Community College Instructor Approval

Oregon does not have a state-level credential requirement for community college faculty.  Determination of qualifications rests with the individual college and may vary ​between lower-division transfer, career technical education, developmental education, and community education/other reimbursable courses. However, policies must be consistent across areas of instruction.

OAR 589-008-0100, “Community College Personnel Policies and Instructor Approval” provides direction on instructor qualifications as follows:

(1) Each community college Board of Education shall establish a personnel policy statement, including a policy on instructor selection and development that must include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(a) Definitions of the main terms used in the policy;

(b) Institutional standards for instructor qualifications (standards for teachers of lower division collegiate courses must include a master’s degree in a subject area closely related to that in which the instructor will be teaching; however in subject areas in which individuals have demonstrated their competencies and served in professional fields, and in cases in which documentation to support the individual's proficiency and high level of competency can be assembled, the master's degree requirement may be waived by the college president or substituted according to the community college’s personnel policy);

(c) Position descriptions;

(d) Procedures for instructor approval, including period of instructor approval;

(e) Procedures for providing individual, written notice of reasonable assurance of continued employment to all employees who are to perform services in the same or a similar capacity during a subsequent academic year or term or in the period immediately following a recess period. Such notice shall be given by May 30 of each year for employees employed as of that date and as of the date of hire for employees employed subsequent to May 30. Pursuant to ORS 341.547, faculty members on annual or indefinite tenure, classified staff members on regular status and management service employees are considered to have been given notice for the purposes of this section;

(f) A statement regarding academic freedom and responsibility;

(g) Procedures for staff development for full-time and part-time instructors;

(h) Procedures for staff evaluation;

(i) Grievance and appeals procedures;

(j) Affirmative action and nondiscrimination practices;

(k) College organization; and

(l) Methods of policy development and review.

(2) Personnel policies adopted by community college boards shall be filed with the Commissioner within one year following establishment of the community college district. Thereafter, each college shall file annually, between December 1 and January 1, either any policy revisions made or a statement that policies currently on file are being continued. In the event the governing board of the community college fails to enact the personnel policies as required by subsection (1) of this rule, the Commissioner may withhold the next scheduled Community College Support Fund payment until such personnel policies are enacted and submitted to the Department.

(3) Each community college board shall develop a policy outlining the procedure for faculty selection. The policy shall include procedures by which the college will maintain records documenting the faculty member's credentials, professional development activities and other information supporting the faculty member's instructional assignment. In no case shall the standards for faculty selection fall below those set forth in the most recent Accreditation Handbook published by the Commission on Colleges and Universities of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.

(4) Each community college board shall develop policies for professional development for full and part-time instructors consistent with the standards as required by the most recent Accreditation Handbook published by the Commission on Colleges and Universities of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.