Instructor Educational Qualifications & Personal Skills
As we embark upon the 21st century, the number of nontraditional students continues to increase in the total college population. As occupations continue to require higher skill levels, more adult students are expected to return to community colleges. Community college instructors are faced with a higher percentage of adult students than are traditional colleges and/or universities. Adult students return to school for other reasons than career advancement. Many of them do so in order to acquire higher levels of skills and added personal development. However, both community college instructors and adult students face a host of adult-sized challenges. For example, instructors must often cope with the fear engendered in many returning adult students.
Greater diversity among adult students also places additional burdens on the instructor to create an environment that embraces diversity as a means of enriching learning for all students. For the adult student, there are numerous obstacles from demands on time, money, and family, to work, friends, and leisure activities. For these and other reasons, it is imperative that the community college instructor understands well the demands upon him or her before teaching. This is true in terms of the educational qualifications that are required to gain employment on the community college level, as well as being true with respect to the personal skills and qualities being an effective instructor of adult students on the community college level requires.
Community colleges are also experiencing growth as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree are expected to grow the most quickly in the 21st century, nearly twice as fast as the average for all occupations (King, 2002, 1). Since the early 1970s community colleges have experienced rapid growth. In 1972 in a groundbreaking work, Arthur Co...