Four Year College Faculty

Educators at a four-year college must conduct publishable research, direct a laboratory, and mentor graduate students, in addition to teaching one to four undergraduate courses each semester or year. On first joining a faculty, educators typically receive the rank of assistant professor. On contract renewal, promotion to associate professor is the norm, with the rank of full professor being accorded upon achieving tenure.

Graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) are often available to assist the educator. TAs usually do all of the grading and supervise the lab classes. Four-year college educators also usually have the assistance of a laboratory technician.

To receive tenure, educators at this level must pass a review by a committee of their peers in their department, in which their success in research, publications, and teaching is evaluated. Most departments require their faculty to serve on one or more internal committees, and service on college-or university-wide committees may also be required, particularly of junior (non-tenured) faculty.

Educators at the K-12 level must have, minimally, a bachelor's degree in education. Often, however, they earn a degree in an academic subject and take master's level courses in education. Public school educators must pass a state-administered test, after which they receive certification allowing them to teach. Private schools may not require certification.

Educators at two- and four-year colleges usually have degrees in their area of specialization, but state certification is not required. Some two-year institutions may require master's or doctoral training in education in addition to a degree in an academic subject, but educators at the college level usually gain their teaching experience as teaching assistants. In some cases, an academic degree is not required to teach in a two-program, if the teacher has had enough experience working in the field for which students are to be trained. Four-year colleges expect their educators to hold a graduate degree, often a doctorate, and usually require a record of published research.

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