Faculty Credentials

2035.1 General Policy

The following criteria adhere to the faculty credential requirements specified by the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. To be a member of the faculty or teach courses for college credit at Wright State University, one must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Possess an academic degree one level above the level at which they teach, except in programs for terminal degrees or when equivalent experience is established. In terminal degree programs, faculty members possess the same level of degree.
  2. Be a graduate student who will either be assisting the instructor of record, or if taking primary responsibilities for classroom operations, will utilize a faculty-approved syllabus and be subject to regular supervision and assessment by a credentialed faculty member.
  3. Have licensures or other credentials, generally recognized as appropriate to the field in which they teach, that document their qualifications to teach students at the required academic level. This applies in cases in which an instructor does not have a terminal degree in the field they are teaching.
  4. Be faculty with an advanced degree above the level at which they teach, but if teaching in another field, have completed at least 18 graduate level credit hours of instruction in the field where they teach. Such faculty will be qualified to teach campus undergraduate offerings, and at off-site, dual enrollment programs such as College Credit Plus.


The exceptions described below should only be allowed in extraordinary cases, and must adhere to the faculty credential exceptions specified by the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Department of Higher Education:

  1. Have completed all requirements for the terminal degree with the exception of the dissertation (ABD). This exception applies to instructors teaching undergraduate classes for a maximum of two years, after which time the faculty member must have completed the terminal degree. Faculty who have not completed the requirements for the Doctoral degree within the two-year window, but have a Master’s degree, may continue to teach courses for which this credential suffices.

  2. Have unique, tested experience and expertise that uniquely qualifies the individual in their discipline. In most such cases, this applies to faculty members who do not possess the terminal degree. Documentation must be provided that the individual possesses unique, tested qualifications appropriate to the field in which the course is being offered.

In the highly unusual circumstance that a faculty member is hired without traditional academic preparation, the Provost’s written preapproval of the candidate’s alternative qualifications is required. The Provost or designee will resolve questions or disputes regarding a faculty member’s academic credentials.

2035.2 Required Documentation

Newly Hired Full Time Faculty

Beginning March 1, 2016, any verbal offer of employment to a prospective faculty member shall be made contingent on verification of necessary academic credentials. The candidate is responsible for submitting credentials to verify that he or she holds an appropriate degree and any other academic or professional credential (e.g., license or certification) required for the position. The candidate must arrange for an official transcript(s), documenting all courses, grades and the awarding of the degree be sent from the institution(s) attended directly to Human Resources.

Upon receiving credentials, Human Resources will notify the faculty member’s primary department, and make them available to the department and college for review. Individual colleges and departments are responsible for verifying that received credentials are appropriate to the faculty member’s position and teaching assignments. A verification form must be returned to Human Resources before the hiring process is completed.

Additionally, the candidate may also be required to verify any required license or certification by providing copies or complying with the instructions from the hiring department or college. The official transcript must be provided before the offer letter will be released to the selected candidate.

Adjunct Faculty with Unique, Tested Experience

In cases in which a candidate has experience and expertise that uniquely qualifies him/her in the discipline, the candidate must provide documentation, that he/she possesses qualifications appropriate to the field in which the course is being offered, and has developed these qualifications over a period of three years. Any such offer must be recommended by the faculty of the primary department in which the course is offered, and approved by the appropriate chair, dean and the Provost or designee.

Probationary Hiring of Adjunct Faculty

In cases in which an adjunct faculty member is required to fill a position on short notice, and the candidate unable to immediately provide official transcripts, or there is a potential delay in the documentation of qualifying experiences, certifications or licensures, a department chair may allow a candidate to teach at Wright State University for one academic term, pending verification that the candidate’s credentials meet the threshold of qualifying education and experience consistent with HLC guidelines.

This appointment shall be considered a probationary appointment. During the probationary semester, the Department Chair must assure that all official transcripts, certifications and other verification of qualifications have been received and evaluated. Before any appointment can be extended, a letter documenting their credentials and the results of any evaluation of their qualifications will be added to their personnel file, affirming their eligibility to teach in subsequent semesters.

Continuing Faculty

Faculty who were initially hired as ABD and have completed their doctoral degree, or those who complete an additional degree that may qualify them to teach in a new discipline or level, must provide an official transcript to verify the awarding of the additional degree. Any new licensures or other credentials must be provided to the Department Chair, who will maintain a record of credentials and notify Human Resources of their receipt.