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Academic and Professional Preparation Requirements for Faculty

  1. Overview
    1. Old Dominion University's academic and professional preparation requirements for full-time and part-time faculty conform to the criteria established by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    2. It is expected that the University will employ faculty members whose highest earned degree presented as the credential qualifying the faculty member to teach at the University is from a regionally accredited university. If the University employs a faculty member whose highest earned degree is from a non-regionally accredited university within the United States or an institution outside the United States, the University must show evidence that the faculty member has the appropriate academic preparation.

    3. The University must ensure that each faculty member employed is proficient in both oral and written communication in the language in which the assigned courses will be taught.

    4. SACSOC defines instructor of record as the qualified individual responsible for teaching the course and who has overall responsibility for the development/implementation of the syllabus, the achievement of student learning outcomes included as part of the syllabus, and for issuing grades.

  2. Guidelines
    1. Undergraduate: All full-time and part-time faculty teaching courses leading to a baccalaureate degree, other than physical activities courses, must hold a master's degree with at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline. Graduate teaching assistants teaching undergraduate courses as instructors of record must have completed a master's degree in the teaching discipline or have completed 18 graduate semester hours in the discipline, have received regular in-service training and periodic evaluations, and have directed supervision by faculty experienced in the teaching area.

                 If these requirements are not met, then exceptional professional experience and/or substantial evidence of teaching excellence may be presented in lieu of some formal academic credentials for undergraduate teaching in accordance with the SACSCOC guidelines for exceptional credentialing. Such cases must be justified by the hiring supervisor on an individual basis to the dean or designee and provost or designee. Interdisciplinary undergraduate courses may be taught by faculty qualified in a related discipline.

    2. Graduate: Graduate certification is required for teaching graduate-level courses. Requirements for graduate certification levels and corresponding responsibilities are found in the policy on Certification of Faculty for Graduate Instruction.

                 All full-time and part-time faculty teaching courses at the graduate level must hold the terminal degree as defined by the field, usually the earned doctorate, in the teaching discipline or a related discipline and hold graduate certification from the college of appointment. In some instances, the master's degree in the discipline may be the terminal degree. In others, a master's degree in the discipline coupled with a doctorate in a related discipline is considered appropriate. Such instances must be justified on an individual basis.

                 If these requirements are not met, then individuals who have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative activity or professional experience, but who may not possess the required academic credentials may be approved as graduate faculty in accordance with the SACSCOC guidelines for exceptional credentialing. Evidence of competence or academic credentials other than the terminal degree in the discipline for graduate faculty must be presented as justification for employment and/or graduate certification. Such exceptions must be approved by the graduate program director, the dean or designee, and the provost or designee.

  3. Credentials
    1. It is the responsibility of the University to keep on file, for all full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and graduate teaching assistants, documentation of academic preparation, such as official transcripts, and, if appropriate, official documentation of professional or work experience, technical and performance competency, records of publications, certifications, and other qualifications. All terminal degrees awarded in the United States must have been conferred by regionally accredited colleges or universities.

                 Transcripts of degrees or other credentials held by faculty from higher education institutions outside the United States must be evaluated and verified by an external credentialing agency at the time of hiring. The international credentialing process shall be managed by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    2. For all faculty teaching graduate courses, a completed current Certification for Graduate Instruction form must be placed in the faculty's file. For faculty who have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative activity, or professional experience, but who may not possess the required academic credentials, a completed Exceptional Certification of Faculty for Graduate Instruction form must be signed and approved by the graduate program director, the dean or designee, and the provost or designee and placed in the faculty's file.

    3. For adjunct faculty appointments, copies of the documentation and a memorandum from the department chair justifying any exception to the criteria for academic and professional preparation must accompany the Adjunct Faculty Approval/Employment Authorization form when submitted to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

- Approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
September 5, 2003
Revised and approved by the President
February 4, 2013
May 21, 2014
June 9, 2017
Reviewed; No Changes Proposed April 20, 2022


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