Faculty Credentials & Qualifications Manual

The UNCSA Faculty Credentials and Qualifications Manual is designed to guide the credentials evaluator through the process of assessing the academic credentials and qualifications of the University’s full-time faculty and visiting faculty who teach college-level courses. All UNCSA faculty are required to meet the guidelines established by the Commission on College of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). UNCSA is responsible for determining acceptable qualifications and documenting and justifying the qualifications of its faculty to teach assigned courses.

UNCSA conducts a two-part credential review process. The initial evaluation is done at the campus level by the dean, the specific content expert. Upon dean recommendation, final approval rests with the Provost/Vice Provost.

Faculty qualifications and credentials are verified using the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach for Faculty Appointment form. It is important to note that this form must be submitted, including the required attachments (official transcript(s), professional portfolio and foreign credential verification, as applicable) prior to the first day of class.

Faculty Credentials & Qualification to Teach Policy & Procedure

UNCSA subscribes to the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools guidelines for faculty credentialing. All UNCSA faculty who teach college-level courses are required to meet the guidelines established by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). UNCSA is responsible for determining acceptable qualifications and documenting and justifying the qualifications of its faculty to teach assigned courses. More information about SACS faculty credential guidelines can be found on the SACSCOC website.

UNCSA conducts a two-part credential review process using the Certification of Credentials and Qualification to Teach. The initial evaluation is done at the campus level by the dean or his/her designee, the specific content expert. Upon the dean's recommendation, final approval rests with the Provost/Vice Provost.

Faculty Credentialing Presentation

Submission Guidelines: The Certification of Credentials and Qualification to Teach and supporting documentation must be submitted to Faculty Affairs prior to the first day of class. It is important to communicate credentialing requirements to incoming Faculty early in the recruitment/hiring process. In exceptional circumstances, an extension may be granted upon approval of the Provost/Vice Provost. Requests for extension should be forwarded to the Director of Faculty Affairs for Provost/Vice Provost review.

Only the individuals noted in these instructions may be involved in the credentialing process. Candidates should not be involved in the completion of the credentialing process beyond providing required supporting documentation.

UNCSA Faculty Qualification Requirements

Faculty teaching graduate level courses must possess:

  1. Earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline or
  2. Equivalent professional/experiential qualifications or
  3. Equivalent combination of education and professional experience

Faculty teaching undergraduate level courses must possess:

  1. Earned doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or
  2. Earned master’s degree with a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline or
  3. Equivalent professional/experiential qualifications or
  4. Equivalent combination of education and professional experience

Faculty teaching High School Academic Program courses must possess:

  1. Earned doctorate, master’s, or bachelor’s degree in the teaching discipline or
  2. Earned bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 24 semester hours in the teaching discipline

Faculty teaching high school level arts courses must possess:

  1. Earned doctorate, master’s, or bachelor’s degree in the teaching discipline or
  2. Earned bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 24 semester hours in the teaching discipline or
  3. Equivalent professional/experiential qualifications or
  4. Equivalent combination of education and professional experience

Forms

  1. Credential Assessment for Faculty Appointment Recommendation
  2. Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach
  3. Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to Teach – High School Academic Program

Faculty Credentialing Team Responsibilities

Provost/Vice Provost

  • Final review and approval of Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach

Faculty Affairs

  • Reviews submitted Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach and supporting documentation (CV, transcripts, substantiating documentation, etc.)
  • Forwards Certification to Provost/Vice Provost for final review and approval

Dean

  • Determines relevant degrees and professional experience required to qualify the Candidate to teach
  • Determines the specific content of acceptable substantiating documentation of experiential qualifications
  • Communicates requirement for official transcripts and substantiating documentation to Candidate upon offer of employment
  • Provides guidance to the Candidate regarding gathering supporting documentation or refers Candidate to Dean Designee, as applicable
  • If there is no Dean Designee, the Dean is responsible for determining and documenting the following on the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach:
    • Basis of qualification
    • Academic degrees and coursework relevant to course(s) taught
    • Experiential qualifications related to course(s) taught
    • Substantiating documentation of experiential qualifications
    • Competency analysis of experiential qualifications 
  • If there is no Dean Designee, the Dean reviews transcripts for authenticity and appropriateness.

