Professor Career Changer

memory1
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:39 am

Professor Career Changer

Post by memory1 »

Hello all,

I am new to the site. I teach college humanities and I'm hoping to make a change to IS teaching. My reason for making the change is: I'm not on the tenure-track, probably won't get on it, and want more stable employment so that I can provide for my family. I'm a UK citizen, working in the US on a visa. My contract expires next summer, along with my visa and I'll have to leave the US at that time. I have a US MA and PhD, both from an elite private R1 (HYPS), and 5 years of full-time teaching experience at UG liberal arts colleges. I enjoy teaching and I think I'm decent at it. But I have very little exposure to school-aged students and I know that teaching them is not the same as teaching college. But I am serious about committing to a career change. I'll do what it takes and I'm willing to learn from others.

I've gathered solid references from my former and current supervisors who are aware I'm making this career change and will back me. I'd like to know what I can do to improve my chances of finding work at a decent school. I'm open to almost anywhere in the world. By decent, I mean a non-profit school where working conditions are tolerable and pay and benefits, initially at least, are sufficient to support a family. I have some savings that I can dip into for a year or two but probably not much longer. I have a non-teaching spouse and a baby. My spouse will be home with our child for the foreseeable future.

I can't create experience that I don't have but obtaining certification seems to be one thing that I can add to my resume. I've read posts here about the doctoral route to Missouri initial certification. I wrote to them to ask if my PhD will be accepted and am waiting to hear back. I'd appreciate any insights into the following questions:

1) For certification, is the Missouri option the best one for me? If I get it, is a UK QTS application processed quite easily? How long would it take to get certification and QTS via this route? If I don't get it (for example, if they reject my doctorate, which was in an interdisciplinary program, because it doesn't match their content areas), what are the next most efficient paths to certification (spending the least time and money and something that a non-citizen can do from inside the US)?

2) Needless to say, the pandemic has upset hiring, like everything else. That aside, what realistic chances of employment do I have for 2021-22? When and where should I be looking for jobs? Am I too late?

Thanks and be well!
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Rsponse

Post by PsyGuy »

You dont need to do anything, you graduated from HYPS, those are for the most part Global Ivys, just put that top and front on your resume and send it out there. You could get leadership on the basis of that alone in Asia (maybe not executive leadership, but HOD, Dean, AP/VP/DP of advancement, academics or curriculum, career/college counselor). On top of that you have a doctorate.

You can make experiences you dont have. If you taught 1UG courses you can spin that into dual credit senior school courses. Further, you may want to spin your resume as an IT into something such as the IB Essay (outside of the IB Honors and Thesis), TOK (and by extension CAS) program elements.

In direct reply to your inquiry:
1) The MO Doctoral credential route (entry grade) is probably the easiest and cheapest to obtain within the realm of credentials.
You cant use it to get QTS (you could try, slip through a crack).
You need to take the secondary professional knowledge exam for MO (MEGA). After that the application processing time is typically 30 days.
Its a coin flip if your doctorate would be accepted.
The MA Provisional (entry grade) credential is the next most efficient and least resource intensive. You need to take two (as opposed to one) exam. The advantage of this rout is you could test and obtain a credential in a field outside of your academic background (since your degree is interdisciplinary) and in a more marketable field (though MA does have a humanities teaching subject).

2) Very good chances (the rule is theres a job for anyone if you will accept anything). Youre not to late, you can start now, decide what angle you want to approach, and write up a resume. You could at the very least register with SA (Search) as an intern which gives you the same database as everyone else. You could also register with ISS/Schrole. If you wanted to start today you could register with TIE and start applying immediately. You could have an offer and appointment before even considering testing for a credential. Which really is the smart approach, create a resume, register with TIE (USD$39/yr) and start peddling your resume. This will give you an indication of both interest, and marketability, but also help you refine what roles leadership and recruiters see you as being qualified and competitive for and what if anything else they would accept.
Where depends on what your goals are. The ME can pay 6 figure coin and combined with a compound OSH package you can save a very hefty sum. China pays very well especially for lower class ITs and include generally full OSH packages. The WE offers tenure.
All that aside you have some logistics issues, your an expensive hire considering your family logistics. You dont have any proof of performance and your academic preparation doesnt appear to align with a general teaching subject. I have no doubt your a Master in your field in so far as KS/K12 edu is concerned but the big unknown is can you transfer whats in your head to the heads of hormone saturated adolescents heads in a course that actually exits as a scheduled subject and how much does that cost an IS for that unknown. There are absolutely ISs that will hire you for some type of role/position just so they can put your name and tag your Uni affiliation on their web page (like "Director of Student Coordination and Facilitating Liaison for Learning Advancement").
memory1
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:39 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by memory1 »

@ PsyGuy

Thank you. I appreciate your detailed and thoughtful reply. It is very informative and reassuring.

