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I am a fresh graduate from my graduate program who just landed a casual instructor position at a 2-year college.

In the 2-year college that I will be working for, instructors are usually hired as a casual employee but they can become a permanent full-time faculty for the college if they later progress into a more senior role such as a Program Coordinator.

As an instructor who is just starting out, initially my focus would be on teaching my course well. However, I am curious about the tips on how I can progress into a Programmer Coordinator role from being just a casual instructor.

What should I do as a casual instructor to increase my chance of becoming a Program Coordinator for my 2-year college?

Thank you,

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  • What country are you in?
    – GoodDeeds
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 19:11
  • I live in Canada
    – Jin Cho
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 19:21

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First a warning, then some advice.

Existing programs often have a lot of inertia and a lot of people who think everything is just fine. If a new person comes in suggesting changes, it can be taken as criticism and you will get a lot of resistance. So, proceed cautiously, with some patience.

But, long term, think about the nature of the curriculum. What is taught and how it is taught. Is it modern both in content and pedagogy?

Are there other, related, programs that would benefit the students? Are there "advanced" courses that would help them, or even a few of the best of them?

What professional contacts do the faculty have that can be used to benefit students and can you develop a circle yourself that will help "boost" students? For those not continuing after graduation, what contacts with local business can you develop?

Are there student clubs that are or could be beneficial? Is there a "speakers program" that brings in outsiders to talk to (work with) students? Is there an internship program?

How about speakers that the faculty would find interesting?

Lots of things are possible, but they go beyond teaching individual courses and need to be approached carefully.

But even for the teaching, do an excellent job. Give a lot of feedback. Listen to students. Answer their questions. Open communication lines. Find a way for every student to be a success, not just the bright ones. And don't forget to provide a challenge for the bright ones. If you don't do the teaching job well then you won't get a chance to advance.

If you can become indispensable without too much rocking the boat, you can move upward. But spend a year or more looking, thinking, and evaluating.

The movie "Stand and Deliver" was about secondary school, but think about Jaime Escalante, though he tended to rock the boat.

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