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.

What to do When College Students Don’t Show Respect

I have often said that anyone can teach at a research university, but you have to be good to teach at a community college. This case study supports my contention.  Problems with college students are … well … a real problem ..... (read more)

Interviewing Tips for Teachers


I recently responded to a question posted on HubPages.  The person who posted it wanted to know what the most common interview questions where for teachers.

Common Teacher Interview Questions

If you preparing to interview for a college teaching position, you may be asked some of the following questions: ..... (read more)

Cartoon Humor Helps Learning

How can a college instructor improve students’ attitudes and make them eager to attend class? One tactic is to use humor. More importantly, research indicates that humor helps people learn.

Research on Humor and Teaching

Much has been written about humor and learning. Kher, Molstad and Donahue (1999) referenced some of the literature in their article entitled “Using humor in the college classroom to enhance teaching effectiveness in ‘dread courses”. With reference to an earlier work by Wandersee (1982), they indicated that cartoons are one form of humor that promotes facilitates learning. ..... (read more)

What Scares College Instructors Most?

Learn what instructors say scares them the most.

What Scares You About Teaching College Courses?

I want to address what instructors fear. What about teaching scares you, maybe just a little or maybe a lot? Leave me a comment. I will publish the good ones, and I will respond regardless whether your comment makes this website or not. Rest assured, I will do my best to be of assistance. ..... (read more)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FERPA Defined

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – What college teachers need to know is that FERPA prohibits them from sharing information about students’ educational records with anyone inside and outside the college who does not have the right to know. There are a couple exceptions.  Students may pr0vide written consent, but my advice is to consult with a college administrator before complying with requests. ..... (read more)

Teaching Male College Students

It is no secret. More women graduate from college than men. The failures of male students may stem from our American culture and early childhood learning experiences. So says Ali Carr-Chellman. Every college instructor needs to understand his or her students, and this video will help you understand some of the lower achieving men you may have in your class. ..... (read more)

How to Write Test Questions

For some time now I have pondered how can I succinctly share best practices for writing test questions. Some day I will figure this out. Perhaps yet this year. For now, I want to refer you to an article posted by Indiana University – How to Write Better Tests: A Handbook for Improving Test Construction Skills which was authored by Lucy C. Jacobs, Ph.D. ..... (read more)