SACS Guidelines

SACS and Faculty Credentials

As a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Austin Community College must ensure that all faculty members hired meet requirements outlined by Teacher in front of classSACS. Requirements for faculty credentials established by SACS are excerpted below:

“The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. When determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline in accord with the guidelines listed below. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certification, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is respon­sible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of all its faculty.”

(From the publication SACS Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement which can be viewed at )

ACC Guidelines for Teaching Credentials

To teach:

Faculty must have:

Transfer courses leading to AA or AS degrees

Master’s degree in teaching discipline or
Master’s plus 18 graduate hours in teaching discipline

Workforce courses leading to AAS degree

Bachelor’s degree or higher in the discipline
Associate’s degree in the discipline plus three years documented work experience in the field

Courses leading to certificate only

High school diploma
plus three years of documented work experience in the field
plus proof of specialized training in the field, e.g., license, certificate, non-credit coursework in the discipline

Developmental courses

Bachelor’s degree in the discipline or a related discipline
one year of high school teaching experience in the discipline
or one graduate course in teaching under-prepared students

 Alternative Credentialing for Faculty

Qualifying faculty to teach when they do not possess the normally expected education and work credentials is considered an unusual decision and is rarely done. Appropriate and complete documentation will be maintained in the faculty member’s credentials file located in the Records section of the Office of Human Resources. Approval of such exceptions rests with the President.

Criteria for Alternative Credentialing Consideration

While an individual cannot be expected to fulfill all of the criteria listed below, they should satisfy as many of the criteria as possible to be deemed qualified through alternative credentialing. These criteria are based on the Principles of Accreditation of SACS.

  1. Documentation of non-teaching work experience, including length of service, complexity of work, and closeness of the relationship between work performed to courses the faculty member would be eligible to teach;
  2. Possession of college degree closely related to the teaching field;
  3. Number of college credits earned in teaching field or closely related area;
  4. Reputation, especially at a state or national level. This must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the College;
  5. Possession of special certifications or licenses;
  6. Publications other than through vanity presses;
  7. Possession of awards/honors/commendations;
  8. Verification of how training in the teaching field was achieved;
  9. Evidence of excellence in teaching, especially that which is long-standing.

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