Instructor, Astronomy

Job description

Orange Coast College


Instructor, Astronomy

Job# 1-O-20

Salary: $52,394.00 - $124,911.00 Annually

Deadline: 02/07/19


Full job description and OFFICIAL application available ONLY at:



Orange Coast College (OCC) is seeking a full-time, equity-minded, tenure-track faculty member in Astronomy commencing with the 2019 fall semester. The primary teaching assignment includes all courses taught in the Astronomy department.  This assignment also includes curriculum and program development, participation in department, division, college committees, and participatory governance activities; assuming leadership roles both within the department and in the institution as a whole; collaboration across disciplines and the leveraging of student support resources; and participation in ongoing professional development.

The teaching assignment may be day, evening, weekend, online, hybrid, or off-campus and is subject to change as needed. The ideal candidate for this position embraces the overall mission of Orange Coast College and the Coast Community College District, with a clear, focused commitment to supporting individualized student and employee goals within the  Astronomy Department.

The Department of Astronomy shares OCC's commitment to equitable outcomes; inclusive practices; and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity.  Ideal candidates for this position share OCC's devotion to educating and improving the lives of our representative student, employee, and community populations. We currently enroll 21,498 students, the majority of whom are from racially minoritized populations: 35% of OCC's students are Latinx, 2% are African-American, 23% are Asian, less than 1% Native American, 31% are White, and 6% are multiracial.

Faculty have the opportunity to enhance their classroom methods during two professional development days during the academic year, which include learning sessions like "Digital Accessibility", Basic Skills:  Helping students help themselves" and "Taking a skills-based approach to teaching college students". Student-centered activities that support OCC's mission include campus-wide student success projects funded by the Office of Student Equity; partnerships with local Hispanic Serving four-year institutions; active programs that work to improve the academic achievement of racially minoritized students, such as PUENTE and UMOJA; Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS).     


The Math and Science Division at Orange Coast College serves students with a diverse range of educational goals that includes transfer to four-year institutions and training for future careers. We promote innovative teaching as well as student and faculty engagement outside of the classroom. These efforts include a new STEM Center to increase student retention and success, a campus-wide student project and research symposium, and community outreach events such as our annual Science Night. OCC encourages STEM students to pursue careers through our partnerships with local four-year universities (via Project RAISE and Bridges).


Our department offers an Associate of Science degree in Astronomy, with a range of courses, from introductory surveys to a sophomore-level astrophysics class. Our day and evening laboratory courses teach students to set-up and use Dobsonians, solar telescopes, and computerized Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. To minimize the financial burden for our students, we have pioneered the use of zero-cost textbooks in our introductory lecture classes. We are extremely active in public outreach, which includes hosting observing events for the community and bringing astronomy to local schools. The OCC Astronomy Club independently hosts field trips and participates in outreach events, enabling its members to gain confidence and experience in sharing the wonders and excitement of the Universe. Our new planetarium complex will open in the near future and become a destination for OCC and K-12 students, the general public, and our campus community. The department, through an anonymous donor, has recently opened the "Astronomy House", an innovative, multipurpose space that promotes curiosity and camaraderie among students. This unique facility, with its welcoming and comfortable ambiance, empowers all students to pursue academic thought and discourse with enthusiasm.


Qualifications and Physical Demands

Examples of Duties: Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Provide instruction in Astronomy in accordance with established course outlines. Curriculum responsibilities may include any Astronomy course taught at OCC.

2. Provide leadership in the development and revision of Astronomy curriculum, responsive to the students served.

3. Participate in curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation; participate in and develop programs to measure student performance.

4. Maintain current knowledge in the field.

5. Uphold appropriate standards of professional conduct and ethics.

6. Fulfill the professional responsibilities of a full-time faculty member including, but not limited to the following: teach all scheduled classes unless excused under provisions of Board Policy; follow the department course outlines; keep accurate records of student enrollment, attendance, and progress; submit student grades according to established deadlines; post and maintain scheduled office hours; participate in departmental meetings and college and/or district-wide activities and committees as assigned.

