College of DuPage: Fifty Years of Stories– “Only the Best” (Ep. 28)

College of DuPage: Fifty Years of Stories– “Only the Best” (Ep. 28)


[MUSIC PLAYING] Rod Berg philosophy
was if we are going to have a community
college in DuPage County, no, we are not going to strip
the high schools and grade schools of their faculty. I don’t basically want that
because basically, that’s our farm system. They will be feeding
students into us. And so now, we can’t rob
them of their faculty. Here again, Rod
stressed teaching. He wanted people from around the
country and from various areas. They had hundreds and
hundreds of teachers coming in to interview for
positions at the college. I can recall seeing the teachers
come into Nicor building to be interviewed and they
would have lines of people and then they would have
chairs for them to sit down. And the vice
president of program, and I don’t recall
his name right now, was just exhausted because
he would start interviewing at 8:00 in the morning. He might not finish
till 8:00 at night and just trying to find the
best teachers for the college. And, of course, the minimum was
a master’s degree, as I recall. And a lot of us
laughed about that. They thought for a
two-year college, why would you need
a master’s degree? But it proved to be correct. They were really good
teachers that were brought in. When this opportunity came along
and I saw the Community College Act had been passed,
I thought, hey, get in on the ground floor. I was only in my 30s. I thought, let’s get
in on the ground floor. Illinois looks like it’d be a
good place to raise a family. We had six children,
so we wanted to stabilize a little bit. And so we took a chance
and came out here. But most of the
people that came here were like that, kind
of adventuresome, looking for new
ground, and wanted to be able to start on their
own in their own program. I was looking to move out
of the high school zone into the college zone. I had a master’s degree. So that helped me get here. But I heard College DuPage
was really a good place and they were looking all
over the nation for teachers, for professors. And that was an interesting
search, I thought. A lot of the original people
were high school teachers, but they were really
great teachers. And then as time goes
on, then the board started looking at they
wanted people with PhDs. Well, some PhDs are really
great teachers and some are not. That’s just the reality. What you’re looking for, I don’t
care what your background is, can you relate to students? Do you know your stuff? Can you present it
in a reasonable way? I came to the college,
and let me tell you, that first week walking into
classrooms with no teaching experience and not being all
that much older than students and younger than
some of them, yeah, I worked really, really hard
that first couple of years, so hard. Trying to stay ahead. Trying to not only be so
familiar with my content but also learn about
pedagogy and teaching and getting to know the college. Those first few years when
all those new faculty came in, it was just so exciting. They were talking about things
they’d done in their classes and what worked but didn’t work. And I just loved that. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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