Any fellow professors out there?

<p>I just joined this website as I start to think ahead for my kids. </p>

<p>I am amazed at the conversations, for their intensity and for the amount of misinformation being passed from student to student. Wow! </p>

<p>Curious to hear from other profs.</p>

<p>ProfASIA</p>

<p>Starbright and mythmom are professors, if I remember correctly. I began my career as a professor and still teach occasionally. I have found the site useful both for help in planning things for/with my kids. The parents are helpful and there are a few kids who have insight (xiggi on preparing for standardized tests comes to mind). I knew a fair bit about how high-end universities work as I attended 3 and taught at one, and am friends with professors and a few university presidents/deans. Nonetheless, I've gotten real help on the logistics of college apps and unconventional applications from very knowledgeable parents on this site.</p>

<p>Not a professor, but I work in an administrative position at a university.</p>

<p>I must say, now that we've gone through the process once (daughter preparing to go back for her second year at a top LAC) even though I work at a university there was an awful lot I was not aware of.</p>

<p>ProfASIA, welcome to you and good luck to your kiddos!</p>

<p>I work in university IT, was an adjunct lecturer for a few years, and have been involved in curriculum development for a couple of local CC programs. I have a little bit of notoriety in my field and have served on some grant panels in the past. Am not a prof and no plans to be -- I don't like the politics.</p>

<p>This site can be quite useful if taken with a grain (or maybe a pound) of salt. I've learned quite a bit here that helped my son with his college search and application process. If we'd relied solely on my own college experience and his high school counselor's advice, he would probably be living at home and commuting to the huge local state uni -- not an unworkable choice, but where he ended up is a much better fit to his personality, his capacity, and most of his interests.</p>

<p>I agree, however, that taking all CC content at face value would be a mistake.</p>

<p>Some of the information being provided on CC is the opinion of 11th and 12th graders that they try to pass off as fact, e.g. a high school senior advising someone that a social science degree, not a business degree, provides the best preparation for the LSAT, jeez. </p>

<p>Unfortunately, college applicants may not be able to realize that much of the information is uninformed opinion. </p>

<p>Also, if someone starts another "Which is better: Duke or Michigan?" thread, I will delete my CC account. After reading a sampling from the 20 or 30 page diatribes that each school's boosters post to such threads, I am not terribly impressed with either school. LOL!</p>

<p>I'm a tenured professor with about three decades of teaching experience in elite universities, and found this site recently when my S was applying to college. Negotiating the application process from the student's, or parent's, point of view is rather different, I've found this past year, from teaching the kids once they show up in your classroom.For instance, I didn't know squat about applying for financial aid or merit scholarships. And since my own experience as a student and teacher is limited to Ivy League and equivalent schools, I'm pretty vague about what counts as a quality education for kids who are not as academically inclined or who simply want to go elsewhere. So I've learned a lot and have tried to give good advice when a question has fallen within my range of expertise. I doubt anybody, including high school students, takes everything they read here as gospel truth.</p>

<p>Another prof here too. Have taught at pretty selective midwestern LAC back when it was still thought of as an "up-and-coming LAC" rather than one that had already made it to the highly selective group. Currently teach a regional fourth-tier state public in the east.</p>

<p>And I'm rather amazed at how much I learned about admissions and FA by eating with the Director of Admissions at the LAC every day for several years. Some things have changed, but many have not changed that much. The FA process for both my kids (and several nieces and nephews) has pretty much been what I was expecting (and hoping for in the case of my S, who starts this fall).</p>

<p>I'm a tenured professor at a liberal arts college. I believe that if my daughter had ever read anything on cc, she would never have bothered to apply to MIT or other top colleges. </p>

<p>I agree with what others have said here. Many students on the boards emphasize standardized test scores. But it isn't just on collegeconfidential. My daughter's now a rising senior at MIT getting ready to apply to grad schools, and apparently all the grad students and TA's she has encountered have emphasized the GRE score above almost everything else. Which is ridiculous.</p>

<p>I found cc particularly useful last year when my son was applying. With high test scores and a 3.44 gpa; it was hard to know where he stood a chance. There have been some great threads about schools for students with this kind of profile.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Welcome I'm not a parent, but one of those crazy kids. Please step in if you see false information, hopefully you can help some threads out
:)</p>

<p>I don't think most or even many professors are expert on college admissions, or immune from spreading misinformation. Collectively, there is a LOT of good information here.</p>

<p>As someone who has taught part time at two catholic schools and a big university, I can say that I've seen a lot of students who made poor college choices. Hopefully sites like this one can help people to sort out their issues and make better choices in where to go to school.</p>