Dean Designee (Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, Faculty Member)

  • Provides guidance to the Candidate regarding supporting documentation.
  • When completing the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach, determines and documents the following:
    • Basis of qualification
    • Academic degrees and coursework relevant to course(s) taught
    • Experiential qualifications related to course(s) taught
    • Substantiating documentation of experiential qualifications and competency analysis of experiential qualifications
  • Reviews transcripts for authenticity and appropriateness.

Search Committee/Designee (Recommending Faculty, Department/Discipline Chair)

  • Completes the Credential Assessment for Faculty Appointment Recommendation as part of hiring recommendation to dean
    • The Search Committee completes the Credential Assessment when hiring multi-year contract faculty
    • The dean will name a designee for this step when hiring visiting faculty. The designee may be the faculty member recommending the new hire, the department/discipline chair, or another faculty member who is qualified to assess the individual’s credentials.

Administrative Support Personnel (Business Officer, Exec Assistant, Admin Assistant)

  • Complete the following information on the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach:
    • Candidate information
    • Course number and title
    • Course objective
    • Verify supporting documentation is included and properly formatted
  • Apprise Dean or Designee of timelines and any issues impeding timely submission of the Certification
  • Submit Certification and supporting documentation to Faculty Affairs according to established procedure
  • Ensure substantiating documentation file titles are clear to the unfamiliar reader and match the title listed on the Certification

School Representatives

  • Dance: Susan Jaffe and Amy Harris
  • D&P: Bland Wade
  • Drama: Scott Zigler and KayRon Lantz
  • Film: Henry Grillo, Lauren Vilchik and Sarah Williams
  • Music: Brian Cole and Curissa Townsend
  • DLA: Dean Wilcox and Mary Graves

Procedures

These are the procedural steps to credential a Candidate. Specific instructions on how to complete the Credential Assessment for Faculty Appointment Recommendation and the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach as well as guidance on reviewing transcripts and guidelines for substantiating documentation follow later in this document.

  1. Search Committee/Designee completes the Credential Assessment for Faculty Hiring Recommendation and forwards it to the Dean/Designee and the Admin.

  2. The Dean/Designee instructs the Candidate to provide necessary supporting documentation including current CV, official transcript(s), foreign credential verification (if applicable) and substantiating documentation of experiential qualifications.  The Candidate submits materials according to established school/division procedures.

  3. The Admin completes the following sections of the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach:
    1. Part I - Candidate Information
    2. Part III - Credential Assessment
      1. Course Number & Title
      2. Course Objective
  4. The Admin forwards the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to the Dean/Designee and makes all submitted supporting documentation available to the Dean/Designee according to established school/division procedures.

  5. The Dean/Designee completes the following sections of the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach:
    1. Part II - Basis of Qualification
    2. Part III - Credential Assessment
      1. Academic Degrees & Coursework Relevant to Course
      2. Experiential Qualifications Related to Course
      3. Substantiating Documentation of Experiential Qualifications
      4. Competency Analysis of Experiential Qualifications
  6. The Dean/Dean Designee reviews all submitted supporting documentation (CV, transcripts, foreign credential verification and substantiating documentation of experiential qualifications) for appropriateness and accuracy.

  7. The Dean signs the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to Teach and returns it to the Admin.

  8. The Admin finalizes the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to Teach:
    1. Completes Part IV - Required Supporting Documentation
    2. Reviews the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to Teach for accuracy
    3. Ensures substantiating documentation of experiential qualification file titles are clear to the unfamiliar reader and match the title listed on the Certification
    4. Verifies all required supporting documentation is included and formatted properly
  9. The Admin forwards the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to Teach and supporting documentation are forwarded to Faculty Affairs according to established procedures.

  10. Faculty Affairs will review the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to Teach and forward to the Provost/Vice Provost for final review and approval.

