Postsecondary teachers work at the post-high-school level, at colleges and technical schools for example; they are sometimes called professors, assistant professors or adjunct professors. These teachers typically focus on one topic or subject, such as English, cosmetology or computer repair, and they develop lesson plans and monitor student progress. Researching and publishing papers is necessary for some positions.
Perhaps the most important item to mention in a postsecondary teacher job description is the required educational level for the position. A doctorate is often necessary, but sometimes a master’s degree suffices.
Important qualities for a postsecondary teacher include speaking and communication skills. Resourcefulness and critical thinking are also high on the list. To get an idea of what a postsecondary teacher job description might look like, check out the example below.
Postsecondary Teacher Job Summary
The Department of English at Jill Q. Smith University seeks candidates who are enthusiastic, energetic and a little bit weird for an assistant professorship. You’ll be teaching undergraduate courses covering diverse topics, such as Poe, comic books, blogs and poetry. There is some flexibility in choosing which classes you want to teach and how many, but we’d like each new assistant professor to take on at least two classes per semester. You have the option to teach your classes mostly online, so if you’re not in the Acme, VA, area, we’d still love to hear from you! Experience with cool tech is a huge bonus.
- Teach in a variety of settings on campus and online; you must be willing to make at least one or two on-campus visits per semester if your classes are mostly online
- Work with relatively large class sizes, with as many as 50 students per class; collaborate with your teaching assistant
- Bring some seemingly boring topics to life (ex: One class topic could be using The Simpsons to tie into a piece of literature, perhaps with satire as the central focus)
- Follow Commission on English Language Accreditation standards for English-language programs
- Monitor student learning and progress via homework, readings, essays, tests and other assessments as you deem appropriate
- Provide fair but helpful criticism on student writing and learning via real-time discussions, written comments and in-person (or video) meetings
- Be available for office hours at least two hours on two separate days Monday through Friday (“virtual” office hours are fine if your class is primarily online)
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Doctoral degree in English or English-related field (extensive work experience plus current progress toward such a degree may be okay)
- One to two years teaching experience
- Humor and quirkiness
- Proximity to Acme, VA, but we’ll make exceptions for the right candidates
- Tech expertise, especially for online classes
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Postsecondary Teacher Job Responsibilities
When writing a postsecondary teacher job description, it’s essential to clearly and adequately describe the day-to-day duties of the position so that jobseekers have a firm understanding of what you expect. The job responsibilities section of your document should be one of the clearest, most fleshed-out sections, since it’s what will grab their attention in the first place. It’s important that this section is meaty, but there’s no need to overburden candidates with secondary responsibilities that won’t play a large part in their job.
When it comes to formatting, you should use bullets to organize this section. This will keep your postsecondary teacher job description short and sweet while still containing a lot of content and will help potential applicants skim and quickly absorb the important information. It’s important to begin each bullet with a powerful verb, helping the candidates clearly visualize themselves performing the daily tasks of the position.
Check out these examples of postsecondary teacher job responsibilities:
- Conduct engaging discussions that facilitate learning and encourage participation
- Prepare course materials well in advance, such as assignments, projects and syllabi
- Evaluate papers, projects and homework assignments of students, or assign others to do so
- Maintain regular office hours during which you will be available to instruct and assist students on-on-one
Postsecondary Teacher Job Specifications
The job qualifications and skills section of your postsecondary teacher job description is the shortest section of the document. This does not mean that it will be the quickest or the easiest to write. It contains the minimum requirements you’ll accept in a candidate, including any relevant work experience and education, which means it’s critical that you write this section in such a way that it is impossible to misunderstand.
One cannot understate the importance of a clearly written job qualifications and skills section. It can often mean the difference between a steady flow of qualified applicants and an email inbox filled to the brim with resumes from unfit candidates.
To avoid such a mess, it’s good practice to sit down with your senior administration and discuss the qualifications and skills they expect from postsecondary teachers. Be sure to ask which skills and qualifications are non-negotiable and which they prefer and then separate these on the postsecondary teacher job description into two separate lists. This will give jobseekers a clear picture of whether they have what it takes to apply for the position.
Here are a few examples of well-written postsecondary teacher job specifications:
- Doctoral or professional degree
- Extensive expertise and knowledge in your designated department and subjects
- Exceptional time management skills
- A firm grasp of the English language, for both instructional and communicative purposes