy of it, for sure, and then at least you can say you've read it and undestand it. Maybe have a couple improvement ideas, if they ask you for any. But otherwise, you want to be seen as a well informed, competent team player.

    Since you've never taught a course before (I assume) you will be at slight disadvantage to those who have. You can't fake it. But you can at least be familiar with the current course syllabus.
     
  5. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Maybe the department offering the job would have a syllabus.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  6. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Check your PM's :)

    -Emt1581
     
  7. IA Glocker

    IA Glocker

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    Usually you will get a copy of last semester's syllabus from whomever taught it. When teaching a new class, I always start with that, and then change it to meet my needs.

    Our department gives the instructor quite a bit of latitude in writing the syllabus. However, we do have some policies that are always listed on every syllabus, and we have a standard grading scale that the entire department uses.

    If you goal is to impress them, I would focus on things other than a syllabus. When we interview people for vacant lecturer or professor positions, the ability to generate a syllabus doesn't count for much. The ability to communicate effectively and speak in front of people is everything.

    Do you have any public speaking experience? How soon might this interview happen? Is there any way you could practice in front of people before hand? Can you keep your audience's attention?

    Good luck. Being a college lecturer is the best job ever.
     
  8. MaximaDrvr

    MaximaDrvr

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    I was given the previous years course material my first semester. After that, I changed it to suit myself and the class needs. I submitted a new syllabus to the department and that was the end of it.
    I taught 100 and 200 level classes. When I left, my material was passed on to the person who took my place. It wasn't required of me, but was done as a courtesy.

    What subject will you be teaching?
     
  9. Mushinto

    Mushinto Master Member

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    Just because you are a teacher doesn't necessarily make you a professor.

    ML
     
  10. hoffy

    hoffy

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    Seeing as how this is a 101 class, other departments will want to have certain things covered. When I got my masters I went on to do post grad work in the college of education , and those**** made me take a 130 level history class, non-western. The guy who was teaching the class was a friend of mine, I got my masters a quarter before he did, through the history dept, and he was on the PhD track. He had thought I had stopped in to shoot the breeze before class, and when he said "they are filtering in, you better go" he was shocked to hear the ED guys were making me take it, he said "you could teach this" Sigh...
    Anyway, I think he was given quite a leeway as per content, he taught mostly what interested him, Japanese history, with a smattering of African and Chinese, so I am guessing he was forced to cover that. I didn't ask, as I was one of the few in my close group of friends who did not have an assistantship, and I know how hard it was to teach and take 800 level classes. I know that in my area(History) the dept chair scrutinized syllabae, and I think the graduate advisors were responsible for looking over teaching assistants syllabae.

    I am glad to hear some one has got a job, the local university is cutting back, and it is going to really hurt the student body, as required classes might be only offered once a year and certainly end up closing out. Also interesting niche classes will be eliminated too. Good luck, and remember, coming out of grad school, you will be shocked when you have to be around freshmen again:faint:
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  11. harleyfx69

    harleyfx69

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    as far as cutting back,

    they are doing it here also, i just dont understand why,

    they charge a very large amount for tuition and class fee's,

    the parking is ridiculous, several hundred dollars per semester, and they ticket he hell out of you, parking garage is too small for my truck to go through, and the spots are too narrow ,

    they charge recreation fee's when we dont even have the rec center any more ,

    books are outrageous, and they be sure to only use ones available from the bookstore, no where else,

    security is a joke, every person that i know has had their car broken into, i was the only one that hey caught the guy,
     
  12. PicardMD

    PicardMD Make It So!!

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    As a medical school professor, most of my teaching is bedside/clinical nowadays. I do, however, still do some classroom didactic teaching.

    And I had, at one point or another, taught both undergrad and graduate school courses during my academic career (I have another terminal graduate degree besides my MD). And I have sat on faculty hiring committees.

    In most college level and beyond courses, the department sets the basic objectives of the course, and allows the instructor (at whatever academic rank) leeways on the exact syllsbus. Obviously, higher the academic rank, the more leeway one tends to have. And yes, old syllabus from previous years do get passed down to the new guy as references.

    Now, it's very advisable to discuss with the department chair (or whoever he/she designates) the objective of the course BEFORE developing the syllabus to make sure that you are meeting the course objective. Now, if you have taught similar courses before, it's not a bad form to bring syllabus you have used in the past to the interview to let them review it. But developing a syllabus for a course you've never taught and have not met with the department chair about the objectives may seem a bit premature and may make you seem a bit inflexible if your syllabus doesn't meet the course objectives.

