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Coffee Hour Take Aways: "Teaching at primarily undergraduate institution"
Here are five take aways from what was discussed during the September 27 Coffee Hour, "Teaching at a primarily undergraduate institution."
1) At primarily undergraduate institutions, faculty are expected to spend more time on teaching than on research. However, research is assessed in faculty evaluations, so it is up to the faculty to balance these tasks. Look for opportunities to invove students in your research--this can further both teaching and research.
2) Faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions are also expected to serve their institution in the form of being on committees, being advisors, etc. At smaller institutions, this gives faculty greater opportunities to contribute to their institution.
3) It is critical for faculty be a good fit with their institution. When applying for a faculty position, research the institution to learn more about their culture and mission, not just on official institution web sites, but also in established media, such as the Chronicles of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed. Knowing more about an institution can help your application stand out, if you are able to explain why you want to work at a particular institution, how their mission aligns with your interests, etc.
4) Primarily undergraduate institutions also seriously consider an applicant's teaching portfolios when reviewing applications. Make sure that your teaching philosophy is an accurate representation of yourself; the reader should be able to picture you in the classroom based on your teaching philosophy statement.
5) Not all skills that a faculty member needs are taught in graduate school, and not all institutions have formalized mentoring programs. Be prepared to seek out your own unofficial mentors and be persistant in asking for help.
Join our next Coffee Hour, "The academic job interview: What to expect, how to prepare," on October 25 at 12pm Central Time.