Our books

Become a Fan

« An easier poll on peer-review | Main | Opportunity for a web-savvy philosopher »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Not so recent grad

Why not simply direct readers to earlier threads (some rather recent) on this exact question, or even move those threads to the top? A proliferation of threads on the same topic seems unnecessary and it makes it harder to find specific discussions when searching through past threads.

Marcus Arvan

Not so recent grad: that's a good idea - except I can't quite remember where or when this issue was discussed! Running a blog for a number of years has a number of challenges, not the least of which is remembering what has been discussed and what hasn't.

Anyway, if you can track some of those earlier discussions down, please feel free to post links to them here. Otherwise, I don't see the harm in returning to the issue all over again. Sometimes new discussions (with new participants) can reveal new things!


I have several friends who are deeply involved in the community college scene, and three have snagged TT jobs. While I know this isn't always true, often CC hire people who have been adjuncting at the institution for years. This is how all 3 of my friends were hired - they each spent 3-7 years adjuncting full-time in the CC college system, and were then offered TT positions. I get the impression research wasn't much of an issue. One of these hires was in his early 60's when he got the TT job! This said, I think different CC college systems have different traditions, so it would be great to hear from others. I have no idea what to say about removing research from a CV, etc.

CC Faculty

I am in a TT position at a CC. I would advise that you do NOT remove your research from your CV. Instead, de-prioritize your research accomplishments and prioritize your teaching experience. On your CV, this is as simple as moving your list of peer-reviewed publications below your teaching experience. On your cover letters, it's okay to say something short about your research accomplishments if you have actual publications, but this should not be front and center (and don't bother talking about your dissertation). When I last applied, I devoted two sentences to research accomplishments in my cover letter, but I only did so after saying all the things about teaching that I needed to say. Two CCs I applied to even directly asked about publications during the application process.

IMO, the best thing you can do to snag a CC TT position is to get some experience teaching at CCs.

Sam Duncan

I have a permanent gig at a community college, but I'm not entirely sure how much my advice is worth. I only ever applied for three community college jobs and only got an interview at one (though luckily that panned out well!). I'd second what CC Faculty says on research. Move it down on CV and move the teaching stuff up, but don't get rid of it. I didn't talk about my research in the cover letter at all and my advice might be not to. But CC's do I think want to hire serious scholars; we don't like the nasty stereotype that it's not real college or the faculty aren't real professors. One thing I'd definitely recommend in your cover letter is to explain why you want to teach at a community college. If you or your relatives have any connections with a CC that would be good. Like anywhere we're worried about fit. We don't want people leaving after a year or two, or putting all their efforts into trying to leave and doing a halfhearted job teaching. I gather I'm lucky in that I didn't have CC experience when I was hired but most of the people I've known who were hired in other departments did. CC's do often hire their adjuncts, so that might give one a leg up. Though there are no guarantees that they will hire their adjuncts. Online teaching is a bigger and bigger thing in CCs, so it would also really help if one has some online teaching experience.

Peter Furlong

I have some experience from both sides of hiring at an institution that is basically a CC college (my institution has dropped "community college" from its name since it now offers a few 4-year degrees, but in many ways it is still a community college, or, at the very least, is still quite similar to one). I think the advice from Sam and CC faculty is quite good. Don't remove research stuff, just make it clear that you understand that research is not the purpose of CC schools. To do this, you can rearrange your CV (but no need to delete stuff), and briefly mention your research in a sentence or two near the end of the cover letter. In my experience, research can be a plus for getting hired at CC colleges, but you need to make clear that you understand the mission and day-to-day realities of CC colleges, and that you truly want to be a part of this. It will help quite a bit if you have CC experience, even if not from the school to which you are applying, but it is not necessary. If you lack this experience, be upfront about it, but make clear how your experiences, both in and out of the classroom, will help at a CC institution. Partially, this might have to do with being committed to the population CC institutions especially serve (for example, first generation students). It might also have to do with having developed non-traditional (or at least, non-lecture) teaching methods.


I adjuncted a few courses at the local CC in grad school and two of my colleagues were hired for TT equilavent positions there (there is no tenure, only promotion). I don't remember if either had taught there, but I do know that one had a TON of teaching experience and was an excellent and inventive teacher and I am sure she articulated that well. I think its very unlikely that someone with little or no teaching experience would get hired at a CC.

As for deleting or including research, it seems like there is some good advice already here. I think in general, applying for different kinds of jobs is about highlighting and articulating the experience and expertise that you have that makes you a great candidate for that particular job. I don't think you should even hide anything by leaving it out altogether, but rather rearrange and highlight the appropriate experience and skills.


Hi all,
The APA Newsletter on Philosophy in Two year Colleges contains some job advice--namely in the first issue, written by yours truly.

The key thing here is the job description. Meeting all of the required and preferred qualifications is what gets you an interview. Yes, as an outside candidate you will have to beat out some long time adjuncts. But it happens all of the time. Don't let that discourage you from applying. Often an outside candidate will win out because they meet preferred qualifications that internal candidates do not, such as: having a Ph.D., being active in the field, etc.

Sam Duncan

I'm not sure this means the same thing as what DS says, but one thing I've been thinking about and wanted to add is that at least at my institution human resources is a lot more involved in the hiring than I think is the case at most four year universities. This means that faculty have to justify their decisions strictly on the criteria the ad lays out and faculty don't get a complete say on what's in there. So for us at least you should try to address everything the ad in your cover letter. That's true even if it might seem like boilerplate or even relatively meaningless corporate buzzwords. If you think that the faculty reading your application might well agree, but they will have to justify their decision to give you an interview in terms of those criteria whatever they might think of them. You don't have to necessarily say a lot and by no means should you lie or even b******* but you do need to touch on them. For instance, I remember our ad had something about using emerging technologies. Now I'm generally pretty critical of uncritical use of technology in the classroom so there wasn't much I could say. But I do put my course materials online so students don't have to buy books and I do show the occasional documentary in applied ethics classes so I wrote a line or two about that. Later on I found out one of the hiring committee members was an even bigger critic of tech in the classroom, but he too had to make the decision on what was in the ad so it was very good for me that I said something.

Also, one other thing I wanted to note (at the risk of sounding pedantic) is that most CC's don't really have TT jobs. Most have full-time positions where you get a year to year and later multiyear contract. Functionally speaking these give you about as much job security than does being on the tenure track at most places. And the criteria for promotion and retention are a lot clearer and more objective than are those for getting tenure.


To follow up on Sam Duncan, one of the things I hit on in my article is that the initial round of screening at most CCs is completely done by HR. HR then will forward at most 20 applications to the actual hiring committee, made up of faculty, who then decide who to interview. You get through that initial screening by checking boxes, i.e., meeting all the required and as many as the preferred qualifications as possible.

However, many CCs do in fact have tenure and promotion (e.g., the ability to become a full professor). It has a lot to do with what state you are in and unionization.


I've never heard that most C don't have tenure track - they do in my state, but interesting to learn how much it varies.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Job-market reporting thread

Current Job-Market Discussion Thread

Philosophers in Industry Directory

Open thread on hiring timelines

Cocoon Job-Market Mentoring Program