Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Career CONSULTANTS

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Career CONSULTANTS

Article excerpt

Dear BI Career Consultants:

I'm Interested in getting as academic/administrative appointment but have nontraditional credentials: l.e. no Ph.D. How do I do about getting an appointment?

DR. ERNESTINE MADISON associate vice president for administration, and assistant to the president for human relations and diversity, Washington State University,

The first step to obtaining an academic/administrative appointment with nontradidonal credentials should be to perform a critical self-analysis of your actual capabilities. Identify, document, and assess your learning experiences, skills, and interests. Once this analysis is completed, you will be better able to ascertain the type of appointment you wish to pursue.

Next, you should actively seek and cultivate mentors. Build a network of individuals who have an interest in higher education or who currently have careers in advanced education. These relationships can provide you with knowledgeable information, candid suggestions, and thoughtful advice concerning your quest. Mentors may also serve as useful avenues for academic career advancement.

Careers in higher education are very demanding and many positions require a great deal of education. You should, however, be aware that experience, in some instances, could be more relevant than education. Experience may lend more influence and serve as the catalyst needed to obtain your desired occupational outcome. Therefore, strengthen your credentials and enhance your reputation through various pathways such as part-time (adjunct) academic appointments, senior management experience, fellowship opportunities, professional associations and publications, and volunteerism.

Traditionally, individuals selected for administrative positions in higher education are chosen because they are experienced problem solvers and critical thinkers. For example, individuals who have moved up through military ranks or climbed various rungs of corporate ladders make desirable administrative candidates. On the academic side, the individuals chosen for positions have talents that are very well-recognized and documented. Examples of these appointments would be writers, musicians, scientists, or engineers who have a proven reputation in their field. Institutions base their reputations on the ability to acquire widely known and talented instructors.

Also, identify institutions, including community colleges, which have areas closely related to your interest and learning experience. …

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