Guidelines for Alternative Credentials

Under special circumstances, faculty members may have experience that clearly contributes to student learning outcomes and can be considered in lieu of formal academic preparation. In these cases, the applicant may present a portfolio that documents such experience. The institution also considers competence in the field, professional licensure and certificates, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. It is the candidate’s responsibility to assemble the portfolio.  It is the responsibility of the program or department to verify that documentation.

The Employee Credentialing Request (completed by the chair, director or dean for the area) should be completed by listing academic credentials and then referencing the portfolio on the Credentialing Request page.

Supporting materials to include the following in the order indicated:

  1. Coursework Exception:  If the experience concerns coursework, a letter from the chair, director or dean documenting the equivalency of this coursework to the required coursework should be referenced on the Employee Credentialing Details screen. In the case of a research degree, the candidate’s major professor and graduate committee members or other program officials must describe and certify the applicability of the research to the teaching discipline
  • Professional experience:  If the experience concerns professional experience, a resume of professional experience and documentation detailing this experience should be presented. Documentation of professional experience may include items such as the following: (Note: original documents must be presented; official copies will be made of all documents requested back by the applicant.)
    • Recognition in journals, online sources, or textbooks in the discipline
    • Certification of participation in training
    • Certification in field
    • Professional presentations
    • Professional registry
    • Apprenticeships
    • Honors and Awards directly related to the discipline
    • Appearance on programs reflecting work in the discipline
    • Letters of support from past employers, colleagues, etc. on business stationery that speak directly to work in the discipline
    • Evidence of continuous excellence in teaching
    • Other discipline-related documentation that demonstrates third party recognition of the applicant’s expertise in the field

The portfolio will be presented to appropriate chair, director, or dean.

The chair, director, or dean will review the portfolio and may request additional documentation.

Once the portfolio is complete, the chair/director/dean will review and complete the electronic Employee Credentialing Request that includes recommended teaching assignments. The chair/director/dean will submit the electronic Employee Credentialing Request and associated details screen, portfolio, and a cover letter explaining the rationale for credentialing request and synopsis of documentation of evidence in the portfolio.

The FCOC will review the information submitted from the chair/director/dean and make recommendations to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs for action.


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