Astronomy Instructor (Full-time Tenure-Track Faculty Position)

Posting Details

Position Information

Posting Number 2014163F
Position Title Astronomy Instructor (Full-time Tenure-Track Faculty Position)
Department Mathematics & Science CSM (DEPT)
Location College of San Mateo
Position Number 4F0173
Percentage of Full Time The work year is 175 days (10 month of service).
FLSA Exempt (does not accrue overtime)
Months per Year 10
If other, please specify
Salary Range Initial placement with a Master’s degree can range from $68,568 up to $86,040 per year; and a Ph.D. can range from $78,576 to $91,848 per year.
Note: The District will make every attempt to at least match the salary at your current employer.
Min Salary
Max Salary
Position Type Faculty Positions

Posting Text

General Statement

San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) values the principles of diversity and equity. We provide our students with a rich and dynamic learning community that embraces differences, emphasizing collaboration and engaging students in and out of the classroom, encouraging them to realize their goals, and to become critical thinkers and socially responsible leaders.

SMCCCD seeks employees who value working in a collegial, collaborative environment, guided by a commitment to helping all students achieve success. All departments strongly encourage collaboration across disciplines to create integrated, interdisciplinary learning experiences. SMCCCD faculty members are expected to be knowledgeable about, and willing to use, different learning and teaching methods as appropriate to the discipline.

Start date of this assignment: Fall 2018
Duties and Responsibilities

The duties below are representative of the duties of the classification and are not intended to cover all of the duties performed by the incumbent(s) of any particular position. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the scope of work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to this classification.

1. Teach lecture and laboratory courses in astronomy

2. Operate and maintain the planetarium, CCD cameras, and other laboratory equipment

3. Assist in curriculum revisions and new course development

4. Consult with students during regularly scheduled office and lab hours

5. Maintain expertise in current technologies

6. Lead students in observational research

7. Serve as a member of division and college committees

8. Perform other professional duties as required by contract and general institutional needs

Minimum Qualifications

• Master’s degree or above in physics, astronomy, or astrophysics; OR Bachelor’s in physics or astronomy AND a Master’s or above in engineering, mathematics, meteorology, or geophysics; OR the equivalent (see below)

• Demonstrated sensitivity and ability to work with the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students, faculty, and staff

Physical Requirements
Equivalence to Minimum Qualifications

For persons applying for this position based on Equivalence, please answer the supplemental question on the online application indicating one or more of the following:

Degree Equivalence

The applicant possesses a degree(s) with similar content to those listed for the relevant discipline. The name of the degree is close to that specified on the Disciplines List but the degree either has a different title or area of expertise or the coursework is slightly different.

Academic Background Equivalence

Related to disciplines in which a Master’s Degree is not generally expected or available. The applicant must have completed at least 24 semester units of coursework in the academic field and must possess at least the equivalent level of achievement and the equivalent in breadth, depth of understanding, and rigor in each of the following:

i) a broad cultural education usually met by the general education requirements for any Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree, and

ii) a detailed study of the discipline in breadth, depth, and rigor, usually met by course work required for the degree major.

Professional Achievement Equivalence

The applicant must have completed the General Education requirements for that degree and show evidence of outstanding professional achievement and/or substantial training in the requested field. The applicant must submit substantial evidence, which demonstrates that his/her preparation, teaching experience, work experience, and ability are equivalent to those expected from a person who meets the minimum qualifications.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

1. Academic preparation for or successful experience in teaching astronomy at the community college or university level

2. Commitment to maintaining currency in the discipline and related technology appropriate to instruction

3. Knowledge of successful teaching techniques that engage students in their own learning, motivate students to develop higher order thinking skills, and ensure consistent and appropriate monitoring of student progress

4. Commitment to the teaching profession, its goals, and ideals

5. Enthusiasm for, understanding of, and commitment to the role and purpose of the community college

6. The capacity to reflect on and evaluate one’s pedagogy and to examine its effects critically

7. Skill and experience in motivating students from a broad spectrum of academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds

8. Ability to communicate effectively and constructively with persons of diverse cultures, language groups and abilities.

9. Ability to communicate effectively in both written and spoken language

10. Ability to work independently and as part of a team

11. Ability to use instructional strategies designed for diverse learning styles and academic goals

12. Commitment to the SMCCCD goal of integrating writing across the curriculum

13. Experience in and commitment to the use of computer-based technology appropriate to the subject areas of the assignment and willingness to expand this technology

14. Experience with reflectors, refractors, and Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes

15. Experience with setting up and using a solar telescope

16. Experience with the operation of a planetarium and its application to teaching

17. Evidence of, and commitment to involvement with community related projects such as outreach activities with local schools

18. Familiarity with python, C++ or any other computer language is a plus

19. Familiarity with the use of the latest technology in teaching astronomy

Preferred Qualifications
Faculty Benefits

Benefits include a choice of medical plans, dental coverage, vision care, sick leave, salary continuance insurance, and an optional tax-deferred flexible benefit plan. Coverage is offered for employees and all eligible dependents. Academic employees participate in the State Teachers’ Retirement System, a defined-benefit retirement plan through the State of California. Employees may also be eligible for various first-time homebuyer programs.

