By Cathy Day, Assistant Chair of English
On Tuesday, September 27th at 6:30 PM in 104 Bracken, we’re hosting our second Stars to Steer By session. The title of this one is “You Don’t Have to be a Professor to Work at a University.” RSVP if you’re coming!
Why this title?
I’ve been teaching in higher education for over 20 years, and all too often, I hear students say things like this:
“I want to do what you do. Teach college. I love English. I love reading and writing. I love my professors. They are my role models, and I want to do what they do. I want to stay in school forever.”
This is exactly what I wanted in 1991 when I decided to go to graduate school in English/Creative Writing instead of entering a tough, post-recession job market. When I graduated in 1995, I went on the academic job market. First I got a two-year “contract” position and then a tenure-track teaching position. I’ve been in academia ever since.
But the academic job market in the humanities has changed. You can read all about it.
This does NOT mean you should give up your dream. I am not a dream squasher!
But I do want you to consider following that dream, but from a slightly different direction.
The Alt-Ac Route
I pursued an academic teaching career because, to me, a college campus is a small utopia and because my college professors changed my life. To thank them for that, I wanted to follow in their footsteps. But since becoming the Assistant Chair, I’ve realized that teaching is NOT the only way to live in that utopia and NOT the only way to change the lives of college students.
Maybe you should consider the Alt-Ac Route.