Coffee heat rising

How IT put “apps” into job applications

LOL! Just went over to the Maricopa County Community Colleges job applications site (where, BTW, precious few openings are to be found). If I’m to teach part-time, I’ll have to get into their HR system.

They’ve updated their electronic job application system. In some ways, it will be convenient, because you used to have to fill out a pages-long application over and over and over and over, one for each opening you addressed, and you had to send your transcripts with every job application. The community college district would advertise 87 gerjillion openings, and you had to jump through all these hoops for each one. Now once through will do you.

But…wow! Instead of sending a transcript, you now have to fill in a form that asks you to list every. college. course. you. have. ever. taken. No lie: check out the form.

For the love of God. Do you know how many courses it takes to get a Ph.D.? This is going to take hours!

And to make things perfect, the online part of the system doesn’t work with a Mac. When you get to the form to enter your Social Security number, it won’t let a Mac enter anything, nor will it save your data UNTIL you’ve entered the Social Security number.

My laptop (ASU’s, actually: another thing I’m going to have to buy sometime in the next nine months) has lost its connection with the modem’s router and will not reconnect. So that means I will have to do this from the campus.

To give you an idea how long this is going to take, they have an online tutorial to show you the obvious: instructions on following the instructions to fill out the forms. They estimate it will take you 15 minutes just to plow through this tutorial.

That’s for the privilege of earning $2,400 a course.

You can teach a maximum of three courses a semester, which would come to just about what I need to survive in the post-layoff world.

However…there are no ads for P/T faculty advertised.

Well, at any rate, I need to get this form filled out, which I’ll have to do this week.

I think GDU is paying $3,000 a course. That would make it possible for me to hit the $14,000 mark by teaching 3 and 2, instead of 3 and 3 with the community colleges. And GDU hires (uhmm…maybe: in better times) adjunct faculty to teach the upper-division Writing for the Professions course, which is slightly less onerous than freshman comp. On the other hand, GDU’s classes are much larger than the community college’s, and the attrition rate is lower. In a community college course, by the time everyone has dropped who’s going to drop you can end up with just 12 or 15 students, which is manageable. The last time I taught Writing for the Professions as a side job, GDU doubled the enrollment of two courses and I ended up with 80 online students! In a writing course!!!

I keep telling myself there’s nine months to find some sort of work. But it’s damned scary: there is nothing! You can’t get a job when no one’s hiring.

La Maya, who still subscribes to the local paper, said yesterday’s edition reported that to make up its enormous budget deficit, among other things the state would have to close all three universities. On the one hand it’s hard to believe anyone actually said that; on the other, this is Arizona.

Augh! There oughta be a law against three o’clock in the morning!

8 thoughts on “How IT put “apps” into job applications”

  1. My school pays a lot less than that for part-time, believe it or not. I have had a reprieve (hopefully permanent, knock on wood) from freshman writing, but it’s taught differently now. It’s not the teacher doing all the work now! (Almost all, maybe). More workshops, portfolio grading, and so on.

  2. That’s the going rate around here as well, but there are significantly less students in the classes.

    Can you change how you grade? Do you have any latitude e.g. creative grading so you personally aren’t plowing through 80 freaking essays.

    I used a diabolical method the last time I taught, people had to turn in a “reflection” paper every week on the reading. It had to be three pages, 12 pt Times new roman, 1″ page margins single-spaced (science writing)– no triple spacing to save words. They got a point for turning it in, they got 0 if they didn’t, the cumulative points were 50 percent of their grade.

    Every week I would select 5 at random to read, and I would pick the best reflection to comment on in class. Reflections had to be coherent, or there would be a zero awarded for idiocy, even if they turned it in.

    Net result: Everyone at least skimmed the readings before class (the point of the exercise). I only had to read a total of 15 pages each week. Good students could skip a few papers (but they do the reading anyway), bad students had a chance to get a better grade if they fell short on tests. Papers were coherent because there was a random risk of me reading them.

    Writing improved markedly throughout the semester, and students loved that they could react any way they wanted to so papers also got a lot more interesting. They tested me on content, turning in rants against evolution, for example. Coherent? Yes – point awarded. Sometimes controversial ones discussed in class, with appropriate kudos for clarity in writing (I kept my evil thoughts on content to myself). Students cannot game the system, no make-ups or late papers accepted, since the point is to force them to do the reading *before* class. Anyway, all this babble to suggest creative grading so that you don’t end up making 50 cents an hour with all the grading work.

    Now, the apps that want every single course you have ever taken — community colleges hire non-PhDs to teach, and that is a way of evaluating a masters person’s competency. Personally, I would call them and ask for an exemption on listing every course or write “see attached CV” in that space. The worst they can do is say no.

  3. My thoughts are with you. I was laid off Jan 2. Had about 6 weeks warning and they did provide a decent severance. I am in a different field, an HR Executive-know how you love those! : ) Seems I am in competition with everyone to find a job right now but I am trying not to dumb down my resume. I have a 5th interview (yes, 5th!!!) with the SAME company this Friday. I am hopeful. I am 47 so I would like to work a few more years. I learn a lot from your blog. Love your ideas and openess. Perhaps within this 9 months hiring will ease and jobs will begin to be offered again. Previously my longest stint without work was 6 weeks. My thoughts are with you Lady!

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