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What follows is a general overview of the application review process for FDIP. Many of the points addressed can be extrapolated for the academic hiring process. However, bear in mind that the composition, discussions, outcomes, and particulars of FDIP’s application review change each year.

FDIP follows a cohort model. The cohort size varies each year, as does the total number of applicants. One is not dependent upon the other. Applicant pools have gone from several dozen to the triple digits. We typically interview between 30 to 50 individuals, and extend an invitation to anywhere between 20 to 40 people. If necessary, we conduct additional rounds of screening and review at this time, if needed. (For example, to balance out the disciplinary composition of the group.)  We recognize that applicants have many other options competing for their time, and not everyone will accept the invitation to join. 

The FDIP Coordinator organizes and facilitates the application review and advisory committee. This committee is composed of current and former FDIP participants who have successfully completed the program, including those who have received full- or part-time faculty appointments, in addition to faculty members and other stakeholders in the Peralta Community College District. Committee members sign a confidentiality agreement, barring them from discussing applications with anyone outside of the committee–including the applicants.

Each application is thoroughly reviewed by at least two or more committee members, along with the coordinator. In many but not all cases there is at least one assigned reviewer in-discipline, that is, in the applicant’s discipline or academic division. Applications are evaluated on several criteria, including how one expresses their interest in becoming faculty at a community college, and their demonstrable commitment to FDIP’s goals of ensuring a diverse faculty prioritizing racial equity and social justice. 

What can you tell me about applying for an academic faculty opening?

When applying for an academic opening, your cover letter should address your qualifications, education, and experience. Use your letter to explain your interest in FDIP, specifically, and why you would like to join the faculty at a community college, in general. Don’t forget to respond to any supplemental questions on the application, too! We are interested in your enthusiasm, your potential for growth, and your commitment towards working with a diverse student body.

When will I hear back about my application?

Generally, academic positions will not contact you regarding the status of your application until after the candidate has signed their contract. In many cases, you might not hear back from a position unless you advanced to the second round, or were a finalist. FDIP makes every effort to contact applicants in a timely manner, following the finalization of the incoming cohort. We appreciate your patience, as this process typically takes several months in total.

I did not get accepted. Can I get any feedback on my application?

Due to the number of applications we receive, along with our confidentiality agreements, we are unable to provide individual feedback on your application. 

Why wasn’t my application accepted?

Each year, the review and advisory committee reads through dozens of applications, and, ultimately, needs to make some difficult decisions. If you are one of the applicants who was not successful in a given year, you might be wondering why or how we reached our decision. 

As part of the cohort-building process, we look for a wide range of applicants whose skills, abilities, experiences, and backgrounds complement one another, and support the mission of FDIP to build a community college faculty that better resembles our student body.

Each application is evaluated individually, across a number of criteria. One of the questions we often ask is would the applicant benefit from participation in FDIP. Thus, while extensive experience as teaching/counseling/library faculty in another community college district may be favorable for an application to a full- or part-time opening, it may not weigh as strongly for joining FDIP. Conversely, this experience in another setting, such as the K-12 school system, or a community-based setting, coupled with a clearly articulated interest in joining the faculty at a community college, may result in a more favorable evaluation. Do keep in mind this is an example of one data point among many under consideration.

When applying to any opening, be mindful of your presence and participation outside and beyond your area of interest. Although your social media or online presence is not requested for review, neither are they beyond consideration—if they are part of your application materials, whether via a link in your signature file or through your CV or resume, they are ‘fair game’ and may be discussed positively or negatively, again, as one of many data points informing a selection committee’s decision. 

Can I apply again next year?

Yes! Each year we have several applicants who reapply. Persistence pays off!

What about reference letters? Should I provide them with my application?

Currently, FDIP only requests references from those who have advanced to the second round. The reference letter is an opportunity to provide some additional information to your overall faculty profile. References should speak to your ability to thrive as faculty in a community college setting, be it as a counselor, librarian, or instructor. Consider requesting statements of support from referees who know you and your work in those environments. FDIP requires these to be sent directly from the referee, or a third party dossier service. As a matter of policy, references should not be applicants to the same opening or position (such as FDIP) themselves.

What is my application confirmation number, and why do I need it?

Following the successful submission of your application materials, you will receive a confirmation number. Save this number! This confirms that your materials were successfully received, and it allows FDIP to track your application with the HR department. Although we do not anticipate any problems, should there be a complication, without this number we are unable to follow up on any application. 

I forgot to include something in my application. Can I send it to FDIP directly?

We are unable to accept application materials sent directly to us, period. 

I am interested in switching careers and working at a community college, but I have no prior faculty experience. Should I still apply?

Yes! Prior experience is welcomed, but not necessary for participation in FDIP, and in fact FDIP is limited to applications who are new to the Peralta Community College District. Part of what FDIP offers folks with limited faculty experience is an opportunity to get a feel for what working in a community college would be like. 

I have been accepted into FDIP, but I am now having second thoughts about making a career change. Do I need to continue with the program?

While we are focused upon preparing individuals for faculty positions, some may find that such a move ultimately isn’t for them after all. And that’s perfectly ok! We do ask that you let us know, and we will be supportive of whatever decision you make.

I just read about the program. I saw the deadline was a few days/weeks/months ago. Is it too late for me to apply?

Yes. The application deadline is fixed, and we are unable to accept materials after the fact. We highly encourage applicants to apply early, should there be any complications in uploading your materials. 

Any more questions? Feel free to contact the FDIP Coordinator at fdip@peralta.edu.