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In some cases, tested experience or other credentials may be determined equivalent to the degree that would otherwise be required for a teaching assignment. In other cases—especially for those concentrating on applied arts, technical skills, or career preparation—tested experience in the field may be needed as much as or more than formal education. Tested experience is considered to include a breadth and depth of experience outside of the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member will be teaching. This section establishes guidelines for determining that a faculty member is qualified based on tested experience and/or equivalent credentials.

404.2.1  Equivalent Credentials for Undergraduate Instructors

Most undergraduate instructors who do not hold an earned doctorate or master’s degree in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, or who hold a graduate degree in a different discipline but have not completed at least 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, must hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, and at least one of the following:

  • Significant tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes. The acceptable minimum number of years of experience will vary based upon the level or quality of that experience and will be assessed as part of the procedure for evaluating tested experience described in 404.3.
  • More than 50 percent of the credit hours toward a master’s degree in the discipline or subfield and adequate tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes
  • Professional credentials—e.g., licensure or certification in a relevant area—and adequate tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes
  • A documented record of recognized achievement, research, or scholarship in the discipline or subfield in which they teach.

In the case of undergraduate instructors teaching skills-based or occupational courses (for example, automotive restoration, photography, or web development and design), significant tested experience alone, without an undergraduate degree, may be determined to be an equivalent credential.

404.2.2 Equivalent Credentials for Graduate Instructors

Graduate instructors who do not hold a terminal degree in the discipline or subfield in which they teach must hold a master’s degree in the discipline or subfield in which they teach, and at least one of the following:

  • Significant tested experience relevant to department-defined course outcomes, as determined as part of the procedure for evaluating tested experience described in 404.3
  • A documented record of recognized research, scholarship or professional achievement in the discipline or subfield in which they teach
  • Additional professional credentials—e.g., licensure or certification in a relevant area.