200.3 - Approval to Teach Graduate Courses

University Group Policy #200.3

Policy Statement

While there is no Graduate Faculty designation at Winston-Salem State University, many faculty members teach courses in our graduate programs. Several factors including previous experience teaching graduate students are used to determine the suitability of a faculty member for teaching in a graduate program. This policy offers a set of criteria by which to make this judgment.

Guidelines

Authority, Responsibilities and Functions:

Consistent with professional and academic accrediting agencies, the policies of the Board of Governors, the University of North Carolina Code, and the Constitution of the General Faculty of Winston–Salem State University (WSSU), only faculty members who have been approved to teach in graduate programs may exercise the authority for the development of general policies and procedures for graduate courses and programs within the university.

These faculty members shall assume primary policy-making responsibility for the following functions:

  1. Planning and implementation of Curriculum matters within specific graduate programs, including:
    1. The planning and establishment of all new graduate degree programs and certifications including online programs;
    2. Developing, evaluating, and modifying existing and proposed courses, programs and certifications;
    3. The elimination or consolidation of graduate degree programs or departments (except in cases of declared financial exigency);
    4. Setting graduation requirements for each graduate program;
  2. Setting additional minimum admission standards for individual graduate programs over and above those mandated by the School of Graduate Studies and Research (SGSR);
  3. Establishing standards for the granting of academic credit;
  4. Setting goals and assigning student requirements toward fulfillment of graduate research projects, including faculty service on research, clinical, and thesis projects and committees;
  5. Setting academic policies concerning withdrawal, probation, suspension, retention, and repetition of courses;
  6. Establishing grading systems pertinent to each graduate program;Developing grade appeal policies for the SGSR;
  7. Conducting the academic and professional advisement of students;
  8. Recommending candidates for receipt of all graduate degrees, including honorary degrees;

In addition, these faculty members may promulgate and modify these policies and procedures through the consideration and approval of the Graduate Council.

General Qualifications to Teach Graduate Courses

The following paragraphs address the general qualifications, duties and responsibilities, and the method of initial approval of faculty members to teach graduate courses.

Any faculty member may be approved to teach graduate courses provided they meet the following requirements.

Full-time Members of the Faculty
Qualifications

All full-time faculty members holding the academic rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor who meet the minimum qualifications listed below, and who meet any additional qualifications that may be established by the faculty members of the departmental graduate program are eligible to teach graduate courses. Full-time faculty members must be approved by the department/program faculty, chairperson and dean of the graduate program, and the Graduate Council. The minimum qualifications include:

  • The highest earned degree in the discipline or related discipline in which s/he is teaching.
  • Demonstrated evidence of success in research or creative activity.
  • Demonstrated evidence of successful teaching at the graduate level, if applicable.
  • Demonstrated evidence of successful supervision of graduate student research or creative activity, if applicable.
  • In some instances as determined by the program/department, extensive professional or clinical experience, high productivity, or successful competition for research/creative activity support may substitute for the highest earned degree.
Duties and Responsibilities

Members of the full-time faculty who are approved to teach graduate courses are also eligible to: serve on the Graduate Council; vote for approval of members of their graduate department/program; vote for approval of members of the Graduate Council; teach graduate courses; serve as chairperson or member of graduate student research/creative committees; provide academic, professional and clinical advisement for graduate students; participate in other graduate matters within their program/department, school, and the university.

Once approved to teach graduate courses, a full-time faculty member can only lose approval through the termination of approval process described below.