I agree that my family situation complicates things and that I don’t have a proven track record in this arena. The subject that I teach at the college level is actually History. But my PhD carries an esoteric interdisciplinary name, hence my uncertainty about whether Missouri will accept it for certification. Interestingly, History is a social science in middle and high schools but is generally considered a humanities discipline in higher education. I'd be very open to teaching the IB subjects that you mentioned and feel that I can teach very broadly across the humanities and social sciences, with the exception perhaps of some of the more technical aspects of Economics and Psychology, which I'd need to brush up on.

As I continue to wait to hear back from Missouri, I’m wondering what the value of certification is for someone like me if, as you say, I could apply for jobs without it. My understanding is that most international schools require, and many desire, a teaching certification. Among other things, it seems that visas and employment for foreign teachers in many countries are contingent upon an internationally recognized certification. And certification also involves the criminal background checks that are essential to working with children. Am I mistaken? I know that domestic independent schools don't require certification, but I don't know about international schools.

Thanks again!
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by shadowjack »

As to certification, many countries will not grant you a work permit without an educational certification from your state or national teaching licensure division. Since you have no idea what the future holds, get licensed. Lastly, it will open your eyes to teaching grade ten or nine or eight students, when all you ever see is college undergrads or master's students.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@memory1

What were your Bachelors/First and Masters degrees in?
Since you work in the US and currently have a work visa, you could potentially apply to UT (Utah) for an AEL (Entry grade) credential. Its still relatively new. At the secondary level if your degree is aligned with a teaching subject you do not need to complete any testing. The meds/peds/asst is a short series of online modules. This is a three year renewable credential, but the benefit is its low cost and efficiency in obtaining. You can then use the 3 years time to peddle your resume before investing in exams, etc.

History isnt a social science in IE. Its typically in social studies or humanities. There are US states that aggregate the humanities (excluding literature), and social sciences into one composite credentialing area. Social science in IE mostly consists of Psychology and to a lessor extent Economics (which may be associated with other departments such as humanities or business, which may be associated entirely with humanities). Occasionally you find an IS with Sociology or Poli.Sci. but for the mot part Psychology is the heart of social science in IE.

ISs generally dont assign ITs to SLL subjects such as Economics and Psychology who arent experienced in delivering that course content. At lower levels yes, but you dont usually find Economics and Psychology offered at levels that arent SLL.

I disagree with @SJ. Of course theres a range on the spectrum where their position is accurate. Its just not the majority. On one end of the continuum you have regions that have some type of ESOL population and the requirements to obtain a visa for those is generally no more than a Bachelors/First degree, if you can get in to teach in ESs with that that you can get in without a professional credential. IE is mostly private/independent institutions that have broad discretion with who they hire, of course that varies. In HK for example, everyone DT/IT needs to obtain registration to teach in anything other than "casual" (ESOL) edu. JP on the other side has a Professor and a Humanities International Services visa. The latter allows you to teach in any environment from EE to IE/KS/K12 and even some Uni, no credential required. There are a lot of ITs teaching in IE at the KS/K12 level with little more than a Bachelors/First degree and maybe some TESOL certificate. @SJ isnt entirely wrong, there are regions where EE and IE education are separated from a ministry of some sort (such as a MOE) and they wont approve a visa of youre not a credentialed professional edu. Even then what constitutes a credential could be a surprising broad list. Someone with a TESOL certificate may meet the requirements and in a number of regions the working qualification for a DT may be a degree (such as a HE Diploma, PGCE(i), B.Ed or M.Ed) or even again, just a Bachelors/First degree in a teachable subject. That said as you move up in tiers and competition increases ISs can be more demanding in what they require in term of recruitment policy. My position is that this is probably the locust of what @SJ and I really disagree over; their position that ISs, especially upper tier ISs, are going to be less impressed with a doctorate from a Global Ivy.
You dont need to side with either of position, the smart course, as I replied earlier, is to take what you have, emphasis what you want on your resume and get it out there to a variety of roles and positions and quality of ISs and see what interest you generate. You can be vague about a credential such as "US Teaching Certificate in X" and note a date of expected issuance sometime in the future. If you get desperate you can always get a 2 year ACSI certificate (not a credential) for USD$75, no tests or EPP/ITT program required while you look at the various assessment pathways to a credential.

