Monday, February 08, 2010

What Does it Take to Teach for University of Phoenix?

Joshua Kim, a senior learning technologist and an adjunct in sociology at Dartmouth College, writes the Teaching and Learning blog at Inside Higher Ed. Recently, Kim, who holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Brown University, applied to be at adjunct for the University of Phoenix. He was stunned when Phoenix rejected him. Here's his speculation as to why - Rejected by U of P
Why would U of P reject my application to teach part-time and online? I don't have any definite answers, but I'll engage in some speculation:

Speculation 1: I wonder if U of P really wants folks like me to teach their courses. People with Ph.D.'s and lots of experience in both developing and teaching online (and on-ground) courses. Academics are accustomed to, and expect, a degree of autonomy developing and teaching our courses. I think this autonomy goes against the U of P model of pre-developed courses and rigorous monitoring and evaluation of its professors. For the University of Phoenix I was, (and am) perfectly willing to conform to their systems and methods, as part of my rationale for applying to teach is to understand and learn from their model. But I'm guessing that 'academic types' like me are not worth the hassle.

Speculation 2: Perhaps U of P would prefer to recruit faculty from the ranks of working professionals as opposed to academia. Graduates of U of P, for the most part, will not be looking to apply for jobs or promotions in higher ed. I don't know this for a fact, but I'm guessing that most U of P part-time instructors are not full-time academics, but rather working in the sorts of positions that the U of P students aspire to.

What do you think these speculations for my rejection? Can you add any to the list? Have you been rejected by U of P as well? Have you been accepted?


kathi said...

I was also rejected. My rejection note said they "were not interested in someone with those qualifications and credentials at this time." I wouldn't classify myself as an academic, but I have numerous clinical certifications, a license and a masters. I've been a consultant and a lecturer since 1984. I've been published. I am on faculty at Rutgers School of SW and Alcohol and Drug Studies. A friend suggested that I apply to teach at UoP, as she has been faculty there for years. Her qualifications to instruct: a BA in Art that she got on line from UoP. She is teaching English. Your comment about being accostomed to, or wanting autonomy gave me a chuckle becasue it made me realize that rather than be insulted (just a bit, if I'm honest) at being rejected by UoP, I should be honored. Guess you and I are simply too good for them!

Mark Viquesney said...

I too was rejected, despite having my masters, 10 years teaching experience as an adjunct, 20 years in the professions that many of the students come from. I was sure my years of experience in the "real" world would be something they wanted. I too got "were not interested in someone with those qualifications and credentials at this time." I was baffled because the other canidates for the job had no teaching experience and worked in the same fields as I had (and yes, one of them did get the job).

Paradelle said...

They also want experience teaching online and using online instructional technologies.
I found back a few years ago that UoP and also some of the large online programs from traditional colleges were far tougher in their standards for who can teach online than "non-profit" schools. I was impressed by their screening process. I made the cut, but chose not to teach for them.


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