Part-time Faculty Members
Qualifications

All part-time faculty members who provide instructional service who may be on a non-tenure-track appointment at WSSU may be approved to teach graduate courses. Such part-time appointments carry the title of Instructor, Lecturer or Assistant Professor and as such must meet the minimum qualifications listed below and any additional qualifications that may be established by the faculty members of the department/program. Part-time faculty members who want to teach graduate courses must be approved by the department/program faculty, chairperson and dean of the graduate program, and the Graduate Council. The minimum qualifications for part-time faculty to teach graduate courses are:

  • The highest earned degree in the discipline or related discipline in which s/he is teaching.
  • Demonstrated evidence of success or the potential for success in research/creative activity.
  • Demonstrated evidence of successful graduate teaching or the potential of such success.
  • Demonstrated evidence of successful supervision of graduate student research or creative activity or the potential of such success.
  • Evidence of professional growth, (e.g., completion of continuing education, participation in relevant seminars, or other professional activity).
  • In some instances as determined by the faculty members of the program/department, extensive professional or clinical experience, high productivity, or successful competition for research/creative activity support may substitute for the highest earned degree.
Duties and Responsibilities

Part-time faculty members approved to teach graduate courses may be eligible to vote for approval of members of their graduate department/program; vote for approval of members of the Graduate Council; teach graduate courses within the area of their specific expertise; serve as a member of graduate student research committee; provide academic, professional and clinical advisement for graduate students; participate in other graduate matters within their program/department, school, and the university, as determined by the full-time program faculty.

Terms of approval to teach graduate courses for part-time faculty members will be renewable and limited to two (2) years.

Methods and Policies on the Initial Approval, Periodic Review, and Re-approval

Initial approval, periodic review, and re-approval of all faculty members who teach graduate courses are as follows:

Initial Approval

Requests for approval to teach graduate courses may be initiated by the faculty member or by the chairperson of the graduate program/department in which the faculty member is assigned. The process begins with the submission of an application packet, which will include:

  • An application using the form, "Approval to Teach Graduate Course", signed by the applicant
  • A current Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, and
  • A summary of the applicant's academic and professional record that lists the specific qualifications including those established by the program in addition to the appropriate minimal qualifications listed above.

Faculty members already approved to teach courses in the applicant’s graduate program/department will advance the nomination process with a systematic review and evaluation of the academic and professional record of the applicant based on either or both of the following: 1) the recognition of involvement with graduate programs at another academic institution; 2) comparison of the applicants record with the minimum qualifications for the appropriate membership described above and with any additional criteria having been approved by the specific program/department faculty, chairperson of the program/department, dean of the graduate program, and the Graduate Council.

An approved application packet for requests to teach graduate programs will bear three (3) signatures:

  • A graduate program faculty member representing the majority vote of all faculty members teaching in the program/department;
  • The program/department chairperson; and
  • The dean of the graduate program, who will submit the approved nomination packet to the Chairperson of the Graduate Council via the Secretary of the Graduate Council.

Consideration of the nomination will be placed on the Council Agenda in a timely manner and the packet reviewed by the members of the Graduate Council. The requests receiving a majority vote for approval will be signed by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council, submitted to the Dean of the SGSR, and the name added to the official roster of faculty members teaching in graduate programs at WSSU at the appropriate faculty level. The Dean of the SGSR will be responsible for notifying the candidate, in writing (with copies to the department/program chairperson and dean of the graduate program), of the status of the application for membership.

Reappointment Process

In order to maintain the quality of faculty teaching in graduate programs, the specific qualifications of each individual approved will be reviewed periodically. During the initial term and subsequent terms of approval, the scholarly activities and qualifications of each faculty member will be reviewed by the department/program chairperson during the scheduled annual performance evaluation (See Faculty Handbook). Since these faculty appointments normally end on June 30th and begin on July 1st, notification and timely review for re-approval will begin during the spring semester of the:

  • Second year following approval of the initial and all subsequent applications for part-time Faculty members.

The Dean of the SGSR will be responsible for direct notification of the academic department/program chairperson on or before February 15th of each year listing those members of the faculty whose term of approval will expire at the end of the academic year. The faculty member will be responsible for submitting an application for re-approval to their department/program chair. The re-approval request may be submitted for consideration of the same or another faculty category, depending on the applicant’s current qualifications. The reapproval packet will include:

  • An application using the form, “Re-approval to teach Graduate courses”, signed by the applicant,
  • A current Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, and
  • A summary of the applicant’s specific academic and professional qualifications and accomplishments since the last official approval to teach in graduate programs.