7. The assignment may include day, evening, weekend, and online sections.



• Must meet one of the following qualifications under (1) through (4):

• Valid California Community College instructor credential, appropriate to the subject, per Education Code 87355 (issued prior to July 1, 1990);

• Master's degree in physics, astronomy, or astrophysics, OR

• Bachelor's degree in physics or astronomy AND master's degree in engineering, mathematics, meteorology, or geophysics

• Or, possess a combination of education and experience that is at least the equivalent to the above.  Candidates making an application on the basis of equivalency must submit an Application for Equivalency in addition to all other required materials. Please see Additional Information below to determine if you need to submit an Application for Equivalency.

• Evidence of responsiveness to and understanding of the racial, ethnic, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, academic and cultural diversity within the community college student population, including students with different ability statuses (e.g., physical and/or learning) as these factors relate to the need for equity-minded practice within the classroom.

• Ability to contribute to campus and district-wide professional responsibilities and activities.

• Ability to complement existing staff, student and community demographics in terms of professional and personal skills.


Desirable Qualifications:

A Master's or Ph.D. in astronomy and/or astrophysics.

• Recent experience teaching introductory astronomy lecture courses and/or laboratories.

• Ability and recent experience teaching sophomore-level calculus-based astrophysics.

• Successful teaching experience working with diverse student populations and various class sizes (including large lectures).

• Ability and experience implementing research-based instructional techniques to improve student engagement, retention, and success.

• Ability and willingness to set up and use telescopes (including solar) as part of instruction and/or public outreach.

• Ability to develop and implement lecture and lab curricula using the capabilities of the Community Planetarium.

• Capability to develop new curricula in astronomy, in such areas as exoplanetary science, extragalactic astronomy, and archeoastronomy, and scientific literacy. 

• Experience and skill with addressing issues of equity in the classroom.

• Experience and expertise in culturally responsive teaching in Astronomy, particularly as it relates to the relevance of Astronomy to students' lives, interests, and communities.

• Ability to work with the department to develop a regular lecture series hosted in the Community Planetarium.

• Experience mentoring students (especially at the community college level) who are engaged in independent research projects.

• Ability to self-reflect and respond to an evidence-based assessment of student learning.

• Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and collegially with other faculty and desire and demonstrated ability to participate actively in the department, division, and college committees and in the shared governance of the Coast Community College District.

• Desire and evidence of an ability to take on leadership roles both within the department and in the institution as a whole.

• Ability to work with computers, and use the Internet and interactive technologies to engage students in on-campus and online courses (where academically appropriate).

• Evidence of an ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.


Conditions of Employment

(Fall 2019 start date)  For a full-time, two-semester position a maximum starting range of $52,394 to $89,326 is offered, based on the 2018-2019 salary schedule of $52,394 to $124,911. In addition, an annual stipend of $3,056 is offered for possession of an earned doctorate from an accredited institution. The District provides medical, dental, and vision insurance for the employee and eligible dependents and life insurance for the employee.

• Regular attendance is considered an essential job function; the inability to meet attendance requirements may preclude the employee from retaining employment.

• The person holding this position is considered a mandated reporter under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in Coast Community College District policies, procedures, and Title IX. (Reference: BP/AP 5910 )

• The Coast Community College District celebrates all forms of diversity and is deeply committed to fostering an inclusive environment within which students, staff, administrators, and faculty thrive. Individuals interested in advancing equity and inclusion goals are strongly encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified applicants with disabilities who self-disclose.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m., February 7, 2019. Application materials must be electronically submitted online at Incomplete applications and application materials submitted by mail will not tenure-track.




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Job No:
Posted: 11/20/2018
Application Due: 1/19/2019
Work Type:
Salary: $52,394.00 - $124,911.00 Annually