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Faculty Qualifications

Academic Faculty Qualifications Responsibilities/Teaching Loads

3.2 Faculty Qualifications for Academic Rank (SB)

3.2.0 Qualifications for Teaching Faculty

Qualifications for teaching faculty are stated on the “Normal Minimum Criteria for Each Faculty Rank,” VCCS-29 chart and narrative. The academic rank is determined by academic preparation, previous teaching experience and/or related occupational experience. Academic rank determines the salary range for compensation decisions.

3.2.1 Qualifications for Administrative and Professional Faculty

  1. Qualifications for Administrative and Professional Faculty are stated on the “Normal Minimum Criteria for Each Faculty Rank,” VCCS-29 chart and narrative in Columns 1 and 2. The academic rank is determined by academic preparation, previous teaching experience and/or related occupational experience. Academic rank does not determine the range for compensation decisions; the salary range for the type of position (e.g. Vice President, Dean, Director, Coordinator, etc.) is used for this purpose.
  2. The use of Columns 3, 4, 5, and 6 to hire administrative and professional faculty requires the approval of the Chancellor.
  3. The minimum academic credential for the positions of Provost, Academic Vice President, and President is an earned doctorate. All vacancy announcements for these academic positions must clearly state that an earned doctorate is the minimum degree required.

3.2.2 Qualifications for Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Faculty must meet the qualifications as stated on the “Normal Minimum Criteria for Each Faculty Rank,” VCCS-29 chart and narrative. The academic rank is determined by academic preparation, previous teaching experience and/or related occupational experience. Academic rank determines the range for compensation decisions.

Virginia Community College System Qualifications of Faculty

Explanation of Policy

  1. Minimum Qualifications for hiring and promotion are comprised of State Board for Community Colleges’ Policy as stated on this page, the VCCS-29 chart, and the following Principles of Accreditation of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC).

    “The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. When determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline in accordance with the guidelines listed below. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty.”

  2. Emphasis on Continuous Improvement: Faculty qualifications for promotion must emphasize enhancement of knowledge, skills, and abilities through supplemental education beyond the minimum required for initial hiring and through the accrual of successful full-time teaching experience. For this reason, faculty must complete credit hours beyond the current highest degree attained and/or additional years of full-time teaching experience as partial criteria for promotion.
  3. Equality of Rank across Disciplines and Programs: Each faculty rank carries comparable levels of responsibility and requires comparable levels of content expertise relative to the discipline/program. To this end, faculty in both transfer and career and technical disciplines retain comparable privileges of and, relative to the discipline, must meet comparable expectations for each rank.
  4. SACS-COC Credential Guidelines
    1. Faculty teaching associate degree courses designed for transfer to a baccalaureate degree: doctoral or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).
    2. Faculty teaching associate degree courses not designed for transfer to the baccalaureate degree: bachelor’s degree in the teaching discipline, or associate’s degree and demonstrated competencies in the teaching discipline.

      In addition to the above two categories of faculty specified by SACS, the VCCS adds the following categories.

    3. Faculty teaching courses designed for non-associate degree occupational fields: high school diploma or equivalent with demonstrated competencies in the teaching field.
    4. Faculty teaching developmental courses: bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to the teaching assignment and either teaching/occupational experience related to the teaching assignment or graduate coursework in developmental education.
    5. Faculty teaching Student Development (SDV) courses: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  5. Coverage: The accompanying chart (VCCS-29) specifies the normal minimum criteria for each faculty rank for:

    1. Full-time and adjunct teaching faculty
    2. Administrative and professional faculty (including counselors and librarians)

      For administrative and professional faculty:

      “Teaching effectiveness” refers to effective performance in the primary area of responsibility; “Teaching experience” includes professional service in the primary area of responsibility;

      “Graduate semester hours in teaching field” refers to coursework in one’s occupational field for the purpose of hiring and promotion.

  6. Applicable Policies: The chart will be used and interpreted in conjunction with the above explanation of policy; section 3.2, Faculty Qualifications; section 3.7, Faculty Promotions; and section 3.8.0, Procedure to Determine Faculty Entry Level Salaries in the VCCS Policy Manual.
  7. Minimum Requirements
    1. Fulfillment of normal minimum criteria does not guarantee original placement in, or promotion to, a given rank.
    2. Minimum degree requirements for original appointments and promotions must be met.
    3. The following are appropriate substitutions that may be used at the discretion of the college:
      1. Teaching experience beyond the minimum required may be used in lieu of occupational experience at the rate of one year of full-time teaching experience being considered equivalent to a required year of full-time occupational experience.
      2. Occupational experience beyond the minimum required may be used in lieu of teaching experience at the rate of one year of full-time, related occupational experience being considered equivalent to a required year of full-time teaching experience.
      3. Educational preparation above the requirements for initial placement in rank may fulfill requirements for occupational experience and/or teaching experience at the rate of 30 undergraduate credits being considered equivalent to one year of teaching or occupational experience, and 24 graduate credits being considered equivalent to one year of teaching or occupational experience.
      4. For Columns 3 and 5, business, industry, and professional certifications may substitute for educational requirements. These equivalencies must be documented, approved by the president, and placed in the personnel file.
      5. Eighteen graduate semester hours of course work related to the teaching field may substitute for the requirement that a bachelor’s degree be related to the teaching field.
  8. Program Accreditation Requirements: In cases where program accreditation agencies recommend specific graduate courses for faculty, those courses should be considered to be “in the teaching field” for VCCS- 29 purposes regardless of the course prefix or other criteria normally used to determine the status of coursework.
  9. Measurement of teaching effectiveness: For initial appointments teaching effectiveness is determined through references. Measurement of performance evaluation for promotions is determined by whether teaching faculties have achieved a “Meets Expectations” summary rating on their most recent faculty evaluation. Administrative and Professional faculty must receive at least a “good” summary evaluation rating on the most recent evaluation to qualify for promotion eligibility. (Per VCCS Policy 3.7.0.1.0, fulfillment of normal minimum criteria does not guarantee promotion to a given faculty rank.)
  10. For Promotions Only: Credit hour equivalency may be granted for no more than a total of 15 semester hours by either a) or b) below or a combination of both during employment with the VCCS.
    1. Active participation in given learning experiences (continuing educational unit classes, workshops, conferences, seminars, etc.) when part of a written professional development plan, approved in advance by the president applying the following formula: 45 contact hours is equivalent to one semester credit hour; exceptions to the advance notice requirement can be made by the president of the college if deemed in the interest of the institution.
    2. Non-teaching work experience directly related to the faculty member’s field at a rate not to exceed 1.25 semester credit hours per month of full-time equivalent work experience and not to include work experience applied toward initial appointment, when part of a written professional development plan approved in advance by the president of the college; exceptions to the advance notice requirement can be made by the president of the college if deemed in the interest of the institution.
  11. Human Resource Delegated Authority Agreements: Any exceptions to the criteria as outlined in the VCCS-29 must be fully justified and documented in accordance with the community college’s Human Resource Delegation Agreement.
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