Faculty Credentials FAQs
What is the SACSCOC Faculty Roster?
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires each of its accredited institutions to report the qualifications of its teaching faculty. The Faculty Roster is the means for doing so. At the University of South Carolina, the Faculty Roster is created by the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics (OIRAA) each semester and includes the names of all instructors of record, a list of courses they are teaching, and their qualifications for teaching those courses.
Who is included on the SACSCOC Faculty Roster?
All instructors of record teaching credit-bearing courses are included on the Faculty Roster. An instructor of record is defined by the University of South Carolina as the individual designated by the academic unit as responsible for the course, including developing its content, assignments, and grades. This includes graduate teaching assistants, voluntary or non-paid faculty members, USC staff members, and adjunct faculty who have primary responsibility for a course.
What documentation is required for the SACSCOC Faculty Roster?
The department from which a course originates must demonstrate that the instructor of record assigned to the course has sufficient qualifications to teach the course. In most cases, a graduate degree in the teaching discipline will be the only qualification needed, and an official transcript used as documentation. See ACAF 1.20 for specific requirements regarding faculty credentials. If an instructor’s graduate degree is in a discipline other than the teaching discipline, or if an instructor does not have a graduate degree at all, additional documentation is required and the instructor’s teaching qualifications must be explained using one of three Instructor of Record Qualifications forms available on the OIRAA web site: the Alternate Credentials form, the Graduate Coursework form, or the Graduate Teaching Assistant form. It is important to remember that documentation of qualification is necessary at the course level. Documentation that is sufficient for the majority of an instructor’s courses may not necessarily be sufficient for all courses.
What are the Instructor of Record Qualifications forms?
An Instructor of Record Qualifications form should be completed when an instructor of record is qualified to teach a course, or group of courses, based on something other than a conferred degree in the teaching discipline (see the SACSCOC Faculty Credentials Guidelines or ACAF 1.20 for specific degree requirements for graduate and undergraduate courses).
There are three Instructor of Record Qualifications forms. The Alternate Credentials form is used to document professional experience, certifications, contributions to the teaching discipline, or other outstanding experiences relevant to the course(s) being taught. The Graduate Coursework form is completed when 18+ hours of related graduate coursework, rather than a degree in the teaching discipline, are used for qualification. The Graduate Teaching Assistant form is submitted when a Graduate Teaching Assistant does not hold a graduate degree in the teaching discipline and, therefore, must be credentialed by the alternate method outlined in the SACSCOC Faculty Credentials Guidelines and referenced in ACAF 1.20.
Is a transcript required for all earned degrees?
Transcripts are used to show qualification to teach courses. All transcripts used to document qualifications are required. If an instructor has both a master’s and doctoral degree in the same discipline, only the doctoral degree transcript is needed unless specific courses on the master’s transcript will be used as qualification to teach a course in a different department. An undergraduate transcript is generally not needed unless it is being used as supporting documentation for a course included on an Instructor of Record Qualifications form.
Do all transcripts have to be official, or just the transcript for the highest earned degree?
All transcripts used as documentation of teaching qualifications must be official. See ACAF 1.20 for the definition of an official transcript, and for an explanation of how official transcripts must be submitted to the course origination department.
Do you need credential documentation for Graduate Teaching Assistants?
If the Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) is the instructor of record, credential documentation must be submitted the same as for any other instructor of record. If, however, a GTA does not hold a graduate degree in the teaching discipline, SACSCOC acknowledges the GTA’s qualification to teach as long as the GTA has earned 18 or more graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, is directly supervised by a faculty member who is qualified to teach in the discipline, participates in regular in-service training, and is periodically evaluated by a faculty member in the discipline. The Instructor of Record Qualifications form for Graduate Teaching Assistants should be used to document that these criteria have been or are being met.
What documentation is required for instructors with degrees conferred by a foreign university?
Instructors whose relevant degrees have been conferred by a foreign university must have their transcripts evaluated for equivalency to U.S.-accredited coursework by a University-accepted foreign credential evaluator. The transcript and other applicable academic records should be accompanied by a notarized translation, if not in English. If a transcript is not available, the external evaluation agency may evaluate the instructor’s credentials for equivalence to a U.S. degree. All other documentation required for instructors of record – a curriculum vitae and, if applicable, an Instructor of Record Qualifications form – is required, as well.
If the instructor of record is teaching a course in a department other than his or her home department, does the non-home department have to submit credentials for the instructor?
In this case, the non-home department must insure that the instructor is qualified to teach the course outside his or her home department, and that proper documentation is on file to show that qualification. If the home department has not already submitted documentation that clearly supports the teaching of courses outside the home discipline, the non-home department is responsible for requesting and submitting the necessary supporting materials. This may require that the department complete an Instructor of Record Qualifications form.
How do colleges, schools, and departments submit credential documentation for the SACSCOC Faculty Roster to the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics (OIRAA)?
Each USC college and school has a Human Resources contact responsible for uploading official transcripts and other credential documents to a secure folder accessible only by the HR contact, the college dean or other central administration representative, and OIRAA. Departments should forward credential documentation to the college or school’s central office or HR contact no later than the third week of classes after the instructor is hired.
When must credential documentation be submitted to OIRAA?
Credential documentation – official transcripts, curricula vitae, Instructor of Record Qualifications forms, and other supporting materials – should be uploaded by the college or school HR contact to the secure folder no later than the third week of classes after the instructor is hired.
Can OIRAA request University of South Carolina transcripts?
No, OIRAA cannot request USC transcripts for instructors of record. OIRAA supports and abides by the Office of the Registrar’s policy on transcript requests which states that, as part of the hiring/appointment process, new hires and GTAs should complete the official transcript request form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. The new hire, GTA or department should provide payment. Exceptions can be made when transcripts are lost or misplaced by the department, or need to be updated to reflect a new degree earned. See OIRAA’s Policy Regarding USC Transcript Requests, or contact the Office of the Registrar, for more information regarding exceptions.