The faculty members at St. Cloud State University are highly qualified and work to model professional practices in teaching, scholarship, and service. All faculty members in the unit at the probationary or fixed-term non-probationary (FTNP) levels during the 2006-2007 academic year held either a master’s degree or terminal degree. A review of data indicates that 94.3 percent of our tenured or tenure-track faculty members have doctoral degrees in their professional field.
Faculty members without terminal degrees are determined as qualified for their positions based on specific criteria identified through the hiring process. Their performance is monitored through the performance evaluation system conducted at St. Cloud State University. In all cases listed in the professional degree data table (among FTNP and probationary faculty members) where a faculty member was hired without a terminal degree, one of the following three factors existed: (a) the person provided a service function along with teaching that justified a master’s level hire (N = 5); or (b) the individual was hired on an emergency or fixed-term basis due to a failed search; or (c) a personnel need was filled in the absence of permission to conduct a probationary search. Typically, in these instances, the master’s degree is listed as a minimal requirement. Faculty members without terminal degrees have exceptional expertise that is needed and valued by the unit.
Faculty members within the unit have held or continue to hold licensure in their professional field. In Minnesota, higher education faculty members are not required to maintain teaching licenses; however, the professional development process at SCSU ensures that individual faculty members stay current in their professional field. All faculty members in the unit who have clinical responsibilities either (a) retain licensure in the areas for which they supervise, or (b) had at least three years of teaching experience prior to their move to higher education. Faculty members teaching in our off-campus programs are typically our full-time faculty who are teaching off-campus as part of their teaching load. Adjunct faculty members have specialized knowledge and skills that support the specific needs of the programs. The hiring and evaluation of adjunct faculty members is conducted at the program level to ensure quality and accountability. Finally, school faculty members must be licensed in their professional field and meet specific criteria to host a field practicum candidate or teacher candidate in student teaching.
Unit faculty members are committed to ongoing professional experiences in school settings. A review of faculty vita provides an overview of the many ways in which faculty continue to be involved in schools including, but not limited to, supervision of candidates, presentations, consultation, research projects, learning communities, and advisory boards.
Summary: Unit faculty members have earned doctorates in their professional field or possess exceptional expertise that is needed within specific programs. Faculty members are involved in professional experiences in the schools and have made supervision of field and clinical experiences a priority. All school faculty members are licensed in their field of specialization and work in partnership with unit faculty to prepare future education professionals.