Supporting Community College Faculty Across the Disciplines > Fall 2012 Workshop > Opening Questions: Setting the Stage for the Conversation

Opening Questions: Setting the Stage for the Conversation

As a way of setting up the conversations that would take place at the workshop, part of the opening session was structured as a gallery walk where participants were asked to respond to some basic questions about being a faculty member at a Community College. As they moved around the room, the participants also responded to or expanded on answers given by those who answered the questions before them. As the final stage, the small groups were asked to summarize the most important responses from all the participants and report them to the group.

Why should community college faculty participate in disciplinary associations?

  • Finding jobs
  • Advocacy/position statements
  • Advocacy promote role of community colleges in higher Ed
  • Learn about cutting edge research
  • Interact with university colleagues
  • Interact with K/12 colleagues
  • Have access to websites and resources
  • Expand networks
  • Maintain and enhance disciplinary identity
  • Participate in setting the agenda for discipline
  • Involve students, help them network and make connection s to careers
  • Research opportunities
  • Model professional behavior
  • Learn cutting edge pedagogical strategies
  • Opportunities to present research
  • Perspectives of diverse groups
  • Learn about new policy regulations within discipline
  • Up to date content knowledge
  • Social acitivites/fun
  • Overcome isolation..a sense of hope
  • Solve problems and learn about problems that you may not have known about
  • Work with others to help them solve their problems
  • Renenergize..refocus
  • Move things in a new direction
  • Assist four year college faculty with teaching diverse groups
  • Not reinventing the wheel
  • Awareness of current and past disciplinary activities ,discoveries so work can build upon them and not replicate.
  • Internal regeneration
  • External resources
  • Collective action

What are key points about working with community college faculty that professional associations should know?

  • Limited resources for community college faculty ..lower rates would help
  • Internships for all graduates at conferences could help provide support from colleges?
  • Need to convince faculty why they should join and participate
  • Conferences are perceived as research focused
  • Teaching loads and reward structures
  • Demands on faculty and working with underprepared students
  • Promotional opportunities and career advancement?
  • Define more broadly was meant by "scholarship"..example scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Community college faculty don't see the value of belonging.. They often undervalue.
  • Culture is different..workforce developed
  • Adjunct issues..large part of workforce.
  • We are large..teaching about 40 percent of undergraduates
  • We produce many future majors
  • We have strong community and industry ties
  • Workload different than other faculty
  • Lots of teaching experience but little time or incentive to publish
  • Little attention to teaching and learning in disciplines..teaching needs to be more valued
  • We are colleagues and should not be marginalized. We are graduates of programs and faculty that are supported by the discipline.
  • Incentives are different at two year school
  • Challenges of working with underprepared students
  • We are diversity. We are the pipeline for many underesourced and diverse students to major in disciplines
  • Some disciplines are general education and service courses.
  • Legislation and transfer often guides our curriculum

How do we overcome disciplinary isolation of faculty in a single person or small department at a community college?

  • Professional societies
    • Active engagement/involvement in professional organizations (join a section, go to business meeting)
    • Meetings/conferences/local (travel $ is a challenge)
    • Live streaming from conferences
  • Professional development activities
    • Discipline focused or theme based workshops, pedagogical workshops, summer seminars, short courses
    • Professional development days (including discipline-specific, which may be hard to come by on some campuses)
    • Collaboration across colleges (same discipline)
    • Webinars
  • Newsletters, websites
  • Industry connections
  • Networking and communities
    • Promising web-based interactions
    • Networking (including social networking, FB, Twitter, online networking)
    • Team teaching
    • Faculty learning community
  • Two-year / four-year faculty connections
  • Talking across disciplines
  • Interdisciplinary speakers to speak across subjects
  • Involvement of adjuncts
  • Mentoring
  • Promising web-based interactions (networking, webinars) - still need face-to face
  • List-servs (limited? Extinct?)
  • Incentives for full time faculty – some prefer to be isolated – focus on those seeking community, support to attend conferences, release time for special projects and grants