Teaching English in a Texas Community College: Summary

To summarize, the students at the community college level include dual credit, traditional, and returning students.  Women dominate and the majority of students are under the age of forty.  Many are of low socioeconomic status and more than one-third are the first generation in their families to attend college.

The highest variety of courses community college students are taught can be found in English as a Second Language courses, with as many as twenty-seven ESOL courses at a single college.  The courses with the highest section numbers, developmental writing and freshman composition classes, are evenly distributed among full and part-time instructors.  And college-level literature courses, mainly American, British, and world literature, are almost entirely taught by the full-time faculty.

The full-time faculty teach a typical course load of twelve courses a year.  They teach five classes each long semester and a two course summer session.  Research is not supported, although doing it can improve the likelihood of receiving a teaching award.

One in four community college teachers has a PhD.  And only about one in four is employed full-time.  They are not necessarily the same fourth.  One eighth of the teachers are tenured.  Even full-time jobs are outside a tenure track one third of the time.

Clearly teachers at two-year colleges are demographically different and teach different courses to different students than teachers at four-year residential colleges or research universities.

With half a million students attending two year colleges in Texas, an awareness of who is teaching what to whom is essential to an understanding of the state of the profession.

Other articles on this topic:
Teaching College English in a Texas Community College: The Teachers
Adjuncting, especially in a community college
Teaching English in a Texas Community College: The Focus
Teaching English in a Texas Community College: The Courses
Teaching English in a Texas Community College: The Students

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