One consideration for a career path that some consider is teaching, and many must determine if there is an education degree needed to teach community college courses. The field of education is rewarding and satisfying, and many future educators pursue positions beyond the primary and secondary level, applying at community colleges that offer associate degrees and certificates.
Level of Education and Degree Requirements
Because a community college confers professional certificates and associate level degrees, the minimum requirement for most institutions is for instructors to hold a bachelor level degree. However, some community colleges will prefer for prospective faculty to hold a minimum of a master’s degree. Unless a candidate will be teaching a subject within the field of education, a degree in education is unlikely to be the preferred requirement for most community colleges. Examples of when an education degree would be required would be for community colleges that offer programs such as early childhood education. In other instances, division chairs and academic deans at community colleges will be looking for candidates who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a field directly related to the subject that will be taught. For example, a community college looking for an instructor to teach composition will be looking for a candidate who has a bachelor’s or master’s degree in English, professional writing, technical writing, or creative writing. A position for an instructor of business may require a candidate to hold a degree in accounting, finance, or international business.
Experience and Other Requirements
Sometimes as important as the type of degree a prospective faculty member has is a background with practical experience in the subject area. A candidate applying for a position as an instructor in the department of education, therefore, would benefit from having previous teaching experience. A candidate looking to teach a course in composition would benefit for previous such as working as a journalist, editor, or other writer. Community colleges and other post-secondary institutions are also likely to require other types of experience and skills in order to consider a candidate for a position. Some of the experience and skills that are helpful when looking to teach at the community college level include leadership, classroom management, patience, organization, and public speaking skills. Additional information on how to get the experience and degree required for teaching at a community college can be reviewed at the American Association of Community Colleges website.
Possible Benefits of an Education Degree
Although for most faculty a degree in education will not be required to teach at the community college level, the addition of a second degree in education can be beneficial for many reasons. An education degree can be helpful for preparing instructors to deliver course material, develop assignments, and manage a classroom. Additionally, having a degree in education, particularly a graduate degree, is often required to advance to positions in administration. Related Resource: Transition Coordinator Educators and future educators can choose to work in primary, secondary, or post-secondary institutions, and one option that many consider is working in a community college. For most prospective faculty who will not be teaching education courses, one less worry is whether or not there will be an education degree needed to teach community college classes.