Career College Central

Career College Central - April 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 51

Subscribe at 46 WHY I STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE BRANDALYN HARPER CERTIFIED HIGHER EDUCATION PROFESSIONAL (CHEP) IN TEACHING COMMUNICATIONS INSTRUCTOR – ECPI UNIVERSITY – COLUMBIA How many years of experience do you have in higher education? Five years. How did you begin your career in higher education? My first adventure in higher education was in alumni affairs, working for my alma mater 18 years ago! Eventually, the call to advance my career placed me smack in the middle of corporate America, where I learned, experienced, and soaked in a wealth of knowledge. But I needed a change and I yearned for something more satisfying. When the opportunity arose, I re- entered the world of academia. I was hired at a school over 100 miles (and almost two hours) away from my home as an adjunct instructor. Not a week aer accepting the offer, I approached a nearby campus with the same school to hire me on as well—and the rest is history. Today I work full-time at the local campus, whipping students into shape to become competitive and valued employees. What part of your job brings you the most personal satisfaction? e ultimate satisfaction is sitting on the stage at graduation and watching my students proudly accept their degrees. Yes, I get emotional. I cry. It's an amazingly powerful moment: a shi in prosperity for many, a chance for a better quality of life for most. You see, many of those students didn't believe they could do it. "is is too hard, Ms. Harper." I see them wanting to give up, to give in to the lie that they cannot overcome the difficulties of life. It is my job not only to impart my scholarly wisdom upon them, but to upli them, share my experiences, and let them know they already have what it takes to push through. I love the stories of triumph and perseverance and seeing them break every chain holding them back. at's when I know I've done my job and walked in my purpose. What advice do you have for fellow educators in the career college sector of higher education? Approach your role as an instructor with a passion for teaching or move aside for someone who does. Be dynamic. Unfortunately, in our current times attention spans can be extremely short. Be creative. It's not acceptable to read from slides or a book, lacking passion but expecting our students to engage. Shake it up a bit! Take a field trip. Bring in a lively speaker. Do small group exercises. It's not okay to simply occupy space and collect a paycheck. An instructor must incorporate creativity and a bit of entertainment into their teaching strategy, especially if you teach five-hour blocks like I do. Also, we should never loosen our standards to make it easy for students. We must uphold the integrity of the program and our institutions. No one—the school, instructors, students, employers—benefits from watering down requirements for students. It's a disservice to all. Why are professional development and continuing education important to you? Professional development and continuing education are essential for self-preservation. We have to prove our worth, not only to our employers but to our students as well. We must consistently find ways to sharpen ourselves. As an educator, I am an example to my students. My credibility is established through my expertise and professionalism. If I don't invest the time into learning new teaching strategies or staying up-to-speed on the latest about my subject matter, then I am lacking as a leader. Students don't want to sit in a classroom with an instructor who only knows the subject matter from a dated perspective. In order to help our students become respected, knowledgeable leaders in their workplaces, we must be leaders in our classroom. at starts with knowing our stuff and setting the example for how professionalism should be demonstrated.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Career College Central - Career College Central - April 2018