About Dr. Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

My name is Paul Hummel, and I often introduce myself to others as a recovering engineer. If you are familiar with the Dilbert cartoons, let me simply say that I lived all of that. I started my college saga at Illinois Institute of Technology. Eventually, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. I worked for many years in industry, and during this time I did some college adjunct teaching. During my career I held several managerial positions in industry, the last as Director of Technology of a division of a Fortune 500 corporation. Then, in 1996, with minimal planning or forethought, I found myself working as a manufacturing consultant on behalf of Elgin Community College (ECC). My career in higher education began to take shape. I fell in love with ECC and with the mission of community colleges in general. I worked fulltime and occasionally taught college courses for my institution and two other colleges. After a couple years I set a goal to move over to the “credit side of the college” and eventually become a college administrator. In 2006, having earned my doctorate in education, I achieved that goal. I was hired by Waubonsee Community College as Dean for Technology, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. I have had the great fortune of working at two excellent colleges. The insights I want to share are drawn from the various college positions I have held. At ECC, in addition to my consulting role, I coordinated non-credit professional development training programs for three years and spent four years advising students in the TRiO Student Support Services program. That position helped me understand college education from the perspective of today’s college students. After seven years at Waubonsee, I retired April 30, 2013. I now devote my knowledge and skills to upgrading and expanding the websites I created beginning with Adjunct Assistance. I have three other websites: College Teaching Tips, Keys for College Success and Lighthouse for Learning. A lot of work lies ahead for me in terms of upgrading and expanding each of these websites, but I could not be more excited about fulfilling the vision I have for helping college instructors and their students succeed.

Cognitive Learning Basics

Before releasing my forthcoming articles on the seven principles of “How Students Learn,” I want to be sure all readers have at least a basic understanding of cognitive learning theory. Why? Every instructor at every level should and can apply the basics, and both they and their students will benefit. So, let’s move on to some definitions. ..... (read more)

Students’ Prior Knowledge Can Help or Hinder Learning

I am sure that every instructor wants to know how learning works. Some do. Others think they do. And yet others, perhaps even you, want to make sure they do.

Aside: It will be helpful to have a basic understanding of cognitive learning theory as you go through this article. ..... (read more)

How Learning Works – Lessons from the Pros

How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching is an outstanding reference for teachers. It holds particular value for college instructors who are subject matter experts but may lack expertise in the principles of teaching and learning which includes many adjuncts and new full-time instructors. ..... (read more)

College Teaching Jobs Forecast


College Teaching Jobs Forecast

Competition for tenure-track positions is expected to be high, as colleges and universities continue to move away from these positions and toward adjunct and part-time positions. Opportunities are expected to be good for part-time or adjunct professors. ..... (read more)

Applied Computer Skills


Good college instructors never assume anything. They know that one of the worst things instructors can do is overlook or misunderstand any special software they are expected to use. However, by taking a few precautions an instructor can keep a software surprise from becoming a hard shock. ..... (read more)

Classroom Management 101

I should have published this article long ago!  It’s a topic that is basic to successful teaching at any level.  With good classroom management, the instructor can normally avoid the annoying distractions students sometimes make and avoid conflicts within the classroom.   ..... (read more)

Applying for College Teaching Jobs

This article has not yet been posted. Topics will include: 1) information colleges commonly request; 2) cover letters; 3) resumes; 4) references; and more. In the mean time, if you have any comments or questions related to this subject use the comments form below to drop me a line by using the comment box below. ..... (read more)

College Instructor Computer Skills

Computer skills are vital for virtually every college instructor. What should you do if you lack those skills?

Computer Skills Required to Teach College Courses

As a prospective college adjunct there are two things you should do when it comes to computer skills. First, find out what is expected. Second, upgrade your skills where they are lacking. ..... (read more)