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College Faculty

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College Faculty

Microphone College faculty instruct students in a wide variety of subjects at both two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions.  College faculty members are responsible for designing course material, forming lesson plans, presenting material to students, helping students absorb and learn the material, and evaluating students.  Professors at four-year colleges are often expected to do research in their particular fields, as well as keep up with new developments.  They also supervise the research and teaching of graduate students.  Most college faculty teach several different subjects in their area; for example, a professor in the English department may teach English and American literature at varying levels, while a professor in the math department may teach algebra, geometry, and calculus.

The education requirements of faculty members vary according to the situation.  Professors at four-year colleges and universities typically need doctoral degrees, while those who teach at two-year colleges, technical, and career institutes typically need experience and knowledge in the subjects they are teaching.  Adjunct faculty — untenured faculty that is supplementary to the core faculty — typically does not require doctoral degrees but must possess an adequate amount of experience and education.

Books The work environment of college faculty is ideal for anyone who loves to learn, because the resources at colleges and universities — including like-minded professors who are also interested in intellectual growth — allow for continual research and learning.  The schedules of college faculty are typically very flexible, with weekends off and long vacation periods that coincide with student breaks.

In addition to being experts in their field, college faculty members must be inquisitive and love research, must be committed to furthering their own education, must be self motivated, must enjoy communicating and working with students, and must be adept at motivating others.

As student enrollments continue to increase, the job outlook for college faculty employment remains positive.  While tenure-track positions are highly competitive, non-tenure track, renewable, and part-time positions will be open.  College professors and instructors with Master's degrees can often find employment at technical institutes, career institutes, and community colleges.

For more information about college faculty careers and professions, please visit the Council of Graduate Schools website and their faculty preparation resource.  General information about adult, career, and technical education may be found at the Association for Career and Technical Education website.

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