Completing the Credential Assessment for Faculty Appointment Recommendation

The Credential Assessment for Faculty Appointment Recommendation is completed by the Search Committee for Multi-Year Contract Faculty hires and the Search Committee Designee for Visiting Faculty hires.

When completing the Credential Assessment, 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); related work or professional experience; licensure and certifications; continuous documented excellence in teaching; honors and awards; scholarly publications and presented papers; and other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes.

Column 1: Course Number & Title

  • Enter the official course prefix, course number and course title from the UNCSA Bulletin for all credit courses to be taught in the first term of employment.
  • For each course, indicate whether it is an undergraduate transferable course (UT) or a graduate course (G)

Column 2: Course Objective

  • Enter the course objective from the approved course description in the UNCSA Bulletin.

Column 3: Academic Degrees & Coursework Relevant to Course

  • List the earned academic degrees, diplomas, and certificates that help qualify the instructor to teach the listed courses
  • Indicate the discipline (concentration or major) of each degree along with the institution that awarded the degree
  • Listing additional qualifications such as other specific course titles and number of semester hours awarded at the undergraduate or graduate level relevant to the courses assigned could also be helpful in building a case for qualified faculty

Column 4: Experiential Qualifications Related to Course

  • 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
  • Indicate the dates for these additional qualifications

Completing the Certification of Credentials & Qualifications to Teach

Faculty credentials and qualification to teach are verified using the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach. It is important to note that this form must be submitted, including the required attachments prior to the first day of class.

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.

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:

It may also be necessary to indicate additional qualifications such as diplomas or certificates earned (with discipline indicated); related work or professional experience; licensure and certifications; continuous documented excellence in teaching; honors and awards; scholarly publications and presented papers; and other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes.  Indicate the dates for these additional qualifications and clearly describe the relationship between these qualifications and the course content and/or expected outcomes of the courses assigned to the faculty member.

Part I. Candidate Information
The designated Administrative Support completes this section.  All fields should be completed.

Part II. Basis of Qualification
The Dean or Designee completes this section.  Select one basis of qualification:

  1. Academic Credentials
  2. Professional Experience/Credentials
  3. Combination of Academic Credentials and Professional Experience/Credentials

Keep in mind that faculty teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate course must possess a terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate or MFA, or equivalent professional/experiential qualifications, or a combination thereof.

Part III. Credential Assessment
The Admin and Dean or Designee completes this section.

  1. Course Number & Title (Admin)
    • Enter the official course prefix, course number and course title from the UNCSA Bulletin for all credit courses to be taught in the first term of employment.
    • For each course, indicate whether it is an undergraduate transferable course (UT) or a graduate course (G)
  2. Course Objective (Admin)
    • Enter the course objective from the approved course description in the UNCSA Bulletin.
  3. Academic Degrees & Coursework Relevant to Course (Dean/Designee)
    • List the earned academic degrees, diplomas, and certificates that help qualify the instructor to teach the listed courses.
    • Indicate the discipline (concentration or major) of each degree, the institution that awarded the degree.
    • Listing additional qualifications such as other specific course titles and number of semester hours awarded at the undergraduate or graduate level relevant to the courses assigned could also be helpful in building a case for qualified faculty.
  4. Experiential Qualifications Related to Course (Dean/Designee)
    • 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
    • Indicate the dates for these additional qualifications
  5. Substantiating Documentation of Experiential Qualifications (Dean/Designee)
    • It is important that there is sufficient and compelling data to support the Candidate’s qualifications
    • The higher the traditional degree expectations, the more challenging the justification will be for experiential qualifications
      • 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
      • The traditional degree expectation for faculty teaching graduate courses is an earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline
    • The dean is responsible for determining the specific documentation needed to provide third-party verification of professional experience
    • For each experiential qualification, list the item of substantiating documentation that proves the experience
    • Document title must match the document title uploaded to superman.  Name your documents with the unfamiliar reader in mind
    • See “Guidelines for Substantiating Documentation for Certification of Experiential Qualifications” below for a list of acceptable documentation
  6. Competency Analysis of Experiential Qualifications (Dean/Designee)
    • 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
    • Avoid extraneous adjectives and comments unsubstantiated by documentation

Part IV. Required Supporting Documentation
Use the following grid to determine which documents are required as part of the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach.

