But in areas without specific accreditations, such as most of the general education fields, it doesn’t happen. And that’s not because community colleges are indifferent to the humanities. Stereotypes aside, as the recent report shows, this is the sector in which enrollments in the humanities are on a steady upward path. Much of that is due to gen ed requirements for vertical transfer, but they still count. To the extent that I’ve paid attention to disciplinary organizations over the last decade or so, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of relevance to community colleges. In languages, there’s more traction with the 4 C’s (the rhetoric/composition folks) and TESOL than the MLA, probably because the more teaching-oriented ones come closer to addressing our daily reality. In math, AMATYC is far more relevant than the others. As far as I know -- and I’m happy to be corrected on this -- online nursing faculty positions many of the other liberal arts fields don’t have organizations focused primarily on undergraduate teaching. APSA, my own discipline, has an organized subgroup that focuses on undergraduate education, but it’s basically a caucus under a much larger umbrella. Asking the MLA and its counterparts to address institutional hiring is setting them up to fail. Instead, I’m hoping that it (and especially its counterparts) will notice that a sector of higher education that they’ve mostly ignored over the years is, in fact, growing, and presents opportunities both economic and pedagogical.
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