In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader asks:
i am an abd grad student. I thought I had my AOS/AOCs figured out, but my department threw me a curveball and is having me teach a class that is outside of those areas. i’m not really worried about teaching the class and i am interested in the material, but i don’t research this stuff at all. i fear that adding it as an AOC will look a little strange, both because there are now too many and because it doesn’t really ‘fit’ with the rest, but i also don’t want to undersell my capabilities when the ability to teach a wide range of classes is valued. if anyone has faced this situation, or evaluated someone like this from a committee perspective, i would be interested to know what you think.
This is a good query, as people always seem to have questions about what constitutes a ‘legitimate AOC.’ My understanding has always been that an AOC is supposed to be something that one would be able and qualified to teach an advanced undergraduate course in, even if it isn’t an area that one does active research (i.e. publishing) in. So, I would think, at a minimum, an AOC should be something that one either has graduate coursework training in, and/or something one has cultivated some advanced competence in by some other means (such as by teaching lower-division courses in the area regularly and developing a more advanced background in by reading more widely in that area).
Consequently, my sense is that it is probably not a good idea to list a course that one has merely taught a couple of times in grad school as an AOC. Fortunately, in many cases, I don’t think that much is likely to turn on this for a job-candidate. If a department otherwise likes you, they want/need someone to teach X, and you have taught X before, then that’s likely to be a mark in your favor, AOC or no.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? It would be great to hear from readers in general, but particularly from members of search committees!
Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More