How to Become a Professor at a Junior College

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Becoming a professor at a junior college requires persistent and consistent effort. Many junior colleges hire plenty of part-time, adjunct instructors but offer few full-time professor positions. Astute attention to job openings, as well as a willingness to start part-time and work into a full-time position are necessary components of the attitude one must take on for this venture.

Things You'll Need

  • CV (Curriculum Vitae)
  • Current transcripts
  • List of previous teaching positions

Assess Your Marketability

  • Begin by reviewing what credentials and education you have in your field. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, that is a great start but will not get you hired at a Junior College. If you possess a Master’s degree, you have a fighting chance if you can get an interview and make an impression on someone. If you have a PhD, you have the best chance of obtaining a position as a professor.

  • Review your teaching experience. If you have a master’s or PhD degree, did you serve as a graduate or teaching assistant? If you did not, do you have other teaching experience? Perhaps you served as a guest lecturer or worked in corporate training in the business world. If you do not have any teaching experience; be prepared to dazzle the junior college to which you wish to send your application.

  • Review your CV. A CV, or curriculum vitae, is the appropriate type of resume to send to a junior college, since it includes an in-depth account of your educational and academic background and skills. Make sure that your CV is up to date. If it is not, make it current. You will need a current CV to make yourself marketable to a junior college.

Prepare for Your Job Search

  • Begin any and all networking possible. Although your CV and an application may get you into the door of a junior college; knowing someone will get you in even faster. Review your list of professional contacts. Do you know anyone who works in the academic field? Does he or she work at a junior college or know someone who works at one? Let these people know you are looking for work. They might be able to give you a contact name.

  • Target your search to either your local community or to the entire country. You can make this decision based on how far you are willing to travel to be a professor at a junior college and if you are willing to relocate altogether.

  • Compile a list of the junior colleges to which you wish to send your application. Start a document on your computer for this. List the name of the school, its mailing address, phone number and website.

Seek Employment

  • Peruse the human resources websites for the junior colleges to which you wish to send your application to search for current openings. Mark these colleges with an asterisk on your list, so that you know to prioritize these colleges.

  • Apply immediately to any of the junior colleges that are currently hiring professors in your field. Make sure you check the website for special instructions and call the human resources office or department for any necessary clarifications.

  • Follow-up with each of the junior colleges to which you send your application package. If a contact name was listed on the original job posting, try to e-mail or call that person directly. Make sure to continue your follow-up procedures every two weeks.

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