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Instructor or Assistant Professor of Practice - Birth-Kindergarten - 001515

Western Carolina University

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Instructor or Assistant Professor of Practice - Birth-Kindergarten - 001515

Western Carolina University

Department: Human Services

About WCU: Western Carolina University continues to rank high on Forbes ‘Best Employers’ lists each year. Including:• 2024 – Ranking in the top 8.5% on Forbes ‘America’s Best Midsize Employers’ list, WCU was ranked 34 out of the top 400 employers across all industries.• 2023 – Ranked in the top 20% on Forbes ‘America’s Best Midsize Employers’ list, WCU was ranked 97 out of the top 500 employers across all industries.• 2022 – Ranked 14th in the top 100 employers in North Carolina in Forbes ‘America’s Best Employers by State’ list.Western Carolina University is the UNC system’s westernmost campus and has been consistently ranked as one of the top 15 public regional institutions in the South.Employees of WCU are provided a comprehensive benefits package as well as other resources, policies and programs to ensure a happy and healthy work/life balance. Benefit eligible employees have access to dental, vision and health insurance plans – eligibility begins on the first of the month following date of hire. Retirement plan contributions begin on the eligibility date following election and include employer contributions for either a defined contribution or a defined benefit plan. Optional disability plans are also available.Eligible employees have access to tuition waivers for up to three courses per academic year; employee may enroll at any of the constituent UNC System campuses. Also offered are free group exercise classes multiple times per week, a discounted membership to the campus recreation center, free vaccine and booster shots offered on campus, pretax flexible spending accounts, 12 paid holidays and 24 hours of paid community service leave each year. Paid vacation and sick leave accrual begin after first month of employment. Paid parental leave after 12 months of continuous service.WCU offers an abundance of training and development programs, certifications, workshops and conferences – many of which are offered free of charge.

Position Summary: Western Carolina University's (WCU) Department of Human Services invites applications for a 9-month, renewable fixed-term instructor or assistant professor of practice (for candidates with a terminal degree) position in the Birth-Kindergarten Program. Anticipated start date is August 1, 2024. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
The Birth-Kindergarten Program (online) is situated in the Human Services Department in the College of Education and Allied Professions. Western Carolina University and The Human Services Department (HS) holds inclusive excellence as a core value, and we work together to foster a welcoming community, where all are respected and know they belong.
Duties and Responsibilities:
  • The successful candidate will teach, supervise, and advise students in the B-K (Online) Program. The teaching load is four courses each semester (Fall and Spring; all online; 80%), with priority being internship courses, and option to teach in the summer. Additionally, faculty will share program administrative responsibilities and provide service to the department, college, and university (20%). Duties include:
  • Support the vision and mission of the BK Program
  • Develop and deliver online courses within the BK Program
  • Supervise Interns and coordinate with clinical educators
  • Mentor and Advise Students
  • 4/4 (Fall-Spring) teaching load (with additional opportunities to teach in the summer)
  • Provide service to the university, profession, and community
  • Maintain currency in the academic discipline through continuing education, activities within the program, and opportunities in professional organizations at the state, regional, and/or national levels
  • Work cooperatively and collegially with all faculty and staff in the BK Program and across the institution
  • Carry out other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required for this position:

Minimum Qualifications: Master’s degree in early childhood education, early childhood special education, child development, or a closely related field (Degree must be from an accredited institution). Expertise in working with interns and young children birth-kindergarten; Eligibility for North Carolina licensure. Service to the university, community, and region requires the faculty member to live within reasonable proximity to the university.  Previous teaching experience and a record of community/public engagement

Preferred Qualifications: PhD in early childhood education, early childhood special education, child development, or a closely related field (Degree must be from an accredited institution). Experience in teaching in a classroom (any grade B-K) Experience teaching and working with interns in preschool and kindergarten settings Experience with edTPA portfolio, teaching courses in a Birth-Kindergarten program, and advising students Experience with online instruction and development of online courses

Position Type: Permanent Full-Time

Special Instructions to Applicants: Application materials must be submitted online. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until a candidate has been selected for hire. Please include cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial transcripts from highest degree earned*, current licensure and a list of five professional references with full contact information. For questions or additional information please contact Dr. Myra Watson, Chair, Birth-Kindergarten Search Committee, *All applicants are required to submit an unofficial transcript of their highest attained degree, showing all completed coursework and the date the degree was conferred. The transcript must state “Degree Awarded,” “Degree Conferred,” or a similar phrase. For candidates who are ABD, please submit your most recent doctoral program transcript along with your master’s degree transcript, if you hold such a degree. The master’s degree transcript must have a notation such as “Degree Awarded,” “Degree Conferred,” or similar phrase, to verify it as your highest completed degree.

Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; national origin; age; disability; genetic information; political affiliation; National Guard or veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (828) 227-7218 or email at

University Safety
The Western Carolina University Annual Safety Report is available online at University Annual Safety Report or in hard-copy by request at the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 227 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7147) or the Office of University Police, 111 Camp Annex, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7301). The report, required of all universities participating in Title IV student financial aid programs, discusses crime statistics, procedures for reporting suspicious or criminal activity, security, police authority, crime prevention strategies, university policies on substance abuse and sexual offenses, workplace violence and fire safety.

To apply, please visit:

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About Us

Western Carolina University offers a collaborative community of faculty and staff eager to partner together to support the success of our students and our institution. We attract employees who are inspired to work in higher education because of the difference we can make together in the lives of the more than 10,000 students who study at WCU. For a few other reasons WCU is a great place to work:

Do you like being involved in the local community? So do we. We have robust service learning and community outreach efforts that invite students, faculty and staff to serve our local community in an ever-growing number of ways.

Western Carolina University has been named the Top Adventure College in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Our main campus in Cullowhee is situated 15 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have a biking and hiking trail on campus and many more in the area.

We attract students who are eager to excel. WCU has the oldest and largest Honors College in the UNC system and is consistently among the Top 5 institutions nationally for undergraduate research projects accepted to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

We are a cultural hub for the region. Our College of Fine and Performing Arts produces professional-quality theater under the direction of Broadway star Terrance Mann, and our music programs are recognized as some of the best in the state. Our Pride of the Mountains Marching Band has been invited to the Macy's parade and the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Our healthcare programs are some of the most competitive in the southeast and are housed in an incredible LEED-certified facility complete with some of the best technology in teaching along with community clinics for applied learning.

For more information, please visit our website at


Western Carolina University (WCU) has been honored in multiple areas demonstrating our commitment to our students, faculty, staff and our community.  Our distinguished faculty includes national award-winning authors, nationally and internationally recognized experts, and winners of Emmy, O’Henry, and National Endowment for the Arts awards – to name a few.  WCU has been named a Top Green College by Princeton Review, is among the Top 5 for Undergraduate Research in the nation, and has been named by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as a Best College Value.  Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine has named WCU the Number 1 Outdoor Adventure College for three years running.  The WCU Pride of the Mountains Marching Band is a Sudler Trophy recipient, having led the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Bowl Parade.  WCU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the Top 12 Best Online Programs for the Military as well as #27 among institutions in the South for Best Colleges for Veterans.

Faculty and Staff are honored annually with a broad range of Teaching, Scholarship and service honors.  For more information, please visit our website at


Western Carolina University offers a wide array of high quality benefit plans from which to choose. These include comprehensive health and welfare insurance plans, a choice between two retirement programs, both of which provide a valuable retirement benefit, as well as optional retirement savings opportunities. Employees also benefit from a generous leave program. For more information please visit our benefits page at UNC Benefits

Diversity and Inclusion

Western Carolina University has a commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse employees who bring to our campus varied perspective and cultural understanding. Our Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs aspires to strengthen diversity as an integral component of excellence at WCU. Among public universities, our institution leads the region in student body diversity, and our diversity metrics are growing.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission (who we are):

To improve individual lives and enhance economic and community development in our region, state and nation through engaged learning opportunities in our academic programs, educational outreach, research and creative activities, and cultural activities. 

Our Core Values and Guiding Principles (what guides and inspires us):

Excellence in Scholarship, Teaching, and Learning

Collaboration with and Respect for our Communities

Free and Open Interchange of Ideas

Responsible Stewardship and Organizational Effectiveness

Organizational and Environmental Sustainability

Cultural Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Our Vision Statement (who we want to be):

To be a national model for student learning and engagement that embraces its responsibilities as a regionally engaged university.

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