While several secondary and post-secondary teaching positions remain open in the San Francisco Bay Area, acquiring one of the coveted jobs is highly competitive. But what makes one job applicant stand out above the others? Richard Greggory Johnson III, associate professor for the online public administration program at USF and a Fulbright Scholar, has excelled in his area of expertise through years of education and perseverance. Dr. Johnson spent a few moments to share expert advice for people interested in a career in education.
What is your current position at USF and your educational background?
“I am currently a tenured associate professor in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco, teaching classes in the Masters of Public Administration Program (MPA) and Masters of Public Affairs Program (MOPA). I hold a doctoral degree in public policy and administration from Golden Gate University, M.A. in Social and Public Policy from Georgetown University, M.S. in Management from DePaul University and B.A. in Urban Studies from Johnson C. Smith University.”
Using your past experiences, what type of career advice can you provide to people interested in a career in your field?
“I directed the TRIO programs at the University of Vermont before I became a professor. I selected this position because faculty positions are difficult to get in my field of public policy. However, during years of being a director of TRIO, I continued to publish articles and teach part-time at the University of Vermont, never losing sight of becoming a professor. Therefore, when a full-time faculty position opened up at the university, I had the skills of teaching, craft of publishing and sound oration skills that allowed me to be hired. After 12 years, I was recruited because of my interest, both teaching and publishing in social justice. Someone trying to become a professor must be prepared to obtain a graduate degree in a field of interest, enjoy research, have thick skin and pay attention to the bigger picture of one day becoming a tenured college/university professor.”
What other job skills are necessary in order to become an effective educator?
“ An effective educator must have skills of understanding, compassion and have high standards for all students and colleagues. Finally, educators must have a strong understanding of their subject matter.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.