The re-approval documents will be reviewed before April 1st of the year of expiration of the approval, and the approved application will bear the signatures of:

  • A graduate program faculty member representing the majority vote of all faculty teaching in the program/department,
  • The program/department chairperson, and
  • The dean of the graduate program, who will submit the re-approval application to the Chairperson of the Graduate Council via the Secretary of the Graduate Council.

Consideration of the nomination will be placed on the Council Agenda in a timely manner and the packet reviewed by the members of the Graduate Council. Re-approvals receiving a majority affirmative vote will be signed by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council and the packet submitted to the Dean of the SGSR to be continued on the official Roster of Faculty Members Teaching in Graduate Programs at WSSU at the appropriate faculty level for which the applicant has been approved. The Dean of the SGSR will be responsible for notifying the faculty member, in writing (with copies to the department/program chairperson and dean), of the status of the reapproval to teach in graduate programs (along with any specific comments or explanations arising from the review process).

Conditions and Processes for Termination of Approval

Approval may be terminated only by a vote of the Graduate Council in consultation with the Dean of the SGSR.

Termination for Deficient Performance can be initiated following periodic review as outlined in section C.2 above. If prior to the normal date of re-approval, the department/program chairperson or dean of the graduate program may determine that the faculty member no longer meets the minimum performance qualifications or the specific program qualifying criteria approved for teaching in the program or both. The department/program chairperson or dean of the graduate program may initiate the termination process by submitting specific documents to a faculty peer group. This peer review group will consist of all faculty members approved to teach graduate courses within the program to which the faculty member is assigned but will exclude the faculty member under review and the department/program chairperson. The following documents for termination of appointment must be submitted:

  • The SGSR form, “Initiation of Termination of Approval to Teach Graduate Courses”, signed by the chairperson of the department/program or dean of the graduate program, A current Curriculum Vitae of the faculty member under review,
  • A written explanation of the specific qualification or performance deficiency(ies) in question or both, as determined by the chairperson of the department/program or dean of the graduate program,
  • A written statement by the faculty member rebutting the specific qualification or performance deficiency(ies) in question or both.

The next steps in this process by the program faculty peer group and program administrators are to determine whether or not the faculty member actually meets the minimum qualifications, or specific program criteria for membership or both. These steps include:

  • A full review of the faculty member’s qualifications and performance based solely on the written documents submitted for review. The peer review body may request additional written clarification from any or all of the following individuals: the faculty member, the department/program chairperson, or the dean of the graduate program, if necessary. A vote of recommendation will be held on this issue by the peer review body.

Before submission of the documents to the Graduate Council, the “Initiation of Termination of Approval to Teach Graduate Course” will attest to a set of reviews of the above documents by bearing the following recommendation signatures:

  • A representative faculty member will sign for the majority opinion of the program faculty peer group, recommending to the chairperson and dean of the graduate program and to the Graduate Council, either termination of faculty members approval to teach in the program or continued approval,
  • The department/program chairperson, recommending to the dean of the graduate program and to the Graduate Council, either termination or continued approval for the faculty member to teach in the program,
  • The dean of the graduate program, recommending either termination or continued approval to teach in the program. The dean of the graduate program will submit the completed packet of termination documents to the Chairperson of the Graduate Council via the Secretary of the Graduate Council.

Consideration of the termination of approval will be placed on the Council Agenda in a timely manner and the packet reviewed by the members of the Graduate Council. Termination documents receiving a majority vote of approval will be signed by the Chairperson of the Graduate Council and the packet submitted to the Dean of the SGSR to be removed from the official Roster of Graduate Faculty Teaching in Graduate Programs at WSSU. The Dean of the SGSR will be responsible for notifying the faculty member, in writing (with copies to the department/program chairperson and dean of the graduate program), of the termination of the graduate membership (along with specific written comments or explanations arising from the review process).

Applicability

Any faculty member may be approved to teach graduate courses provided they meet the stated requirements.


Responsible Division: Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees

History:

  • Adopted: December 11, 2009