What Your Ph.D. Didn't Cover

Teaching in Higher Education Certificate
What Your Ph.D. Didn't Cover

At a time when community colleges are feeling more pressure than ever to improve their completion rates and new Ph.D.s are feeling more pressure than ever to find a job, graduate schools around the country are struggling with just what it means to prepare community college instructors. Now, recognizing that what these instructors need is markedly different training from their counterparts in high schools and at four-year universities, some graduate programs are offering credentials specifically for those students who plan to or already teach at community colleges as a supplement to their subject matter graduate training.

Temple University, for instance, introduced a teaching certificate specifically for community college professors earlier this year and graduated its first students last month — just in time for them to take what they learned into their classrooms for the fall semester.

Those seeking the certificate do not have to be enrolled in a Temple graduate program, and there is a specific track for current community college instructors who, though they are already experts in their discipline, want a professional development opportunity to learn new teaching techniques. This first-offering of the certificate this spring attracted mid- and late-career professors at nearby Delaware County Community College and Community College of Philadelphia who were able to finish the program over the course of a few months by taking classes one night a week.

There is also a separate track for current Temple graduate students who aspire to teach in higher education, including at community colleges but want a teaching credential to accompany a graduate degree in their chosen discipline. More than 60 graduate students from the university’s communications, theater, physical sciences and education departments — to name a few — enrolled in the program.

Continue reading at insidehighered.com

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