The Two “R”s at the CC: Are Historical Research and Writing Compatible with Teaching at a Community College?
Kevin Reilly, Raritan Valley College
George D. Sussman, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York
Emily Sohmer Tai, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York
Veteran community college historians discuss the trials and tribulations—and some of the opportunities—of engaging in scholarly research and writing for publication while teaching the equivalent of five courses a semester. What can a new faculty member anticipate in terms of research expectations at community colleges? How much do these expectations vary from state to state, and college to college? How does one find the time? How can research and teaching enrich each other in the community college setting? What are the rewards and drawbacks of faculty research and writing at the community college? What are the unique perspectives afforded community college faculty to support research? Community college historians often “fly at 10,000 feet” in the classroom, teaching surveys that offer sweeping generalizations across cultures and chronology, in order to review broad domains of historical content. Surveys of American, western and world civilization necessarily limit opportunities for detailed and sustained consideration of historical evidence for developments within discrete periods and places. Taking the long view nevertheless can enable community college historians to discern historical problems—particularly in the area of comparative, world history--that closer examination of a sub-field might obscure.