October 6 is the day

Mark your calendars now.  Teaching at Teaching-Intensive Institutions, New England’s annual daylong workshop for doctoral students and postdocs, will be hosted by Westfield State University in Massachusetts on October 6 from 9:30 until 3.


As always, the event will feature panels, discussions, job-search information, and job counseling sessions.  This year we’ll have a plenary panel featuring directors of teaching centers at all kinds of teaching-focused institutions, including community colleges, public regional universities, and liberal arts colleges.  Sessions will focus on combining teaching and research, student advising, conducting research with undergraduates, and many other topics.


The day is free for all participants, but attendees must register in advance.  Watch this blog for the registration link.


The event is sponsored, so far, by Bridgewater State University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the University of Rhode Island, the University of New Hampshire, Brown University, and the University of Connecticut.




The community college interview

Nicole Matos, from the MLA’s Committee on Contingent Labor in the Profession (CCLIP), wrote a Chronicle Vitae post on how to ace a job interview with a community college. Take a look. And then, especially if you’re in the humanities, cruise on over to the CCLIP site to see what the committee is up to in support of contingent labor in higher ed.

Place community and collaboration at the center of the conversation. The “community” in community college is anything but incidental. More than any other type of campus, these are hyper-local spaces, drawing the majority of their students from the immediate vicinity.

Teaching at Teaching-Intensive Institutions will Return IRL

We’re excited to announce that the fourth annual Teaching at Teaching-Intensive Institutions workshop will be happening on October 6, 2017, at Westfield State University, in Westfield, Massachusetts.  We’ll start at 9:30 am and finish at 3.  Food is included, and the entire event is funded by Bridgewater State, Westfield State, and doctoral institutions in New England (will post the full list of sponsors soon–but it already includes URI, UMass Amherst, Boston College, and UNH).

This event, aimed at doctoral students, postdocs, and adjuncts in the New England area,  features presentations on what it’s like to make a career at a college or university where teaching undergraduates is the primary focus.  It includes sessions on balancing teaching and research, student demographics, how to start an undergraduate research program, what community college students need, and many other topics.

And bring your CV and a sample cover letter for the chance to meet one-on-one with folks who have been on search committees at regional pubic institutions and community colleges.  a link for signups for the job counseling, as well as a link for registration for this FREE event, will be posted late in the summer.  In the meantime, mark your calendar and tell your friends.

Keep checking this site for handy tips and links.



Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago at last year’s TTII, which drew more than 200 attendees, at UMass Boston.

How do you teach a racist text?

HASTAC is a great resource for teaching and learning in the digital age.

A recent blog post by HASTAC director Cathy Davidson tackles the topic of how to teach, in a responsible way, texts that have racist content.  Davidson shares her experience in a graduate class she’s teaching, Teaching Race and Gender Theory in the Undergraduate Classroom.  This topic is important for all teachers.  If you want to teach at a teaching-intensive institution, you need to be aware that the student population tends to be more racially diverse than at an elite private college or a flagship state university.  Many doctoral programs do not train students to think about who their undergraduate students will be, or how to teach in a culturally competent way, a way that takes into account the perspectives and needs of a range of students.  This post offers some good teaching ideas for  teaching difficult material.

Non-traditional and first-gen students need different kinds of support

Many of the students you will be teaching in community colleges and regional public institutions, and, indeed, an increasing proportion of college students in all institutions, are non-traditional students. These students are likely to be over 24, to be employed, to have children and/or dependent relatives, and to be attending college part-time or off and on.


Here are some tips for supporting those students, and some useful links to more information, so as to keep them enrolled and make sure they’re successful.  Take a look.


Combining Teaching and Research


In 2009, Quentin Vicens and Philip E. Bourne offered timeless advice to those of us at four-year institutions where we do both teaching and research.  Unlike community colleges, regional comprehensive institutions and small private colleges with four-four teaching loads expect that our faculty will have active research agendas that mesh well with their teaching responsibilities.  It can be difficult to learn to balance the workload, but it’s really rewarding to find ways to make your research feed your teaching and your teaching feed your research.  Vicens and Bourne come at the question from the sciences, but their tips can help faculty members in any field.


Take a look at their article and think about how it might be translatable for you.  Here are their Ten Simple Rules to Combine Teaching and Research:


Rule 1: Strictly Budget Your Time for Teaching and for Doing Research

Rule 2: Set Specific Teaching and Research Goals

Rule 3: “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel”

Rule 4: Don’t Try To Explain Everything

Rule 5: “Be Shameless in Bringing Your Research Interests into Your Teaching”

Rule 6: Get the Most in Career Advancement from Bringing Your Research into Your Teaching

Rule 7: Compromise, Compromise, Compromise

Rule 8: Balance Administrative Duties with Your Teaching and Research Workload

Rule 9: Start Teaching Early in Your Career

Rule 10: Budget Time for Yourself, Too

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