Posting Detail Information

Open Date 12/18/2017
First Review Date 03/15/2018
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Special Instructions Summary

Required Application Materials

All applicants are required to submit:

1. A completed online District application form (go to to complete the application and to apply for this position)

2. A resume that details all relevant education, training, and teaching experience (including courses taught), and other work experience.

3. Undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts (copies accepted)

4. A cover letter of no more than 3 pages addressing the Requirements and the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities listed in the job announcement.

The cover letter should address the applicant’s qualifications as they directly relate to the Requirements and Knowledge, Skills and Abilities listed in this announcement.

Unofficial copies of all undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts may be submitted with the application; official copies will be required at the time of the interview.

5. Please upload your responses to the following questions:

a) Describe your philosophy of teaching astronomy to general education students.
b) How would you incorporate optical telescopes, CCD camera, and star projector into your astronomy courses?
c) Describe your planetarium experience.
d) How would you incorporate observational research into your teaching?

For questions related to this posting, please contact:

SMCCCD Office of Human Resources
3401 CSM Drive, San Mateo, CA 94402
Tel.: (650) 574-6555 Fax (650) 574-6574
Web Page:

Conditions of Employment

Prior to employment, the selected candidate will be required to complete the following:

1. Submit official transcripts (applies to all faculty or educational administrative positions)

Foreign Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs in order for it to be considered for the satisfaction of minimum qualifications. Foreign transcripts must be translated and evaluated by a U.S.-based credentials evaluation service. The District currently accepts evaluations from agencies approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

2. Submit verifications of prior employment
3. Satisfactory references
4. Successfully being cleared for employment through the background checking process

In addition to background checks, the District may review publicly available information about a candidate on the Internet. If a candidate is aware of incorrect or inaccurate information that is available on the Internet, the candidate is welcome to address such an issue with the Office of Human Resources.

5. Present original documents for proof of eligibility to work in the United States
6. Approval of your employment by the SMCCCD Board of Trustees
7. Provide a certificate of Tuberculosis exam for initial employment.
8. Have fingerprints taken by a Live Scan computer (Clearance must be received prior to first day of employment). Please note that the California Education Code requires, in part, that community college districts shall not employ or retain in employment persons in public school service who have been convicted of certain felonies, a misdemeanor drug charge (including alcohol offenses) or misdemeanor moral turpitude (sexual offense) crime. However, consideration may be given to those whose drug convictions occurred more than five years ago. A conviction for other crimes may not necessarily disqualify you from the job for which you may be applying.

EEO Statement

The San Mateo County Community College District is an Equal Opportunity Employer that seeks to employ individuals who represent the rich diversity of cultures, language groups, and abilities of its surrounding communities.


Applicants who have disabilities may request that special accommodations be made in order to complete the selection process. Accommodation request forms and a copy of the Americans with Disabilities Act applicant procedures are available in the Office of Human Resources.

Annual Security Report

San Mateo County Community College District’s (SMCCCD) 2017 Annual Security Report (ASR), required by the Clery Act, includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings owned or controlled by SMCCCD; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from SMCCCD. Our 2017 Annual Security Report also outlines various campus safety and security policies, such as those concerning crime reporting, prevention and response to sexual and gender violence, alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, emergency response and evacuation procedures, and other matters. The 2017 Annual Security Report also includes important tips to help every member of the community remain safe and avoid becoming a victim of crime. The 2017 Annual Security Report is now available at You can also obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Department of Public Safety at the District Office or any of the three Campuses (650) 738-7000.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
    • District Employee
    • District Employment Site
    • CCC Registry
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • ACCCA
    • HERC
    • Other
    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook or Twitter
  2. * Do you possess a Master's degree or above in physics, astronomy, or astrophysics; OR Bachelor’s in physics or astronomy AND a Master's or above in engineering, mathematics, meteorology, or geophysics; OR the equivalent (see below)?
    • Yes, I have a Master's or above in physics, astronomy, or astrophysics
    • Yes, I have a Bachelor’s in physics or astronomy AND a Master's or above in engineering, mathematics, meteorology, or geophysics
    • I am applying for equivalence and my Equivalency Application is attached
    • No
  3. If you are applying for equivalence to meet the minimum requirements for this position, please identify which equivalence from the following options. (Applicant is encouraged to attach appropriate validation, such as transcripts, evaluations, portfolios, certificates, licenses, employer attestation, publications or other relevant materials which support this application.) DEGREE EQUIVALENCE: Description ACADEMIC BACKGROUND EQUIVALENCE: Description PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT EQUIVALENCE: Description

    (Open Ended Question)

  4. * Can you demonstrate sensitivity and the ability to work with the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students, faculty, and staff?
    • Yes
    • No

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  3. College Transcripts
  4. Teaching Philosophy
Optional Documents
  1. Equivalency Application
  2. Foreign Degree Evaluation
  3. Other Document 1
  4. Other Document 2
  5. Other Document 3