LSSU – Faculty Qualifications

In compliance with the guidelines established by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Lake Superior State University has adopted the following policies for ensuring faculty are well qualified to teach in their fields. HLC’s Assumed Practice B.2.A – Faculty Roles and Qualifications states:

B.2.A: Qualified faculty members are identified primarily by credentials, but other factors, including but not limited to equivalent experience, may be considered by the institution in determining whether a faculty member is qualified. . . 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. Faculty teaching general education courses, or other non-occupational courses, hold a master’s degree or higher in the discipline or subfield. If a faculty member holds a master’s degree or higher in a discipline or subfield 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 or subfield in which they teach.

Minimum Qualifications determined by Academic Credentials

  1. Faculty will hold an academic degree in the discipline for which they are hired, with coursework credit at least one level above the courses for which they teach or develop curricula. (In some programs, academic credentials may instead be held in a subfield of the discipline with a focus that appropriately matches the courses to be taught, or equivalent experience may be accepted in place of academic credentials if deemed appropriate for the program).
  2. To teach in a discipline or subfield other than that in which the faculty member holds a degree, the faculty member will have completed a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield in which they are teaching.
  3. Faculty hired to supervise lab sessions or to support lead faculty members will have at least the same level of degree as the program(s) to which the course belongs. In such cases, the instructor of record will be responsible for final assessment of student learning and for assigning grades.

Minimum Qualifications determined by Equivalent Experience

In programs where full-time equivalent tested experience has been established as preferred or accepted, LSSU’s minimum qualification policy requires that the faculty member will meet one or more of the combined requirements for professional experience, as specified for the specific program:

 

  1. To teach certification or associate’s degree program courses:
    1. Minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in the discipline or subfield, AND a minimum of three (3) years full-time equivalent of tested experience in a related discipline to the courses;
    2. Minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, AND a governmentally recognized credential for certifications or licenses (etc.), connected to that discipline or subfield, AND at least three years of full-time equivalent tested experience in a course-specific field or discipline.

 

  1. To teach bachelor’s degree program courses:
    1. Minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in the discipline or subfield, AND a minimum of three (3) years full-time equivalent of tested experience in a related discipline to the courses
    2. Minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, AND a governmentally recognized credential for certifications or licenses (etc.), connected to that discipline or subfield, AND at least three years of full-time equivalent tested experience in a course-specific field or discipline.

 

  1. To teach master’s degree level courses:
    1. Minimum requirement is a master’s degree in the discipline or subfield, AND a minimum of three (3) years full-time equivalent of tested experience in a related discipline to the courses; OR
    2. Minimum requirement is a master’s degree in any discipline, AND a nationally-recognized credential (certification, license, etc.) for the discipline or subfield, AND a minimum of three (3) years full-time equivalent of tested experience in a related discipline to the courses; OR,

Exception: If a faculty member with no more than a bachelor’s degree has distinguished themselves in their professional field and gained peer recognition or achieved expert-level expertise in a course-specific content area, an exception may be granted by the department and the Provost to allow that faculty member to teach a master’s-level course.

Hiring Process for Qualified Faculty

  1.  Listed requirements for posted faculty positions will be consistent with the University’s policies for Minimum Faculty Qualifications.
  2. Application requirements for posted faculty positions will include a current résumé or curriculum vita and official copies of the applicant’s academic transcripts and/or other documents to verify credentials. Once a candidate has been hired, the Human Resources Office will retain copies of these documents in the employee’s file.
  3.  LSSU’s hiring protocols will be followed to identify a qualified pool of candidates for interviews. Prior to scheduling interviews, the department Dean and/or Chair, Search Committee, and Human Resources will review each candidate’s qualifications, in accordance with the Minimum Qualifications for a Faculty Member.
  4. Before an offer of employment is made, the recommendations of the Search Committee must be approved by the Provost and the President.
  5.  Prior to hiring, part-time adjunct faculty candidates will be vetted by the program Dean, Chair, and program faculty to ensure they meet the Minimum Qualifications for Faculty.
  6.  A Teaching Qualifications Form must be completed for every faculty hire. This form is also reviewed during the faculty evaluation process, which is outlined in Section 8 of the Faculty Contract.