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Thread: Planners as professors: how to get a part-time teaching job?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Planners as professors: how to get a part-time teaching job?

    I''ve met many planners who also teach part-time at a local college or university; usually in their urban studies, planning or geography department. How do they find out about these jobs? How do they get them? It would be great if anyone here who is working part-time in academia share their experiences.

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quickest way would be call the various departments and see how they go about it and if there are any positions available.
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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I was asked this semester to teach an intro to planning course to undergrads (which I declined since I don't have the time). They offered it to me in part because I am a recent grad and they know me. But also, there are a number of classes like this that at least here at UNM the department has a hard time filling either because they are understaffed (as they are at the moment - you may have seen a posting for the professorship recently) or because it is a course that is offered infrequently. At UNM they have a number of courses only offered every other year (in the graduate program at least) and they are almost always taught by a practicing professional. Right now my friend is teaching "The Housing Process" but she is not a full-time prof. - just someone who has worked in housing - a land trust, homeless housing, private development firm.

    One might look at the course catalog for the local planning program and note the classes taught by "staff" as this often indicates they don't have a regular staff person that teaches that particular course.
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    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    The only planner I have known that did that had a doctorate. So that would be the first step seems like.
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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    One of my former profs keeps sending out invites to teach one evening. Freewheeling topic choice. Drop-in lecturer. You'd be on the program for the one semester, and could repeat if you liked doing it and vice versa.

    I would except I'm not donating two hours' worth of driving (each way).

  6. #6
    The best way to get a part time teaching job is to get to know someone in the department. Almost all the adjunct and part time jobs go to people they know.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    One of my former profs keeps sending out invites to teach one evening. Freewheeling topic choice. Drop-in lecturer. You'd be on the program for the one semester, and could repeat if you liked doing it and vice versa.

    I would except I'm not donating two hours' worth of driving (each way).
    How much per gig? Or would you be donating that too?

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I speak once a semester at a local college and a university - I do it for free because I think it is helpful for students to hear from people in practice as well as learning planning theory, and if I ever wanted to go back for a graduate degree in order to teach, I will have a little experience on my resume

    so perhaps, ask to be a guest lecturer and then forge relationships so when someone retires, you can get their job

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    Cyburbian
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    We have had a few professionals who are graduates of our master's program come and teach courses for a semester. I think they were willing to hire people who only had Bachelor's or Master's degrees was that they were short staffed, but those courses were often more rewarding than some of those with actual professors.

    In my department, I think these former students had a network that got them in touch with the right people. I don't know who found who, if they sought the job or if they were tapped for it.

    I would suggest talking to the department you're interested in teaching for and having ready a list of topics you are prepared to teach and be prepared to show how your professional experience gives you a valuable perspective that you could share. Also ask yourself if you'd be good at teaching and put some time into drawing up a mock syllabus, coming up with real assignments you'd have students do.

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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    How much per gig? Or would you be donating that too?
    No compensation was proffered nor mentioned in the group e-mail sent around.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I've been asked to do a few presentations to planning and landscape architecture students by my alma mater. Not really the same as a guest lecturer or adjunt, but I guess it's a foot in the right direction.

    I convinced my firm to do let me do these pro bono, the most I was ever compensated was fifty bucks for 300 miles round trip, and that doesn't count for the time I spent after work preparing the powerpoints.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I used to teach a class at UMass Amherst - the pay was OK but it was a long drive each week. I enjoyed teaching the class but gave it up when I couldn't take the drive any more.

    I don't have a doctorate... How did I get it? Mostly luck. I knew someone who was a student there who put in a good word for me at the same time as I send "cold" cover letters and resumes to several planning programs in the area..

    A great experience, but I have been trying to get a similar gig closer to home for several years now and haven't had any luck yet.

    I do lecture 1-2 times a year locally without compensation - its fun but I find myself more and more mentally removed from grad school life...

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