The College for Creative Studies adheres to The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) guidelines on Determining Qualified Faculty Through HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation and Assumed Practices. These guidelines state that institutions will use credentials as the primary mechanism to ascertain minimal faculty qualifications. HLC recognizes that tested experience also may be considered in determining faculty qualifications. The following guidelines apply to all faculty members whose primary responsibility is teaching, including part-time, adjunct, dual credit, temporary, and/or non-tenure track faculty.
Faculty credentials refer to the degrees that faculty have earned that establish their credibility as content experts and thus their competence to teach that content in the classroom. Common expectations for faculty credentials include the following:
- Faculty teaching should have completed a program of study in the discipline or subfield (as applicable) in which they teach, and/or for which they develop curricula, with coursework at least one level above that of the courses being taught or developed. Completion of a degree in a specific field enhances an instructor’s depth of subject matter knowledge and is easily identifiable.
- Faculty teaching in undergraduate programs should hold a degree at least one level above the program in which they are teaching. If a faculty member holds a master’s degree or higher in a discipline other than that in which he or she is teaching, that faculty member should have completed a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline in which he or she is teaching.
- Faculty teaching in graduate programs should hold the terminal degree determined by the discipline and have a record of research, scholarship, or achievement appropriate for the graduate program.
- Faculty guiding doctoral education should have a record of scholarship and preparation to teach at the doctoral level. Research and scholarship should be appropriate to the program and degree offered.
Equivalent Tested Experience
According to HLC, “Tested experience may substitute for an unearned credential or portions thereof.” Criterion B.2, Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support state that “when faculty members are employed based on equivalent experience, the institution defines a minimum threshold of experience and an evaluation process that is used in the appointment process.” Consistent with HLC policy, “experience should be tested experience in that it includes a breadth and depth of experience outside of the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member would be teaching.”
Determining Faculty Credentials or Equivalent Tested Experience
Once a search has been authorized for a full-time faculty position, the Department Chair develops a job description in consultation with the appropriate Dean. Throughout the search process, the CCS Faculty Credential Table should be used to evaluate candidates to determine qualified faculty requirements. The Faculty Credential Table should also be used to assess qualifications for adjunct instructors as well as continuing education faculty. If a candidate does not meet the minimum required credentials as outlined in the table, the rubric for Equivalent Tested Experience should be used to determine whether or not the candidate is qualified in lieu of having the appropriate credential.
|LEVEL BEING TAUGHT
•CRAFT AND MATERIAL STUDIES
|BFA UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE
|MFA WITH SPECIALTY RELATIVE TO COURSE CONTENT BEING TAUGHT OR OTHER MASTER’S DEGREE WITH AT LEAST 18 GRADUATE CREDIT HOURS RELATIVE TO COURSE CONTENT BEING TAUGHT
|MA WITH STATE TEACHING CERTIFICATION OR MAAE OR MFA IN ART, STUDIO ART, OR ART EDUCATION
|DEPARTMENT – GRADUATE LEVEL
|LEVEL BEING TAUGHT
|•COLOR AND MATERIALS DESIGN
•SYSTEMS DESIGN THINKING
|MFA GRADUATE DEGREE
|500 – 700
|MFA or PHD WITH SPECIALTY RELATIVE TO COURSE CONTENT BEING TAUGHT OR OTHER MASTER’S DEGREE WITH AT LEAST 18 GRADUATE CREDIT HOURS RELATIVE TO COURSE CONTENT BEING TAUGHT
|MA GRADUATE DEGREE
|500 – 700
|MFA or PHD IN ART EDUCATION
Equivalent Tested Experience Rubric
Higher Learning Commission. (2020). Determining Qualified Faculty Through HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation and Assumed Practices. Retrieved from “Determining Qualified Faculty Through
HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation and Assumed Practices: Guidelines for Institutions and Peer Reviewers”.