In May of 2002, Frank Wulfgar will be graduating from Western Carolina University with a Masters degree in English literature. He is interested in continuing his studies in graduate school, earning a Ph.D., and teaching at the college or university level.
Given his current schedule—including teaching part time at both WCU and Southwestern Community College, taking two graduate level English Literature courses, preparing for his Masters Comprehensive Exams, and beginning work on his Masters Thesis—Mr. Wulfgar is unable to devote the time due such a weighty matter as career exploration and counseling. Therefore, he has hired Career Academic Consulting Associates (CACA) ...view middle of the document...
While Chaucer is taught at the high-school level, rarely is it a major focus of the curriculum. Mr. Wulfgar does not want to submit the regiment of education courses and certification requirements necessary for teaching at the secondary level, nor does he want to deal with the notorious disciplinary problems associated with High School classes today. He would be interested in teaching at a community college, if such a college allowed for Chaucer to be a major part of his curriculum. Also, he strongly wants to teach at an institution that offers tenure.
Mr. Wulfgar’s family resides in the Northeastern United States, from Western New York, to the Eastern shore of Maryland, to Central Florida. He would prefer to attend graduate school on the East coast, in order to keep in close proximity to his family, and given his distaste for hot weather, he would particularly prefer the Northeast (North of North Carolina).
Research vs Teaching
While Mr. Wulfgar enjoys research, he is most interested in teaching. He has already presented at three national conferences, but has yet to publish an essay in a peer reviewed journal, although he does have one, “Chaucer’s Melancholy Monk and the Dialectics of Desire,” circulating. He expects to be able to pursue a modest research agenda in his career, but would strongly prefer to focus upon teaching. Given his preference for teaching, and his inability to publish so far, Mr. Wulfgar and CACA determined that a Research I institution, which focuses upon research, would probably be an inappropriate career but might be appropriate for graduate study.
Currently, Mr. Wulfgar retains $15,000 in undergraduate and graduate student loans. He would prefer not to acquire any more debt, but might be willing to go up to $30,000, should the salary prospects of his future career suggest the ability to pay off such a debt within a reasonable amount of time (under 20 years). Given a modest annuity from a deceased relative ($2,000/year), Mr. Wulfgar can live frugally on an income of $10,000/year in an area with a moderate cost of living. He would prefer to attend graduate school that offered at least $10,000/year teaching stipend.
Career Salary Expectations
Mr. Wulfgar does not have any experience with academic salaries. Given the length of time it takes to acquire the Ph.D. (3-7 years beyond the 2-3 years for the Masters Degree), he would expect to start at around $50,000 with benefits.
Literary Field Data
Interview with Dr. Castle
Given Mr. Wulfgar’s interest in becoming a medievalist, CACA first interviewed Dr. Brian Castle at Western Carolina University in order to compile preliminary information on the field. Dr. Castle is currently one of two medievalists working in WCU’s English department, is a recent graduate himself, and has been active on the job market for the past three years. Dr. Castle also taught Mr. Wulfgar Chaucer at WCU
Field of Study – Dr....