Equivalency Procedure

College of the Siskiyous Academic Senate

Approved by the COS Academic Senate on March 6, 2013

Purpose:

The purpose of the equivalency process is to determine if applicants for instructional positions who do not meet the minimum qualifications defined by the Board of Governors (Russell, 2012) nonetheless have an appropriate combination of academic training and professional experience that qualify them to teach any and all courses in a specific discipline.

Legal Requirements:

The equivalency process, as well as the criteria and standards that the Board of Trustees shall use to determine faculty equivalency, are to be developed and agreed upon by Academic Senate and the Board and, subsequently, approved by the Board. Further, the equivalency process “…shall include reasonable procedures to ensure that the governing board relies primarily on the advice and judgment of the academic senate to determine that…faculty employed…possess qualifications that are at least equivalent to the applicable minimum qualifications…” (Title V, §53430, (b))

Equivalency Committee:

1.      The Equivalency Committee shall consist of (1) three faculty members appointed by the Academic Senate and (2) the Dean of Student Learning.

2.      Because this is a standing committee of the Academic Senate, the chair shall be elected by the Committee from among the faculty members serving.

Equivalency Procedure:

1.      When a candidate applies for employment and Human Resources (HR) deems that he or she meets minimum qualifications, the person’s name and a summary of their relevant qualifications will be forwarded to the Equivalency Committee for informational purposes. This will enable the Senate to coordinate between the new instructor and his or her discipline colleagues in order to ensure continuity of curriculum, instructional materials, etc.

2.      A candidate whose qualifications HR concludes do not meet minimum qualifications will submit an application that explains how his or her academic preparation, professional experience or both compare on a course-by-course basis to the requirements for a degree in the discipline in which he or she is seeking equivalency.

3.      HR will send the application to the Committee chair who, in turn, will forward it to the full-time faculty members in the discipline. These faculty members will review the candidate’s record and determine if his or her qualifications are equivalent to the minimum qualifications required to teach in the discipline. The completed reviews will be returned to the Committee within two weeks.

4.      In the event that no full-time faculty teach in the discipline at College of the Siskiyous (COS) the Equivalency Committee chair will solicit reviews from (1) other COS faculty who hold degrees in the discipline or (2) faculty at nearby California Community Colleges who hold such degrees. Again, the completed reviews will be returned to the Committee within two weeks.

5.      If any faculty reviewer feels that he or she cannot make an informed decision about a candidate’s eligibility for equivalency because of a lack of sufficient information in the original application (e.g., inadequate description of the content covered by a specific course) the application will be returned to HR with a request that the candidate supply specific additional information and the process will begin again at step 2.

6.       The Equivalency Committee will convene to consider the reviews within one week of when the last one is returned. If the reviewers are unanimous about a candidate’s qualifications for equivalency, then the Committee will forward the reviewers’ decision to the Academic Senate President and HR. If there is a difference of opinion among the reviewers about a candidate’s qualifications for equivalency the reviewers will be asked to meet with the Committee (in person or via phone) to explain their rationales. The Committee members will then vote on the candidate’s eligibility for equivalency and the secretary will forward the Committee’s decision to the Academic Senate president and HR at the end of the meeting. In all cases, a majority vote will be required to grant equivalency. A tied vote will deny equivalency.

References cited:

Russell, B.A., 2012, Minimum qualifications for faculty and administrators in California community colleges: http://extranet.cccco.edu/Portals/1/AA/MinQuals/MinimumQualificationsHandbook2012_2014.pdf.