Documenting Qualifications

It is important that there is sufficient and compelling data to support the Candidate’s qualifications.  Upon offer of employment, the dean should communicate requirements for official transcripts and substantiating documentation of experiential qualifications. 

Using the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to teach, the Office of the Dean will verify the candidate's credentials and qualification to teach.  The Certification and supporting documentation must be submitted prior to the first day of class.

Basis of Qualification
Candidates are qualified to teach in one of three ways:

  • Academic Credentials
  • Professional Experience/Credentials
  • Combination of Academic Credentials and Professional Experience/Credentials

The traditional degree expectation for faculty teaching undergraduate courses is an earned doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or an earned master’s degree with a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching field, or equivalent professional/experiential qualifications, or a combination thereof. 

The traditional degree expectation for faculty teaching graduate courses is an earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline, or equivalent professional/experiential qualifications, or a combination thereof. 

The higher the traditional degree expectations, the more challenging the justification will be for experiential qualifications

Academic Credentials

Degrees must be from a university/college with institutional accreditation from an accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education.  Accrediting agencies and universities/colleges can be verified using the following websites:

When completing the Certification, it may become obvious that only one of the faculty member’s degrees need be cited in order to justify his/her qualifications to teach a specific course. In that case, cite only that one degree. In other cases, it will be necessary to list two or more degrees and to list the specific course titles and number of semester hours in those degrees relevant to the courses assigned.  It may also be necessary to indicate additional qualifications such as diplomas or certificates earned (with discipline indicated).

Documenting Academic Credentials
Academic degrees are documented by an official transcript. An official transcript must be sent from the conferring institution directly to the Office of Faculty Affairs who will, in turn, provide a copy to the Office of the Dean.

UNCSA may accept degrees from colleges and university located outside of the United States. If the highest earned degree is from a foreign university, a general foreign credential verification must be submitted. A course-by-course foreign credential verification may be required if the degree does not clearly qualify the candidate to teach the assigned courses. The candidate is responsible for obtaining the verification and submitting it to the Office of Faculty Affairs.

The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( provides a list of credential evaluation services who may be contacted for assistance in evaluating foreign credentials.

Experiential Qualifications

If necessary to establish adequate qualifications of faculty for courses assigned, list additional qualifications and other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. 

  • related work or professional experience
  • licensure and certifications
  • continuous documented excellence in teaching
  • honors and awards
  • scholarly publications and presented papers

Documenting Experiential Qualifications

Substantiating documentation must be submitted to support academic and experiential qualifications as listed on the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach.  Examples of acceptable substantiating documentation include: 

  • Reputable third-party websites that verify experiential qualifications
  • Transcripts or letters verifying training or work performed with a professional
  • Contracts or letters of agreement for services or employment rendered
  • Letters from former employers confirming employment history
  • Documented phone conversations between dean/designee and former employer confirming employment history
  • CEUs or documentation of workshops and/or seminars
  • Pictures, fliers, announcements of any kind that detail involvement with productions, performances or exhibitions. Candidate name must be included.
  • Diplomas and certificates
  • Licensures, certifications, union membership cards (past/present)
  • Recordings, published performance photos, CDs
  • Honors and awards
  • Other documentation that provides evidence of training and employment in field

CVs, personal websites, and general letters of recommendation are not acceptable substantiating documentation.

Substantiating Documentation Format Requirements

  • Documents should be saved in PDF format.
  • Do not submit links to websites as the content can change.  Instead, save the website as a PDF.  If you need help with this, contact the Office of Faculty Affairs.
  • Each document should be saved as an individual file and clearly identified.
  • Name should be highlighted/circled/underlined whenever it appears in publications, news releases or professional announcements.
  • Any difference in the name under which professional documentation appears and that of the current name must have verifying paperwork.
  • International documentation that is in another language must be accompanied by an independent translation.

Competency Analysis of Experiential Qualifications

The dean/designee will clearly describe the relationship between the experiential qualifications and the course content and/or expected outcomes of the courses assigned to the faculty member.  Simply put, this is a description of how the experience qualifies the candidate to deliver the course content and learning outcomes.  Use objective language and avoid extraneous adjectives and comments unsubstantiated by documentation.