I. Scope

This policy establishes guidelines by which qualifications other than academic credentials are considered in determining whether individuals are qualified to teach at Earlham College

II. Policy Statement

At Earlham College, it is customary for instructional personnel to have the terminal degree in the field in which they teach. The minimal academic credential for instructional personnel is an academic degree in a relevant field one level above the level at which they teach.

Tested experience1 indicating a depth and breadth of experience in settings relevant to the field, may substitute all or part of an earned credential. Such experiences may include, but not be limited to, a combination of the following:

  • At least three years of professional experience in the discipline or subfield
  • Professional licensure and certifications
  • Evidence of research in the field
  • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Honors and Awards
  • Documented excellence in teaching or pedagogical training
  • Artistic Performances or Exhibitions
  • Proficiency in a language other than English
  • Other demonstrated accomplishments

III. Verifying Equivalent Experience

Tested experience will be verified and approved using the following procedure:

Undergraduate Program and Graduate Programs in Education

  1. The department convener will ask an instructional candidate with “tested experience” to provide these qualifications in writing (e.g., a vita describing the experiences in detail).
  2. The Associate Academic Dean of the Faculty (or equivalent) will review the document for approval in consultation with the department. If the Associate Academic Dean of the Faculty has concerns, they will consult with the Provost, who will have final approval.
  3. If the experience is deemed satisfactory to provide Earlham College students with an excellent educational opportunity, the candidate will be approved to teach courses relevant to this experience.
  4. The Associate Academic Dean of the Faculty will write a letter for the instructor’s personnel file indicating college approval of the relevant professional experience in place of an advanced degree. This letter will specify which areas the instructor is approved to teach in as well as when their teaching will be reviewed if the review period is not already specified by the Faculty Handbook.

Review of this Policy

This policy was reviewed by the Faculty Affairs Committee prior to approval by the Earlham College Faculty Meeting Nov. 29, 2023.

Policy specifications

Last revision: 11/29/2023
Responsible office: Academic Affairs
Approved by: Faculty Meeting
Approval date: 11/29/2023
Effective date: 11/29/2023
Associated division(s):
Associated audience(s):
Associated container(s):
Policy home: https://earlham.edu/policy/alternative-qualifications-policy