Careers in Community Colleges: A Roundtable Discussion

AHA Session 140
Friday, January 4, 2019: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Continental B (Hilton Chicago, Lobby Level)
Stacey Randall, Waubonsee Community College
L.D. Burnett, Tarleton State University
Kristopher Burrell, Hostos Community College, City University of New York
Carla J. DuBose-Simons, Westchester Community College
Amy Godfrey Powers, Waubonsee Community College

Session Abstract

What opportunities do community colleges have to offer for historians on the job market? What is it like to teach at a community college? Are research, publishing, and professional development possible for community college faculty? Do community colleges offer careers outside of the classroom? Recognizing that few graduate programs prepare students for a community college career, this roundtable provides a space to ask questions, share experiences, and begin a dialog about the benefits, challenges, and rewards of working at a two-year institution.

This roundtable offers the perspectives of a variety faculty members and administrators, each representing colleges from different parts of the country. Collectively, they have taught a wide array of courses and have worked in multiple formats, including face-to-face, online, and hybrid classes. The discussants will share their teaching experiences and will describe the numerous roles and responsibilities they perform on their respective campuses. L.D. Burnett of Texas has taught at both four- and two-year institutions and will share the reasons why she chose to make her career at the community college level. She will offer advice on how graduate students can prepare for community college teaching and will describe the many research opportunities that these positions have to offer. Carla J. DuBose-Simons of New York will discuss the changing roles of community college faculty as more and more students choose to begin their academic journeys at two-year colleges. She will describe how she works closely with students as a teacher, academic advisor, and mentor. Not only does she guide her students in the classroom, but she also prepares them for the next stage of their educational experience, helping them research degree programs and assisting them in the transfer process. Kristopher Burrell, a faculty member at Hostos Community College in Bronx, New York, will share his experience teaching underserved populations at an urban community college. He will discuss the unique challenges that his students face and will offer examples of the strategies and techniques he uses to meet their academic needs. Amy Powers of Illinois teaches students from a wide variety of backgrounds, including well-prepared and economically advantaged students to underprepared or underprivileged students, many of whom are first-generation college students. As a Title V institution, her college serves a large Latino/a population and she will discuss the ways in which these students create a rich and rewarding classroom environment. Stacey Randall of Illinois will discuss opportunities outside of teaching. A History Ph.D., she chose a career path in administration. Currently she is Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Title V Project Director at Waubonsee Community College, where she oversees data stewardship, outcomes assessment, and institutional quality. She is also closely involved with the college’s accreditation process and serves as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

The goal of the roundtable is to facilitate a discussion about the many career opportunities that a community college has to offer. The discussants welcome questions and encourage the audience to share their own experiences and insights.

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