Hello again and happy New Year!! I hope that you and your loved ones will share a wonderful, safe, and prosperous New Year!! It has been some time since I last posted. Quite frankly, there was little activity other than submitting applications; a daunting task to be sure. Many voiced their views on the application process and offered sincere encouragement to continue. For this I am grateful; certainly there were times of abandoning that process. I was asked if I would write something to update my status. I have always believed that if my writing can assist anyone while traveling this journey, I am most humbled to do so.
As I continued my journey, numerous applications were submitted with a return of no confidence or no response at all from the recipient of those applications. I must honestly say part of the frustration lies in two areas within the application process. First, IF there is a response from the university, it is a generic “cookie cutter” response. There is absolutely no feedback for improvement. This causes an adoption of the “shooting in the dark” belief. Second, there is no response at all from the recipient of the application. Of course, this is the adoption of the not knowing; which is just as frustrating.
To address the former, I just continued to seek advice from those who have successfully traveled through the journey of getting offered a position as an online professor. There is absolutely no action that can be taken to seek feedback from the application recipient. Ironically, that is the same approach for the latter: no action for force a response. Therefore, you must get through the low times of the process – continue to seek feedback and decide which fits your scenario best. I reached out to various people to get a wide variety of feedback. Not all that provided feedback were professors, some were human resource professionals who were kind enough to critically review my CV for improvement.
After approximately 130 applications, I finally received an invitation to conduct a phone interview in March of 2016. As one can imagine, the excitement level was markedly high. Additionally, the anxiety was just as peaked. I must admit, for my first interview with a university, there certainly was room for improvement. Again, the research and preparation was a bit extensive. However, the actual interview was a mite disappointing on my behalf. As a result, I was not offered the position with the university. But I certainly learned a great deal.
Not being surprised that I did not receive an offer from the university, I continued to look for ways to improve and, again, spoke with a variety of people. Yes, reviewing documents and looking for “key words” is a large part of the process. I have been working on becoming an online professor for about 18 months – talking about it for another 18 months….LOL. As you can imagine, I completely forgot about going through the process with the university.
It is because of that, was a bit surprised to receive an email from the university about the beginning of October 2016 asking if I was still interested in a position with the university. Now, the be fair and honest, I have heard of other people going through the same thing. Nonetheless, I was still pleasantly surprised to receive the email. To that point, I actually responded to confirm that I was being offered the position; yes, I thought it was a joke. After a series of exchanging emails, my humble goal of becoming an online professor had been confirmed. YES!!! Let the training begin!!
And so it did, I received the schedule and information pertaining to the required training. This brought on a new level of nervousness as I had yet participated in this type of training. I was blessed to have experienced professors and an extremely understanding proctor during the training. Yes, I imagine the thought of me being a “high maintenance” student did cross their mind. My fellow trainees were exceptionally beneficial as they provide some wonderful advice. For going through the training for the first time, all who were involved made the experience enjoyable and as painless as possible; something I am extremely appreciative.
The training occurred over a three-week period and there was a great deal to absorb. A number of policies, procedures, and legal documents required review and understanding. Admittedly, some of the documents were a surprise and I did not think of the application to online teaching. However, once I went through the process, it was easy to understand how all tied into each other from the grand scheme of things. Conversely, there were some issues that I did not understand how they tied into online teaching, but certainly understood how they can tie into face-to-face teaching.
Upon successfully completing the required training, I received information as to the continuing process. True to their statements, about four weeks after completing the training, I received not one, but two invitations to teach. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the second invitation. I then accepted both of the invitations and hopefully will be offered the classes. I will only teach one class at a time; the second invitation is for teaching the same class during a separate period.
And so the journey continues. I have reached my goal of becoming an online professor in the area of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. My next goal is to become the best possible professor and assist students to reach their goals in any manner possible. I do not know, at this point, where this journey will take me, but I certainly am excited to find out. I would be extremely remiss if I did not acknowledge the number of people who assisted me during this time. From the people at The Babb Group, to family, to current professors, to friends, and, of course, God for giving me this opportunity – THANK YOU ALL, I am blessed!!!
Until next time, my friends, please be safe and spend time with your families.
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About the Author
LEE BENNETT, MA, BA
I would like to introduce myself as Lee Bennett. I have 25 years of in-depth professional experience in the field of emergency response, preparedness, terrorism awareness, and public administration. I also have 15 years of adult education. Primarily, I have trained first responders in the areas of firefighting, hazardous materials, emergency management, and terrorism. I am a higher educator with a passion for teaching students and developing strong practitioners in Emergency Management, Pubic Administration, Security, Terrorism, and Emergency Preparedness. I have earned a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration on Homeland Security, and a Bachelor’s in Public Administration with a concentration on Fire Science.
I am originally from Michigan and lived most of my years there. However, I also resided in Texas, Illinois, and currently reside in Virginia. I have been blessed to witness some of the great beauty lady United States provides us and hope that continues.