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Career Interview

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Career Interview by Shril Reid,

Date/Time of Interview: 02/10/2016, 3:00 pm

Interviewee: David Weathers

Digital Media Design Instructor
Position/Title

Texas State Technical College
Company

Being a current student of Liberty University Online, working on a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies in Art and Education, I have decided to pursue a career in education. My goal is to become a college instructor. Being new to the Phoenix area with limited education, I had no way to do a live interview. Being the logical person I am, I contacted a past instructor of mine from Texas State Technical College in whom I maintain and ongoing acquaintance with. His name is David Weathers and he taught in Digital Media Design as well as many other classes. However, with him being in Texas and my location being Arizona, I conducted a video interview with him. Although, he no longer teaches at this college he gladly did the interview about his position there and how he got it.
David’s Professional’s academic/experiential background began with an Associate's Degree at Texas State Technical College in 2000, and a bachelor's degree at the University of Advancing Technology in 2002. Before his position at TSTC, he served as a substitute teacher for Bryan ISD for a year, as a volunteer technician for a TV studio for a summer internship. He reports that his main relevant experience for the Job was as a prototype modeler for a dental office. Where he used 3d modeling to design dental prosthetics and surgical guides among other graphically related duties.
To prepare for his position his main prep was meeting the minimum requirements for the position. Having the year of education helped as well. The main requirements for the position, although not listed, are having a heart for teaching and feeling a reward when your student's understand new material. Major duties include developing and delivering content, maintaining up to date records for each class, registering students for class, participation in advisory committee meetings, research into new methods used in the industry, giving tours to prospective students, traveling on recruiting trips and road shows to recruit new students, participation in graduation. Best part, the schedule for the year is quite nice. Several paid holidays, reasonable pay and benefits, enjoyable work environment in the classroom. In general, there is an ebb and flow of the job. There are some really busy times which can be really stressful, but there can also be extended periods of time where there is not much to do. Going from one extreme to the other. The not so nice parts ... well the school is always under the burden of funding. Which means politics. There seems to always be some new program, initiative, focus, method, requirement, reporting or something that has to be done so that the school can maintain its accreditation and funding. Anyone that is unwilling or unable to keep up with yet another requirement or learning a new system has seemed to disappear or have their job function change dramatically. Depending on how the upper level management handles this, it can really put a damper on instructor morale. Then there is the periodic problem student. The one student that has a serious medical condition that really prevents them from being able to succeed in the program, the student with the overbearing parent, the student with completely unrealistic expectations, the student that is there to abuse the system. Identifying and dealing with these students can be really draining, but is a necessary task.
If you are looking to teach just at the associate level in a technical course, having an associate and two years’ experience is enough for now for non-academic courses. If you want more job mobility and stability, I would suggest getting a master's degree. Then if you want to change teaching areas, all it takes is 10 graduate hours to be able to teach in the new area. Otherwise you will be limited to technical courses at the associate level.
Having interviewed David, I am more determined than ever to continue on this path of education and self-discovery. I remain fixed in my desire to educate our young adults in a college setting. David provided me with a lot of insight and advice that I wholly plan to follow as well as guidance on what my next steps will be. I will continue getting my Bachelor’s degree and from there I will possibly get some experience behind me by fulfilling the role of a substitute teacher as I prepare to go on to achieve a Masters degree.
David gladly provided me with a written copy of his job description which is as follows.
About TSTC:
TSTC is the only state-supported technical college system in Texas. TSTC’s statewide role and mission is to efficiently and effectively help Texas meet the high-tech challenges of today’s global economy, in partnership with business and industry, government agencies, and other educational institutions. If this is a mission you could support and help TSTC achieve, please complete our application process.
Position Overview
This position is for a full time Graphic Design/Photography instructor.
An Instructor conducts activities, which directly supports instruction, the objectives of the program, and the instructional goals of the institute. The instructor reports to the program chair.
Duties & Responsibilities
An Instructor is principally charged with presenting prepared materials, supervising organized laboratory activities, maintaining order, recording student progress, and assuring the presence of adequate supplies and equipment to conduct the laboratory activities in a safe and effective manner. Such typical duties and responsibilities that the Instructor is charged with include, but are not limited to, as follows:
Organize and present prepared instructional materials at scheduled times and places. 1. Maintain communications with students and colleagues to assure efficient and effective instruction, while also maintaining discretion and confidentiality as needed. 2. Maintain records of student attendance, student progress, departmental supplies, departmental equipment, and others. 3. Maintain discipline and order during instructional activities. 4. Participate in normal program housekeeping activities. 5. Prepare daily instructional plans and instructional materials at the modular level as directed by the program chair. Assist in student recruiting and graduate placement. 6. Participate in program promotional activities. 7. Evaluate the progress and performance of the student and assign grades. Enforce the approved departmental rules and regulations in the classroom and lab; recommend student counseling, probation, or dismissal for excess absences, disruption of class, or lack of progress. 8. Initiate requisitions and work order requests. 9. Suspend unsafe operations. 10. Conduct research and maintain skills on related topics in order to maintain current industry standards. 11. Communicate subject material to students in an easily understood way, utilizing patience. 12. Embrace an active learning environment and utilize resources needed for innovative and informative communication of course materials. 13. Work effectively as a team in developing and delivering curriculum updates.
Required Qualifications:
Associate’s degree in a design, photography or multimedia field, (Bachelor is preferred)
Minimum of three years recent and successful work experience in Graphic Design and photography. Some experience in web design and photography also preferable. Should be proficient in the following areas: 1. Word processing and spreadsheet software - Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel 2. Desktop publishing software - Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign 3. Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop software 4. Web page creation and editing software - Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player 5. Web platform development software - XML, Cascading Style Sheets CSS, Hypertext markup language HTML
Portfolio should be presented and reflect a variety of advertising design, photography and any web design or updating. Verifiable work experience may be accepted in lieu of Bachelor’s degree.
Annual Salary - DOE
Security Sensitive Position…...

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