becoming a professor

Discussion in 'Education' started by susan_winn, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Hello,

    I have my MA in photography, i had a year of a teaching graduate assistantship, i have been in multiple shows and i am a contacted
    photography question is what can i do to stand out to colleges to get an adjunct position? what else can i do?
  2. SCL


    You might speak to the college near you where you would be available to accept a teaching position, offer to participate in programs they may be seeking assistance in, even if they are community outreach programs. Sometimes the front door isn't the only way in. Other alternatives might be to broaden the scope of your photography "teaching" skills, perhaps by becoming knowledgable on the business aspect of photography rather than the artistic side. Just thoughts...I'm not in the field, but I've seen these approaches work in other fields.
  3. 1. Write scholarly articles on some aspect of photography or the history or philosophy of photography, and get your articles published in well-respected peer-reviewed journals. Cross-disciplinary but highly specialized topics usually are well received. (Semi) tongue-in-cheek example: "The influence of Kodachromes and small format photography in the analysis of the bull cult of Çatalhöyük."
    2. TA appointments are a dime-a-dozen, and, because TAs are presumed to operate under the supervision of faculty, are unlikely to be very impressive to the members of a faculty search committee. Get more experience in classroom teaching, but do so in an independent role - obviously, at the college level. Offer to teach an entire course at your local 2 year / community college for pennies. Such appointments can often be made by the department chair without going through a full faculty search committee.
    3. Schmooze members of their Undergrad Curriculum Committee, and then pitch a new course to them.
    4. If you received any classroom teaching or other similar academic awards, be sure to mention them. If you can convince older faculty that you will reduce their workload (eg, you can teach some of the courses they currently must teach), you will be ahead of the pack.
    The best of luck.
    Tom M
  4. I can sympathize with you because I just went through a whole year of applying for jobs, with not much success, but all you need is one success right.
    Here is some great advice that I got at the College Art Associations annual conference this year.
    1. Put together an application packet that includes the following: your Curriculum Vitae, Teaching philosophy, Artist Statements, Student Evaluations, Personal and Student work, and Letters of Recommendation. Have someone review all of these documents with them (preferably someone in Academe')
    2. Submit multiple portfolios. Colleges today are combining programs and they want someone who can teach in multiple disciplines. I recently interviewed for a job that was looking form someone to teach Photography as well as New Media. So the point is, and I learned this after submitting about 25 different applications, is submit more than just your thesis project.
    3. Submit to shows! I know you are already doing this and that is great, that is exactly what you need to do.
    4. Get your MFA! I know this isn't the best news considering you already have an MA, but the MFA is the terminal degree in art. It's a higher degree and it attracts more attention.
    5. Get to know the faculty at the local college. A lot of times, the adjunct positions aren't posted anywhere. You just have to go in and introduce yourself. Come prepared with your application packet to leave with them. This is how I landed my current job. My wife told me to just drop off my resume' and see what happens. I got a phone call the next day. It just so happened that their current design instructor was leaving and there was going to be a vacancy.
    6. Be flexible. You want to teach photography, but there might be a job teaching 2D design. Who cares, it's art and it can lead to bigger and better things. I was asked to teach a class on Adobe Flash. I had never even opened the program, but I had about a month to plan. So I learned the software, put together a lesson plan, and taught the course.
    7. Find the jobs. There are several sites that post academic vacancies. is specific to the art community. Other great ones are, and
    I hope this helps. I know how stressful it can be and believe me, nothing is worse than not knowing where you will end up. Good luck in your search.
    Andrew Klc
  5. I taught English composition (yuk) for four years at a community college before I finally got my adjunct position in journalism writing at a fairly large university. Persistence was the key. I sent updated CV's twice a year until they got so tired of hearing from me they hired me. Because of my photo background, I'm also lecturing in photojournalism -- not as a career field, but rather as a journalist tool for success in today's convergent media.
    I would like to brag for just a moment about my online CV and offer it up as a model, not because I like to brag about it, but because it works. I've received five job offers on the strength of this CV, and mainly because of its interactivity -- links to everything down to student evaluations, work samples and copies of transcripts. The old-fashioned cover letter has been replaced with the carefully crafted e-mail letter that closes with a link to the CV. If you copy this model, it will set you apart and save you lots of time (not to mention postage).

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