AIKEN - At first glance, the long list of potential instructor jobs at Aiken Technical College has the earmarks of the same kind of teacher shortage that exists statewide in elementary and high schools.
But that's not the case, said Dr. Carolane Williams, vice president for academic affairs, during final preparations Thursday for a job fair that night.
Although the school is recruiting instructors for more than 50 subjects, not all the positions are vacancies begging to be filled right away, she said. Some depend on funds that might not materialize, and others depend on demand.
"We don't actually have a teacher shortage," Dr. Williams said. "Because of growth and retirement, we do have openings, some of which depend on funding. Since we use adjunct professors for many of our classes, we almost always have openings in computer technology, math, English and business. We also are trying to develop a pool of part-time instructors for this fall in foreign languages, geography and music appreciation."
By putting all the potential slots on a list and holding a job fair, she said, the school hopes to get a better idea of who is out there, who is qualified and who is willing to step in.
The fair was designed as "one-stop shopping" for people who know they like to teach or think they would. All of Aiken Tech's department chairmen and deans were on hand to answer questions and chat with potential applicants.
Many applicants are retired people or business professionals who want to teach, said Howard Lobaugh, the college's assistant dean for quality and safety programs.
"It's good to have a job and to have skills," he said. "But it's nice to be able to go out and give that to somebody."
Aiken attorney Andrea R. Hippely has taught as an adjunct professor at a long list of colleges. She made her way to the college Thursday night, looking to snag a job teaching paralegal or criminology.
"I'm in private practice, but I love teaching," she said.
Representatives from the Human Resources Department were at the fair with answers to questions about benefits and other employment matters.
More than 50 people attended the college's first job fair. Aiken Tech President Susan Graham said it was a perfect place for applicants and full-time faculty to meet while expanding the diversity of applicants.
"The more students can be exposed to different perspectives and experiences, the more valuable their education," Dr. Graham said.
People who would like to join Aiken Tech's instructor applicant pool but who didn't attend the job fair can send a resume to Human Resources, Aiken Technical College, P.O. Drawer 696, Aiken, SC 29802-0696.
Staff Writer Greg Rickabaugh contributed to this article.
Reach Margaret N. O'Shea at (803) 279-6895 or email@example.com.