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*From*: noname thankyou <eccjob2004@YAHOO.COM>*Date*: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 08:58:47 -0800

East Central College (ECC) in Union, Missouri, is

seeking a full-time physical science/pre-engineering

instructor beginning Fall 2004. Anyone thinking of

applying for this position is warned to think again.

Where to begin...

1. You will be required to teach utterly unqualified

students, and the college administration could care

less.

In one course, it soon became apparent that the

students did not know how to solve the simplest

algebraic equation, I surveyed the students and found

that only two of twelve had completed Intermediate

Algebra, the course prerequisite listed in the school

catalog. One had only completed "Algebra II in high

school." When I asked the students why their advisor

did not check their prerequisites, they told me the

advisor said, "There are no prerequisites. The course

will be easy."

In a vo-tech physics class I asked a student to solve

the equation v=at for t. The student replied, "How do

I do that." The student told me he had not taken a

math class for TEN YEARS. When I informed my

department head of these and several similar problems,

I was told "We can't drop them all. Do the best your

can." Can't let academic integrity get in the way of a

tuition check.

2. I taught a physical science course. I quickly

discovered that 90% of the students are elementary

education majors. I also learned that previous

instructors of this course had taught it as a "how to

teach science to kids" course and that the education

faculty was telling the students, "It's an easy

class." I asked the dean about this and was told,

"It's a physical science course. Teach it as a

physical science course." But as soon as the students

learned that they would be expected to learn science,

they complained to the dean. The dean told me the

students were unhappy, because the class was too hard

and "I need to make the students happy."

3. ECC students have learned that if they don't like

the grade you give them, all they have to do is

complain to the dean. More than once grades for my

students have been changed by the dean without even

speaking to me first.

One student failed my course in the spring. Two months

after the semester ended, the student asked the dean

to change it to a "no grade." The dean "asked" me to

change the grade. I explained that the student

received the grade he earned. The dean "asked" me

again to change the grade. This went back and forth

for a couple of weeks; each time the dean became more

insistent. Finally, the department head called me and

yelled at me to change the grade. Fearing for my job,

I signed the grade change form, though I noted on the

form that I only did so "as directed by the dean."

4. The dean has also excused students from attending

my classes without asking me first. I usually have a

very strict attendance policy. The first semester at

ECC I explained my policy to both my department head

and the dean and asked whether this strict policy was

okay. I was told that it was and that "you set the

policy in your classes." What I didn't know is that

this meant it was okay only if it wasn't enforced and

if a student didn't complain. The first time a student

ran afoul of the attendance policy, the dean called me

in and told me to let the student off.

5. Even the engineering students are woefully lacking

in basic math, learning, and ethical skills. At the

beginning of the semester in an electric circuits

course, I asked the students to solve without a

calculator a 2x2 and a 3x3 system of equations

(integer coefficients). After half an hour, NOBODY was

able to solve both problems. Only two gave solutions

(though an incorrect ones) to the 3x3 system, and

three could not even correctly solve the 2x2 system

(they didn't even bother to check their solutions by

substitution).

The engineering students do not take timed tests.

Exams are administered in the "Testing Center" and no

time limits are enforced. Students learn there is no

need to be well-prepared or to work quickly and

efficiently.

You will have no opportunity before these students

come to your class to teach them effective math and

test-taking skills. Circuits is a terminal course at

ECC, and you won't be teaching any other

pre-engineering courses, so, for the 2-3 years before

these students come to you, the students learn such

skills are not necessary to getting a good grade.

In a C++ programming class I caught six of thirteen

students cheating on the first out-of-class

programming project. They weren't even smart enough

to change the variable names or even the comments.

6. 80% of your teaching load will be in courses at the

very lowest level. You will teach only one advanced

course in the fall semester and one in the spring. The

rest of your time will be filled with pre-college

math, vo-tech science, and physical science (for

elementary ed majors). ECC has a strict seniority

system when teaching assignments are made. Since all

other advanced math, physics, and pre-engineering are

already taught by current faculty, you are shut out

(permanently?) from teaching these courses. Calculus

III, Engineering Physics, and Engineering Mechanics

are taught by the same person, so the students suffer

from severe inbreeding which accounts, in part, for

the skills problem mentioned above.

7. Health insurance premiums went up about 25% from

last year. Count on the premiums for family coverage

taking about 1/3 of your gross salary.

You have been warned.

__________________________________

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