<p>Another professor here; humanities field, 10 years teaching in Ivy and equivalent institutions. There's lots of good information and lots of misinformation (going on what I know about the institutions with which I have been affiliated).</p>

<p>I teach at a community college and worked in admissions my first three years out of college (before electricity). I stay off the high school pages as a rule and rarely look at chance threads.</p>

<p>I am a professor, teaching and doing research in a medical school at several state university over the past three decades. </p>

<p>Yes, there are plenty of misconceptions here. Since there are few certainties in elite college admission, at least for those of us who are mere mortals, one tends to forget that anecdotes are just that. Yet I agree with posters concerning information regarding financial aids.</p>

<p>Since you are all gathered here, perhaps I could ask a question. My son (entering 11th grade) is strongly considering a career as a college professor, most likely in the humanities. He loves to read (is incredibly well-read) and write and likes the idea of teaching in a college setting and pursuing his academic passions long-term. I have one friend who is a professor and she says it's brutal for women because the demands are highest when you have young kids, but that wouldn't apply here. Is it rewarding work? Are you happy? Can you provide for a family? Would you want to see your own kid go that route? I have little idea of what it really entails, although it sounds like there is definitely a miserable and political side to it, from what I've seen on CC. Any feedback would be welcome.</p>

<p>There are different types of colleges, when it comes to faculty, mimk6. Some schools don't have many graduate programs, and focus primarily on undergraduate teaching, with research taking an important but secondary position. Other schools (esp with phd programs) have lots of grad students, who do some of the teaching, and the primary focus of the faculty is research. The pressure to "publish or perish" can be intense. Your son is much too young and inexperienced to know what type of situation would suit him better although he sounds very mature. </p>

<p>Faculty salaries vary by school and discipline, but the ones I know almost all have families they support in a middle class lifestyle. One of the main appeals of academia is the freedom that comes with it - freedom to choose your own research, to teach in your own style and according to your own syllabus (within reasonable limits, of course), to keep your own hours to some degree, and so on. It is a far less restrictive career in many ways than, say, being an engineer in a large design firm.</p>

<p>This is a dilemma we face all the time when advising our own most talented undergraduates: what to tell students we believe in, whom we know to be capable of interesting and important work, whom we imagine could be successful and charismatic teachers. And yet the academic job market (in general, but particularly in the humanities) is fatally broken, and unlikely ever to be repaired. </p>

<p>In answer to the questions you do ask: The work can be immensely rewarding, and the life of a tenured academic is (in many ways) enviable. You can provide for a family, though modestly (rare is the humanities faculty member who earns 6 figures before (say) the age of 50. </p>

<p>There are challenges, even at the best of times: you must be prepared to go where the work is (dragging your family around with you.) There are, as you note, terrible politics (though perhaps not more so than other high-level professions). And I'd caution you not to think that young men can't be derailed by their desires to be there for their growing families. </p>

<p>But the biggest problem, and the reason I discourage any but the most insistent student (and would not encourage my own children to go this route): it is difficult (and getting ever more so) to get work at all. An anecdotal example: 7 years ago, there were over 400 applications to the single job I got. In a search I was involved in this past year, there were over 700. Without careful planning, a student can easily be in a graduate program for 7+ years and come out the other end with literally nothing-- no job, no obvious crossover skills, and no backup plan. I have seen it happen many times. </p>

<p>It is heartbreaking to say all of this, by the way. I love the work-- the teaching and the scholarship. I admire many of my students. But the odds of even ordinary success are too long for me to responsibly encourage the attempt.</p>

<p>At my community college, the faculty is probably 50/50 men /women--maybe a few more women. You can teach at a community college with a master's degree and at mine, there is no pressure to publish. However, for tenure, you do need to present at conferences. Our college has both tenured positions and contracts where the focus is teaching.</p>

<p>My salary does not pay our tax bill. However, I consider my job the perfect mom job. I have to be on campus 20 hours a week during the semester and I work about eight months out of the year. If I worked a 40-hour week, 50 weeks a year, my salary would be into the six figures if it were in proportion to my current salary and hours worked.</p>

<p>Mimk6, I don't know about others here, but for myself, I haven't the faintest notion that I would be in teaching when I was going through my various degrees and postgraduate training. That said, these are highly competitive positions and tend to be taken up by people with the "right credentials", i.e., publishing the kind of work that is considered to be important at the time. When it is the right time, most of us would know how realistic is the option. There are of course tons of meaningful and rewarding jobs outside academia for highly educated people in the humanities. </p>

<p>Professors make more than just their salary. Many have royalty, consultant or speaking engagement fees. For many of us, our salary maybe just a small portion of our income.</p>

<p>Thank you for all the responses. They were very helpful and enlightening.</p>