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 School of Religion.

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 typical minimal academic credential for instructional personnel is an academic degree in a relevant field one level above the level at which they teach. At a professional graduate school, it is common for instructors in practical courses to have a degree comparable to the level at which they’re teaching, but have significant professional experience that qualifies them to teach.

Tested experience 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
  • 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:

  1. If the instructional candidate is enlisted by a member of the Teaching Faculty, the Faculty member 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 Dean of will review the document for approval in consultation with the Faculty. If the Associate Dean has concerns, they will consult with the Dean, who will have final approval.
  3. If the experience is deemed satisfactory to provide ESR students with an excellent educational opportunity, the candidate will be approved to teach courses relevant to this experience.
  4. The Associate Dean 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.

Policy Review and Approval

This policy was reviewed and approved 1-25-24 at a called ESR Faculty Meeting.

Policy specifications

Last revision: 01/25/2024
Responsible office: School of Religion
Responsible party(ies): ESR Associate Academic Dean
Approved by: ESR Faculty Meeting for Business
Approval date: 01/25/2024
Effective date: 01/25/2024
Associated division(s):
Associated audience(s):
Associated container(s):
Policy home: https://earlham.edu/policy/esr-alternative-qualifications-policy