The University of Alabama, Office for Academic Affairs

Teaching Credentials Policy for UA Instructors of Record

Unit:  Office of Institutional Effectiveness
Contact: Dr. Lesley Reid
Title:  Associate Provost
Effective Date: 11/1/2016
Revision Date: 06/16/2020


 
 

Purpose

It is essential that the University guarantee its instructors of record are qualified to teach the curriculum. This is critical for student success, academic accreditation, and the public trust. This policy describes and defines the teaching credentials required for instructors of record at the University, in keeping with guidelines provided by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Policy

The University of Alabama generally follows SACSCOC guidelines for establishing teaching credentials. All instructors of record assigned to teach for-credit courses with an assigned percent of effort in the Banner system that is greater than zero for a course section are expected to meet these guidelines. The “instructor of record” is the person who has ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the syllabus, for the achievement of the student learning outcomes included as part of the syllabus, and for issuing final grades. The appropriate qualifications for instructors of record at the University are as follows:

  • Faculty teaching baccalaureate courses: doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or a master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline).
  • Faculty teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate courses: earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline, and graduate faculty membership at the University.
  • Graduate assistants teaching lower division (100-200 level) baccalaureate courses: master’s degree in the teaching discipline; or 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.
  • Graduate assistants teaching upper division (300-400 level) baccalaureate courses: a master’s degree in the teaching discipline; or 30 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.

The policies above related to graduate assistants apply only to graduate assistants serving as instructors of record. These policies do not apply to graduate assistants engaged in non-instructor-of-record work assignments, e.g. assisting in laboratory sections, attending or helping to prepare lectures, grading individual assignments, keeping class records, conducting discussion groups or tutorials, or holding student conferences.

Individuals possessing exceptional experience, expertise, and/or credentials but not meeting the qualifications specified above may be capable of providing quality educational instruction and may be assigned as instructors of record on an ad hoc basis to teach specific courses related to their area of expertise. In these cases, college deans are responsible for identifying, justifying, documenting, and maintaining records regarding the experience and/or credentials that justify the assignment as instructor of record.

Scope

This policy applies to all instructors of record and all administrators, faculty, and staff responsible for making faculty and graduate assistant teaching assignments.

 
 

Office of the Provost

Approved by Joel Brouwer, Associate Provost, 06/16/2020