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Faculty Qualifications for CAP Instructors

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has established the following minimum qualifications for faculty teaching general education or non-occupational courses, including CAP/dual credit instructors:

  • A Master’s degree in the discipline or subfield, or
  • A Master’s degree in another field with a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield

In addition, it is preferred if applicants have at least three years' experience teaching in the subject area, preferably with at least one year teaching an advanced course in the subject area. In some cases, industry experience may serve as a substitute for teaching experience.

Individuals in progress with graduate coursework in the discipline or subfield should contact the CAP Office before applying. Course specific requirements can be found on CAP Instructor Credentialing Requirements By Course.

USI’s Faculty Qualifications and Tested Experience policy provides the following general guidelines for department chairs to utilize when non-traditional credentials are considered:

“HLC’s Assumed Practice B.2 allows an institution to determine that a faculty member is qualified based on tested experience outside of the classroom in real-world situations relevant to the discipline in which the faculty member would be teaching. As a result, the University may consider, as appropriate: competence; effectiveness; related work experience; certification(s); licensure; demonstrated competencies; and honors, awards and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and learning outcomes. … For faculty who are deemed qualified to teach for USI by way of tested experience, documentation must be completed to provide a rationale and proper approvals.”

The CAP Graduate Fee Waiver may be utilized by both current and prospective instructors who wish to pursue graduate hours in the discipline or subfield.

Application Process for Prospective CAP Instructors

  • Candidates should email the CAP Office to express interest, including brief professional and educational background
  • The CAP Office will contact the building administrator for approval to move forward with the CAP Instructor Application
  • The CAP Office will share the link to the online application through the USI Human Resources system, PeopleAdmin
    • Directions with screenshots will be provided
    • Candidates will be required to upload unofficial undergraduate transcripts (as well as graduate transcripts, if applicable)
    • A résumé and cover letter may be uploaded
  • Once the application has been submitted, notify the CAP Office via email
  • The relevant department chair and CAP faculty liaison will review the application and transcripts. In most instances, a site visit will be utilized to determine if the course content is a good fit for the USI course. Applicants will be notified in writing of the decision.
  • If CAP approval is granted, official undergraduate and graduate transcripts will be required at a later date and must be sent directly to the dean of the relevant college. Directions will be provided by the CAP Office. Reimbursement for official transcripts will be provided only after approval is granted.

Initial Training and Ongoing Professional Development

Prior to teaching a CAP course, new instructors are required to attend discipline-specific training and orientation with the USI faculty liaison to begin crafting the USI syllabus and to learn course curriculum, assessment criteria, pedagogy and course philosophy. New instructors also attend a separate training with CAP staff to overview administrative responsibilities and procedures.

All returning CAP instructors are expected to attend an annual discipline-specific workshop. Read more about CAP instructor benefits, responsibilities and the non-compliance policy in the Administrative Guide.

Accreditation The College Achievement Program (CAP) is accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). For more information, visit the NACEP website. 

The University of Southern Indiana is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). For more information, visit the HLC website.