3.7.1 Faculty Competence

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. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, 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 its faculty.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University employs competent faculty with credentials based upon the SACS guidelines who engage in teaching, research, and service. The University conducts an annual review of faculty members to ensure that qualifications continue to be met. The University employs Regular and Special Faculty. Regular faculty are tenured and tenure-track; Special Faculty are temporary, non-tenure accruing faculty. The terms and conditions of employment are found in the Faculty Handbook along with a description of the faculty categories [1]. The academic responsibility of the faculty is found in Rule 12.01.99.P1 Prairie View A&M University Procedures, Rules, Information [2], and Texas A&M University System Policy 12.01 Academic Freedom, Responsibilities, and Tenure [3]. Section 2.1 of TAMUS Policy 12.01 states that “The fundamental responsibilities of the faculty members as teachers and scholars include maintenance of competency in their field of specialization and the exhibition of professional competence in the classroom, studio or laboratory and in the public arena through activities such as discussions, lectures, consulting performances, exhibitions, publications and participation in professional organizations and meetings” [3].

In accordance with the mission [4] of the institution, the University offers a range of degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level. No associate degree programs are offered. Faculty members have appropriate credentials to teach assigned courses as shown in the Faculty Roster Forms for the Fall 2008 [5], spring 2009 [6], and Summer 2009 [7]. All faculty teaching baccalaureate courses have a doctoral or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a minimum of 18 graduate semester credit hours in the teaching discipline. As noted in response to Core Requirement 2.8, Eighty-seven percent of the fall 2008 full-time faculty members have the doctorate or terminal degree as shown on the Faculty Terminal Degree Attainment Chart 1994-2008 [8]. Transcripts which document faculty qualifications are maintained in the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and are available online.

Some undergraduate courses are taught by graduate teaching assistants, though it is current practice at the university only to award Doctoral Teaching Assistant appointments. All teaching assistants, therefore, have at least the earned master's degree and a minimum of eighteen graduate credits in the teaching field. All Doctoral Teaching Assistant appointments require direct supervision. As noted in the Graduate Catalog, "Each assistant must be assigned to a supervisor who will give guidance and assist the student in carrying out work assignments. The supervisor is responsible for assigning tasks, monitoring the progress of work, keeping a record of hours worked, and evaluating the performance of the student. At the end of each school year, each supervisor must submit an evaluation of the work performance of the students supervised" [9]. Training manuals or materials [10], teaching evaluation and work performance instruments [11] [12] [13], and assessment or outcomes matrices [14] [15] [16] are shared with Doctoral Teaching Assistants as part of their supervision. Training or final supervisor reports [17] are sent to the Doctoral Teaching Assistant's Department Head if he or she is not the student's supervisor.

Graduate courses are taught by members of the Graduate Faculty, individuals whose professional and scholarly accomplishments and effectiveness in teaching qualify them for active participation in graduate instruction at the University. According to the General Policies for the Administration of the Graduate School at Prairie View A&M University, the Graduate Faculty shall consist of Full Members, Special Members and Associate Members. Qualifications for members of the Graduate Faculty include an earned doctorate or documented, equivalent professional experience in the area taught. The criteria for appointment to membership and the duration of the period of appointment are found in Academic Policy Memorandum: AA013 General Policies for the Administration of the Graduate School at Prairie View A&M University [18]. Department Heads, Deans, and the Graduate Dean and Graduate Council review faculty using the Graduate Faculty Nomination-Application Form [19] before allowing faculty to be  admitted into Graduate Faculty Membership.

The university has three non-degree granting support programs. Semester credit hours are not granted toward the degree. The University College offers developmental courses in reading, writing and mathematics for students who need remediation. The developmental courses are taught by degreed faculty who may or may not always hold the degree in the area where they provide remediation, but who have demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and ensure student learning [5] [6] [7]. The university also offers two military science programs, Army ROTC and Navy ROTC programs, which provide opportunities for graduates from any undergraduate major to receive a commission upon completion of military science requirements. The Military Science faculty hold degrees in a variety of disciplines and also have specialized military training. The credentials of the University College faculty and the Military Science faculty are shown on the Faculty Roster Forms.

Faculty are evaluated using evaluation forms as appropriate. Sample forms are the yearly evaluation instrument [20], teaching evaluation forms [21], both of which vary by college and department, and the Student Opinion Survey [22] instrument used by all faculty across the university.

Supporting Documentation and Links

Comprehensive Standards 3.7.1

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