It varies by state what the role of a CRB is in application. Some state DOEs (IE. HI) leave that to the IS/DS to do as part of their hiring practices. Some state DOEs (IE. MA) perform a name based search as part of their application process, and some DOEs (IE. DC) require a separate fingerprint CRB from the SBI/SP or the FBI.
Within IE theres a broad range of CRB procedures between accepted practices and legal requirements. Some ISs will hire you on the basis of a valid credential, some want a local CRB (city/municipal, etc.), some want a national CRB (FBI/DBS, etc.), some will assume a positive reference from your last DS/IS is sufficient, some ant a CRB from every region youve ever lived, some want a CRB from the last region you worked in. Much like the length of a piece of string ::looking around for @Sid::, it varies.
Though I wouldnt be surprised if @Sid stepped in (leadership) and wrote that the IE Consortium is presently working on strengthening and addressing global child protection measures to align with the best practices as found in DE.
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by shadowjack »

@PG - in my experience of 20+ years overseas, countries are not relaxing criteria, they are tightening them. So not having a licence from a Western jurisdiction is potentially going to bite the OP in the a$$. Also, if the OP runs into an admin who dislikes him, not having a license can be cause for immediate termination if the admin determines it does.

It is better to hope for the best, but then act and plan for the less optimal. Get certified somewhere.
memory1
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:39 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by memory1 »

@ PsyGuy and @ shadowjack

I appreciate these clarifications. It seems that certification is desirable, even if jobs can be applied for without having it. I just have to figure out how to get it, given my time constraints. At best, certification will take weeks, which is valuable time since the job market for next year has already opened. Applying now while investigating certification seems to be the way forward.

I contacted Missouri by email attaching my transcript, and asking if they would accept it for certification via the doctoral route, since this seems to be my easiest option. The instructions on their website are not very clear and the I'm unsure about the order in which steps in the process should be taken but it does seem like I can take the test and get fingerprinted for the criminal background check without actually going to Missouri, which is a good thing. But I don't want to do those things before they confirm that they will accept my degree, since it would be a wasted effort if they don't. From what I can understand, you have to do all those things and then submit the test results, doctoral transcript, and fingerprints to them for evaluation. If they accept the application, a certificate is issued through the applicant's online account.

My BA/MA/PhD are all interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences degrees which involved taking courses and doing research across a number of disciplines. My BA is from a Russell Group university in the UK and my MA and PhD are from the same HYS university. Traditional degree names match their coursework content but universities also have all sorts of departments, programs, and centers in non-traditional areas--such as the one where I got my degrees--which are not familiar to folks outside academia. The only way to know what subjects I have expertise in would be to look at my transcript for the courses that I have taken, not the names of my degrees. I have studied and taught History, English Literature, Writing, Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Philosophy, and Law. History is main my discipline and it's what I currently teach at the college level. Maybe Missouri will accept my doctorate, maybe they won't. It depends on whether they go by the degree name, or the credit hours of courses taken in subjects that they recognize and accept. If they don't I'll move on to one of the alternatives suggested by @ PsyGuy.

A further question: the Missouri certificate is an initial certificate, indefinitely renewable but not upgradeable to a permanent certificate. Is this going to be a problem in the long run? My understanding is that teaching certification generally has a practicum component, where the applicant has to complete a certain number of classroom hours. With these quick and remote options, does the applicant sidestep the practicum in exchange for an inferior category of certificate (such as an initial certificate)? I read somewhere that some teachers get an initial certificate based solely on exams, and then do the practicum on the job in a domestic or international school, send evidence of having done it back to the authority that issued the certificate in order to complete the requirement.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@SJ

I find your appeal to authority unpersuasive and lacking in merit (not all merit). In my 20+ years of experience, while there is a subsection of upper tier ISs that continually increase their expectations, the general requirements for immigration have remained largely the same with some exceptions, and those exceptions typically address the need for experience a opposed to some form of certification.
If the OP run into a leader that doesnt like them and ants to get rid of than than any excuse is as likely as any other excuse to be cause for dismissal. Something such as lack of a credential is less likely than other reasons considering the nature of the contract and agreement, if it didnt stipulate a credential as requirement than lack of one at a later time isnt likely to be supported as grounds for dismissal.

@memory1

A credential is valuable, but that value isnt fixed across all scenarios. An ESOL ET with a background in literature that wants to transition to IT and wants to teach maths gets substantially more value in terms of marketable utility out of a credential than an IT with a BS in applied maths and an M.Ed in C&I. A credential would have value for you, but that value is marginal compared to the rest of your resume and your IT goals, such that lack of one in your scenario is less than the break even point of obtaining one.

Only offers matter, its not an issue of being able to apply, its at the point of tabulation your options in opportunities arent going to be more than trivially impacted by lack of a credential, and in the cases where it would, youre not in the position of now or never. You can absolutely delay the attainment of a credential to the point you actually need one if and when it becomes a critical issue.

You can take the professional exams and complete the CRB without having to travel to MO. The exam is offered throughout the US, and fingerprinting can be one at a number of locations. As a Uni faculty member you may ant to start with your Uni campus Public Safety dept. for the fingerprinting (which they may do for a faculty member by appointment) and with your Unis testing services office. The order doesnt matter, though you may wish to explore the exam first and obtain a passing score before going further. Once everything is completed you submit the application and the credential is issued as a digital certificate.

