Policy 6-550

  1. Title

    Instructor and Faculty Credentials

  2. Policy

    1. Instructional Faculty Credential Policy Statement

      All instructors of record must possess the academic preparation, training, and experience to teach in an academic setting and must meet the minimum requirements of accrediting bodies and state agencies. Academic deans are responsible for the verification and validation of all faculty credential requirements. The verification and validation of these requirements will be compiled and listed on the Certification of Credentials and Qualifications form (CCQ form). This form outlines the educational and experience requirements from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and provides a summary of the credentials for each new faculty member teaching at the University.

      Prior to any faculty member’s appointment with the University, the dean of the college or school reviews the prospective faculty member’s credentials to ensure that they meet the requirements listed on the CCQ form. The dean will work with the department chair to acquire the documents required for the credentialing process including a current curriculum vitae, official transcripts of terminal degrees as well as for other degrees that may qualify the faculty member to teach the assigned course(s), and an independent evaluation of the equivalency of the terminal degree if issued from a foreign institution.

      A Certification of Credentials and Qualifications form (CCQ form) is required:

      • When hiring a new instructor of record to teach a credit-bearing course;
      • When an existing faculty member or instructor is assigned a credit-bearing course outside of their teaching discipline; and
      • When a faculty member or instructor has acquired a new degree and will teach in that discipline.
    2. Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

      The deans will forward the completed CCQ forms for new tenured and tenure-track hires to the Provost or her/his designee for approval. An offer of employment for a tenure track position will not be issued until the CCQ form is approved by the Provost or his/her designee. The Provost or his/her designee will forward all CCQ forms for tenure-track faculty teaching graduate courses to the Graduate School for review. Once a decision is made by the Graduate School, the CCQ form will be forwarded to Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Reporting for recording.

    3. Non-Tenure Track Faculty

      The deans will forward the completed CCQ forms for new non-tenure track faculty hires to the Provost or her/his designee for approval. An offer of employment will not be issued until the CCQ form is approved by the Provost or his/her designee. For non-tenure track faculty seeking to teach graduate courses, the Provost’s Office will forward all CCQ forms to the Office of Graduate Studies. Once a decision is made by the Office of Graduate Studies, the CCQ form will be forwarded to Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Reporting for recording.

      It is the responsibility of the prospective faculty member to provide the University with all documentation needed to verify their credentials. This includes, but is not limited to, a resume/vitae, resume supplement, official transcripts (indicating terminal degree or other appropriate transcripts), appropriate licenses or certifications, and the verification of professional experience related to the teaching area (as needed). These documents shall be maintained in the departmental personnel files at all times. After September 1, 2016, for all new hires a copy of the entire department personnel file will also be forwarded by the department to the Office of the Provost to maintain. The cost to obtain official transcripts and copies of licenses and certifications is borne by the prospective faculty member. It is the responsibility of faculty members teaching in disciplines that require licensure and/or certification to acquire and maintain those credentials, and to provide documentation of licensure and certification to the hiring department upon request. The department chair and dean are responsible for independently ensuring the authenticity of any required licensure and/or certifications held by the faculty member. The University may periodically request updated documents from faculty members to maintain the personnel file. New faculty members must provide an official transcript at time of hire.

    4. Alternative Credentialing

      When the prospective faculty member’s credentials do not include possession of the terminal degree in the teaching field, but the prospective faculty member possesses outstanding professional experience or demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline, the individual may be alternatively credentialed. The prospective faculty member may be qualified to teach the assigned course(s) through one or both of the following approaches as reviewed and approved by the Office of the Provost:

      1. The prospective faculty member provides evidence of earning a minimum of 18 graduate semester credit hours of coursework that qualifies as a basis for the instructional assignment; or
      2. The prospective faculty member presents evidence of substantial and current accomplishments in the field of the teaching assignment: the prospective faculty member’s certificates, licensures, artistic accomplishments, publications, professional recognitions, and other demonstrated skills and experiences clearly establish that the instructor is qualified to teach the specific course(s) assigned.

      The prospective faculty member must provide a current resume or curriculum vitae; an official transcript(s); the completed CCQ and Supplemental Certification of Credentials and Qualifications form including an appropriate justification statement; and may include independent documentation verifying the outstanding professional experience or specific demonstrated contribution toward the teaching discipline.

    5. Official Transcripts

      For purposes of this policy, an official transcript is defined as 1) one that contains a statement identifying it as official; or 2) possesses a sufficient number of the following characteristics to permit a reasonable person to determine that the document is official:

      1. the issuing institution's official seal
      2. the signature of the appropriate authorizing agent, preferably the institution's official letterhead or stationery
      3. the institution's official letterhead or stationery
      4. the institution's watermark or other identifier
      5. date or issue

      Official transcripts are required to be sent to the faculty member’s department chair. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to provide the official transcript at the time of hire. The department chair and dean are responsible for ensuring the authenticity of the transcript. Transcripts that are classified as unofficial will not be accepted as official.

    6. Non-U.S. Transcripts

      All transcripts submitted by a potential faculty member from foreign universities or schools must be evaluated for equivalency to United States (U.S.) accredited course work by a University approved agency. All costs for these services are borne by the University. Only course work and degrees granted by an accredited college or university, or an acceptable evaluation of foreign course work and degrees will be accepted for credentialing faculty. The original report verifying the equivalency to a U.S. degree shall be maintained in the academic department personnel file along with the original transcript and after September 1, 2016, for all new hires a copy shall be maintained by the Office of the Provost.

    7. Transcripts from Non-Regional Accredited Institutions

      The hiring of individuals whose qualifying degrees are from a non- regionally accredited institution in the United States will be considered on case-by-case basis. Criteria to be considered include the reputation of the institution issuing the degree, whether the institution is accredited or recognized by other agencies or organizations that are comparable to SACSCOC, and a thorough evaluation of the candidate's course work and experience. If such a hire is deemed desirable, then the department chair must fully evaluate the faculty member's educational background and experience, document the findings in a memorandum to the dean and the Provost, provide a CCQ form, and obtain the documents described in Section II.A of this policy.

  3. Definitions

    Discipline: the field of study as informed by the title of the terminal degree (e.g. Communication, Biology, Engineering) that determines the area of knowledge in which an instructor is qualified to teach.

  4. Relevant Federal and State Statues and Accreditation Standards

    Commision on Colleges Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Comprehensive Standards and core Requirements

    Texas Education Code

    Program Accreditation Standards are available through Instituitonal Research and Effectiveness (IER) http://www.uta.edu/ier/Accreditation/program%20accreditation.php

  5. Relevant UT System and Institutional Policies, Procedures, and Forms

  6. Who Should Know

    University faculty and academic departments
  7. UT Arlington Office(s) Responsible for Policy

    The Office of the Provost

  8. Dates Approved or Amended

    August 9, 2016
  9. Contact Information

    All questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs