Should I encourage or discourage?

I received an email from a person who is interested in teaching college English. She put that into a search engine and found my blog.

I’m a newspaper editor considering a new career as a community college teacher. I was hoping you might have a few minutes in the next week or so for me to pick your brain about how to go about getting into the profession.
I’m still doing my research, but I think I’d like to teach developmental English or English for Academic Purposes, English as a Second Language and possibly freshman composition.

I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and am trying to figure out what kind of master’s degree would qualify me to teach these subjects. I’m also interested in learning what kind of teaching experience I can get with my current experience and education. Part of my job involves teaching and mentoring young journalists, but I’ve never taught in a classroom.

Here is what I told her:

squiggly-pencilYou can teach developmental English at some community colleges with a bachelor’s. You can also usually teach ESL with a bachelor’s.

Freshman composition is the most common course in English at most community colleges.  You need a master’s to teach freshman comp.

A master’s in English, with an emphasis in any field will be sufficient to teach as a part-timer at the community college.

As a newspaper editor, you could probably teach journalism at the community college part-time, or developmental part-time. That would let you know whether you will enjoy it before you actually get into the financial and time commitment of a master’s.

While many community college teachers only have their master’s, there is a surfeit of teachers in English and to get a full-time position you would need to be willing to move and have experience teaching in the community college.

With a PhD I was recently told I might be better off teaching high school. At least the jobs are more plentiful. I’ve done that, though, and I know I like teaching college much better. It might be something for you to consider though.

Does anyone have pearls of wisdom to share?

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