Document Type

Who Is It Required For?

How Do I Submit?

Current Dated CV

All Candidates

Upload to FASchools

Official Transcript
For all degrees listed in “Part III. Credential Assessment”

Candidates qualifying fully or in part on academic credentials.

See “Transcripts” below for additional information.

Hard copy: Send to Faculty Affairs

Digital: Upload transcript and proof of verification to FASchools

Unofficial Transcript
For all degrees listed in “Part III. Credential Assessment”

Accepted in lieu of official transcript for first 30 days of hire for candidates qualifying based fully or in part on academic credentials.

Upload to FASchools

Original course-by-course foreign credential verification
For all degrees listed in “Part III. Credential Assessment”

Candidates qualifying full or in part on academic credentials and whose highest earned degree is from a college or university located outside the US.

Hard copy: Send to Faculty Affairs

Digital: Upload to FASchools

Substantiating Documents
For all experiential qualifications listed in “Part III. Credential Assessment”

Candidates qualifying fully or in part on professional experience/credentials.

Upload to FASchools

Document title listed on Certification of Credentials must match the document title uploaded to superman.  Name your documents with the unfamiliar reader in mind.

Guidelines for Transcripts
Academic degrees are documented by an official transcript (paper or electronic).  An official transcript must be sent from the conferring institution directly to the Office of the Dean for dean review. The dean is responsible for confirming receipt of an official document and determining if the degree and/or coursework is acceptable for the courses to be taught. A second review will be performed by the Provost or Vice Provost when the official transcripts are forwarded to the Office of Faculty Affairs.

  • Paper Transcripts
    Official paper transcripts will be mailed in a sealed envelope with the Registrar’s signature stamped across the seal of the envelope.  Usually, a document describing the security features, such as a raised seal or a watermark, will accompany the transcript or be noted on the transcript itself. Paper transcripts should be attached to the Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach.

  • Electronic Transcripts
    When a conferring institution sends electronic transcripts, it will send an advisory email to the recipient with instructions to access and verify the electronic transcript.  Verification is required to ensure that the transcript is official.  The Office of the Dean must provide documented evidence of verification of the transcript. For example, the verification confirmation page can be saved.  Any concerns regarding acceptable evidence should be directed to the Office of Faculty Affairs.

    Electronic transcripts and evidence of verification should be uploaded to the school/division “Credential” folder at \\superman\FASchools.

  • Unofficial Transcripts
    Candidates hired on the basis of submission of unofficial transcripts must submit official transcripts within 30 days of the date of hire.  Failure to provide the University with official academic transcripts will result in termination of employment. It is the school’s/division’s responsibility to ensure official transcripts are submitted. Upon receipt of official transcripts, the school/division must submit an updated Certification of Credentials & Qualification to Teach indicating receipt of official transcripts.

  • Foreign Degrees
    UNCSA may accept degrees from colleges and university located outside of the United States, upon review of official academic transcripts and credentials. If the highest earned degree is from a foreign university, a general foreign credential verification must be submitted.  A course-by-course 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 the Dean.

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

Guidelines for Substantiating Documentation
Substantiating documentation provides evidence of the candidate’s professional/experiential qualifications to teach.

Examples of Acceptable Substantiating Documentation for Experiential Qualifications

  • Links to 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.

Formatting Guidelines

  • People unfamiliar with the candidate will be reviewing the professional portfolio. It is important to format and organize the portfolio so that its content is clear and easy to navigate for the unfamiliar reader.
  • Websites should be saved as file type “Web Page, Complete”
  • Documents should be saved in PDF format
  • 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

Part V. Approvals
The Certification must be signed by the person completing the form and then forwarded to the Dean for approval. Once signed by the Dean, forward the Certification to the Office of Faculty Affairs for review and Vice Provost/Provost approval.