How to Become a Community College Professor

How to Become a Community College ProfessorPursuing a career as a community college professor places you in the rewarding position of one who may provide a student’s first college experience, whether that student is 18 or 38, or you may welcome a returning student looking to earn another degree in order to gain a competitive edge in the workplace.

 As Ball, a community college professor himself, stated, community college students offer an “amazing diversity of their experiences and skills” and represent students of all ages and backgrounds. Ball emphasized, “Many will have just finished high school, some will have years of college under their belts, and some will be returning students who have advanced degrees and decades of work experience. Most will be in their teens, but many will be in their 20s and 30s, and some will be significantly older.”

Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The minimum degree for entry-level community college professor jobs is a master’s degree, but many colleges prefer a terminal degree and generally prefer to hire those who have one: a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Education (EdD) degree, or perhaps an Education Specialist (EdS) degree. Community college professors in technical and trade schools generally are accepted with master’s degrees, along with certification and experience in their particular subject matter (such as mechanics, cosmetology, culinary arts, and similar career fields).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) anticipates a 17 percent job growth rate nationwide for postsecondary teachers between 2013 and 2020, which is about as fast as average among other industries. The actual rate will vary based on geographical location and community college enrollment numbers.

How to Become a Community College Professor

In order to become a community college professor, you will need a minimum of a master’s degree in your respective field, along with work experience for technical or trade schools. This may involve a commitment of about one to two years, depending on whether you currently hold a bachelor’s degree, and whether you pursue your degree through traditional or online classes.

Your master’s degree program will usually allow you to choose an area of concentration, in addition to your specific subject matter areas. For instance, some specialty areas in postsecondary education programs include curriculum and instruction, adult and community college education, or instructional technology.

Some essential qualities or characteristics that are valuable for community college professors to possess include efficient listening skills; proficient communication skills, both in spoken and written language; analytical or critical-thinking skills; and instructional presentation skills, so you can make concepts clear and understandable for your students.

How Online Education Can Help

Online education is ideal for busy adult learners seeking degrees to become community college professors, since they often currently hold jobs, and may also have obligations to significant others or families. You don’t have to give up your dream of pursuing a teaching degree, though, because online education, or e-learning, provides a level of flexibility and convenience not available in the traditional classroom environment.

Note: Even most online postsecondary teaching degree programs, however, have mandatory fieldwork hours that you must complete before obtaining your teaching degree.

A postsecondary teaching degree program leading to community college professor opportunities might include the following courses:

  • Adult learning theories
  • Learning strategies for adult and community college education
  • Assessment and evaluation for adult and community college education
  • Instructional technologies

Thank you for visiting our site here at Web College Search, where we can help you find and choose the right school and relevant degree program for your desired career path. It’s as easy and quick as filling out our brief sign-up form here on our site. Within a short time, you will receive helpful information about the school/s you might like to attend, along with details about the degree program.

Next, fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you complete that step, go ahead and apply to the school/s with the appropriate postsecondary teaching degrees that can lead to community college professor opportunities.

If you bookmark our site, you’ll be able to return often to gather more information from our insightful articles and additional resources. As you pursue your educational journey toward becoming a community college professor, you will be well on your way to helping other college students prepare for their own new careers.

Considerations for a Career as a Community College Professor

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide details specifically for community college professors, but includes them in the figures for postsecondary teachers. Rates also vary based on geographical location and the school itself, as well as on the specific subject matter you might teach. For instance, the BLS figures for May 2012 showed national average annual wages for postsecondary English teachers as $60,040; for postsecondary business teachers as $73,660; and for postsecondary engineering teachers as $92,670.

You may be able to get an idea of potential average annual earnings by reviewing these rates, based on the May 2012 statistics, for various general categories of full-time postsecondary teachers:

  • Postsecondary Teachers: median annual wage of $62,390, with lowest 10 percent earning $29,120, and highest 10 percent earning $134,120.
  • Education Postsecondary Teachers: median annual wage of $59,350, with lowest 10 percent earning $32,030, and highest 10 percent earning $104,920.
  • Postsecondary teachers, all other categories: median annual wage of $96,480, with lowest 10 percent earning $26,800, and highest 10 percent earning $145,340.

According to the BLS, the job outlook for openings for postsecondary teachers in general is about as fast as other industries, with an anticipated 17 percent growth rate in job openings between 2013 and 2020. This translates to a change from about 1,756,000 in 2010 to about 2,061,700 positions by 2020.

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