    And I echo one of the previous posters -- your prior teaching experiences, ability to speak in public, ability to intelligently discuss (during the interview) the subject matters you will be teaching, and your teaching philosophy will count ALOT more in the hiring decision than bringing a course syllabus you have never used in real life teaching and have not discussed with the chair over the course objectives. Ask (and show interest) if the college has any faculty development courses/seminars you can participate to develop your teaching skills at college level. This is especially important if you've never taught before. If this is somewhat of a longivity type of job you are being considered, they would like to know that you are willing to make the personal investment in faculty developments.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  13. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    I appreciate the replies.

    I am going to back off the syllabus idea. But in my mind I keep thinking about how to sell myself. I mean this job is the jackpot of jobs for me. This is a job that, if I get it, I will stay in until I retire.

    I'm thinking about how to utilize some of the things in my resume. I also have a bunch of experience, not with the teaching but with the other (main part of the job) which is counseling. Then there's the fact that I almost failed out of undergrad but a counselor was the one who saved me from doing so...So there's a TON of stuff I have racing through my mind. I just want to come off as best as possible because this job is soooo huge for me.

    So again, thanks for the replies and please keep them coming!:)

    -Emt1581
     
  14. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Another thing you might want to try is to google the same (or similar course description) at other colleges and universities. Most schools now post all course descriptions and syllabi on-line and you can use these as a valuable source for forming your own. That, and it's been my experience that the department chairs will go out of their way to give you all the background and previously used documentation for the course(s) in question. HH
     
  15. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    I actually did that earlier today, but like I said, I'm relaxing a bit on the whole syllabus thing...I think I need to focus on my experience/education moreso.

    Thanks!:)

    -Emt1581
     
  16. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Another thing you will need to have is a CV, or curriculum vitae. Again, google will be your friend in how to prepare one...showing up at an academic interview with a CV instead of a resume scores multiple points and may even be a requirement now. I don't know if what your being considered for is related to EMS, but make sure you have all your documentation for ALS, BLS, CME's, Peds, etc. (originals, not copies) in a nicely presentable folio. Anything you've published or presented in a professional environment must also be included. HH
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  17. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    There is selling what you actually have done, and credentials and skills you have, and how they apply to the job.

    Then there is selling yourself.

    I've been the chair of search committees before, and sometimes it becomes clear when someone is just selling themselves, to cover up for the lack in education/credentials/skills.

    And sometimes, even worse, that selling is more of a generic sense and showing that they don't even know what the job entails.

    So, that reminds me, make sure you research what the actual job is. Become an expert in what the job is (not to sell yourself, but so that it shows you know what the job is, in your application and interviews). Your application/resume should be written specific for this job.

    You should describe how your education/credentials/skills/experience all relate to the job. And don't just restate what I said, but specifically show how each piece of what you have relates to each piece of the job. Show that on your application/resume.

    I'm reading your application, and I don't know crap about you, and I don't give a crap about you. I've got 200 applications to read. I know what the job is, and I'm looking for a match for it. Sort of like a puzzle. I'm looking for the piece that fits.

    Applications are pieces of puzzles, and I'm looking for a specific piece. I want to determine as quickly as possible whether the piece I'm holding up in my hand is the one I want, the one that fits into what I'm looking for, or not.

    You've already sent in your application/resume. So you can't edit that now, but think about this same process as relates to the interview if you get one.

    The difference with the interview stage is now your personality starts to come out, and you've got to be likable, as well as seem like the right piece of the puzzle I'm looking for.

    Something like that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  18. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Awesome advice!

    See I have so much experience(s)/history and I've been through so much professionally that I have a LOT to sell.

    What I've been going through in my mind is not only how to present, but how to take my skills and experience and allow it to help me as a proff. I mean I've taught before but it was mostly through therapeutic groups, not semester long classes/lessons. But this class, this college 101 class, really is teaching personal skills and allowing the students to take advantage of some of the services the school offers if they need help. I can do that pretty well. I used to do that with students that would sooner stab me than learn, but I still got them to do it. I figure students that actually WANT to be there and want to learn shouldn't be too bad after that. The thing I have to figure out is how to shape that experience and sell it to the interviewers that I can do it as a proff one hour a week semester after semester?

    Thanks again!

    -Emt1581
     
  19. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Good advice.

    In my simple mind, they are one and the same. CV is just a longer version of the resume, getting down to the details of courses taught and publications.

    I'm not sure if this job is looking for those details. And I'm not sure if the OP has the academic background that typically goes into a CV.

    Just thinking out loud here.

    http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/curriculumvitae/f/cvresume.htm
     
  20. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Not quite. I've never had anything published and I'm Masters level, not Doctoral.

    I've had a ton of con-eds but they were on ethics, being a mandated reporter, new theories/tactics, stuff like that. And there were far too many to list or remember.

    I plan on going in with my skills/education/experience as best I can.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581