Its not likely to be an issue across the landscape, especially in the future after you have some successful experience behind you. Its more likely to be an issue in your early stages, in that as a Uni professor leadership and recruiters are going to think you can lecture but what about everything else, a few years of KS/K12 experience address that.
You could have an issue if MO ever dissolves the credential or alters it. It will also have mobility problems across other regulating authorities. You also cant build on it by adding additional endorsements. MO if they issue a credential is likely going to give you one area, if you want to flesh out your credentials with other areas, you wouldnt be able to do that based on the credential youre issued. You could after 3 years professionalize the MO credential through HI for example, perhaps being able to use it for QTS, but the HI Standard (professional grade) credential while renewable requires PD to renew a opposed to the MO credential you can renew simply by applying.
Of course there will be leaders and recruiters who may see the MO Initial credential as inferior, its not likely to be a common issue in your case.

There are generally three pathways to a credential: academic, skills, and assessment. Typically the academic pathway and skills pathway contain a field experience component, with the skills pathway having a greater emphasis and significantly greater resource commitment to the field experience.
Assessment pathways typically dont have a field experience component, though as a result its more common for the credential issued to be an entry grade credential. While it may be inferior to a higher grade of credential, DOEs may issue the same grade (entry grade) to those DTs that complete an EPP/ITT program and have also done a field experience.

EPP/ITT programs vary in their structure and organization. Typically in the scenario you describe, the DTs working certificate is more aligned with a permit than a regular credential.
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by shadowjack »

Yeah, Memory1, Get certified. It will save you staying awake nights if your school is downsizing or if a new head comes in and goes 'head hunting'. Not having a credential will automatically eliminate you from many schools, and from countries where no credential = no work permit issued.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

The claims of @SJ are not true. There are many ISs that dont require a credential and lack of a credential does not automatically put a target on an IT if leadership is head hunting. Nor is lack of a credential an automatic barr in the majority of regions.
memory1
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:39 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by memory1 »

Thanks, again, @PsyGuy and @shadowjack

It seems that certification can't hurt, although it might not always be necessary. I never heard back from Missouri, so I will submit an application for the doctoral route and see how it turns out. I am also reaching out to schools with my current CV.

Interestingly, I made an intern application to SA as suggested by @PsyGuy but was rejected. They said that I either needed to be fresh out of high school or college to be represented by them as an intern, or that I needed to have certification and at least two years of K-12 experience to be represented by them as a teacher. But I have been monitoring jobs elsewhere, so I guess SA is not necessary.
IE_sciteacher
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:05 pm

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by IE_sciteacher »

"By decent, I mean a non-profit school where working conditions are tolerable and pay and benefits, initially at least, are sufficient to support a family."

This will be very hard to achieve based on your resume. If you are willing to look at For-Profit schools, with the PhD you could very well hit the other two requirements. Geographically you are looking China, SE Asia and Middle East most likely. Someone with better knowledge would be able to point you better but I feel a British school might be more approachable with your degrees than an IB or American school.

I recommend getting certified simply to help you do the job of teaching younger students. Or at least work on learning the general terminology that schools use (would also help in the interview process).
shadowjack
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by shadowjack »

Just a word about the Phd. Some schools will NOT hire you based on that - especially if you are young-ish. I once worked with a director who hounded out everybody with a doctorate - because, to quote Highlander, "There could be only one." Him. Basically you are asking to be on the TOP pay scale, even if at a lower step, based on your Phd, with university teaching experience that is not as relevant for HS students.

Not to be critical - but I seriously advise you to get certified. Mention the Phd, but don't ever insist on being called Dr - stuff like that drives teachers nuts.
mysharona
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:25 am

Re: Professor Career Changer

Post by mysharona »

I don't believe you are qualified to teach in China without certification, something I would check into with all your preferred destinations.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@memory1

Sorry to hear that. SAs requirements, etc. tend to vary from year to year and between associates. There are ITs repped by SA that dont have credentials, though they do have qualifications such as degrees (B.Ed, M.Ed, PGCE, etc.). There are second career DTs/ITS that have been reppd by SA as well. The fresh out of HS is a bit bewildering.

I would concur with @IE_sciteacher that a BS is likely to be more receptive to a IT with a doctorate than an IBWS or an AS, but your advance degrees are from global ivys which makes the issue irrelevant.

There is some validity to @SJ claims, there are leadership whose pride/ego makes an IT with a doctorate a disadvantage, but you graduated from a global ivy they are more likely to be threatened than anything, as MANY ISs would love to have your alumni in their advertising as its very marketable and desirable.
You should however expect to be called doctor in a professional setting.

@IE_sciteacher

The LW is taking an asst route to a credential they arent going to learn anything, merely take some exams.

@mysharona

You do not need a credential specifically in China to met the requirements for being qualified in so much as immigration is concerned.
Post Reply