Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.5.4 Terminal Degrees of Faculty

At least 25 percent of the course hours in each major at the baccalaureate level are taught by faculty members holding an appropriate terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, or the equivalent of the terminal degree. (Terminal degrees of faculty)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Reinhardt University is committed to the principle that at least 25 percent of the course semester credit hours in each baccalaureate degree program are taught by faculty members holding an appropriate terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, or the equivalent of the terminal degree.

In 2016-17 all RU baccalaureate degree programs surpassed this threshold with one exception: the Online BBA, (Reinhardt’s newest academic program) where only 17% of the credit hours in the major were taught by faculty with a terminal degree or the equivalent of a terminal degree. Reinhardt’s McCamish School of Business addressed this issue at the start of the 2017-18 academic year. The course schedule for Fall 2017 indicates that 25% of the BBA sections are taught by faculty with a terminal degree. [4] In addition, the Dean has established an action plan to ensure that the 25% threshold is met for future academic terms. [5]

Definitions

In order to calculate the percentage of faculty with terminal or terminal equivalent (TTE) degrees, major required courses in each program are organized by course discipline. By and large, these are upper-division courses (numbered in the 300-499 range) that contribute to an undergraduate major. It should be noted, however, that several programs include lower-division, introductory courses.  In most disciplines, Reinhardt defines the terminal degree as a doctorate-level degree. In addition, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is considered a terminal degree in the following degree programs:

Table 3.5.4-1 Master-Level Considered Terminal Degrees at Reinhardt

Undergraduate Program Master-Level Terminal Degree
Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing, Creative Writing, or Screenwriting
Studio Art, Graphic Design, and Digital Media Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Theatre, Musical Theatre Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Theatre or Performing Arts

Professional licenses, certifications, work experience or other achievements may be used to demonstrate faculty competence in specific fields of study. Such exceptions are justified on an individual basis and approved by the school dean and the Provost using the Review of Faculty Qualifications Form as documented in CS 3.7.1.  Specific information about the degrees held by faculty teaching upper division courses can be found in the 2016-17 Reinhardt University Faculty Roster, which is also included as supporting documentation for CS 3.7.1.

Terminal Degrees at Main Campus

In the aggregate, across all courses and all major areas at the main campus, 78 percent of the major-required course credit hours in Fall 2016 were taught by faculty who have terminal or terminal equivalent (TTE) degrees. The percentage of TTE prepared faculty ranged across course disciplines from 53% for Communication and Media Studies to 100% in 13 discipline-specific areas.  See 2016-17 Percentage of Credit Hours in Major Required Courses Taught at Main Campus by Terminally Qualified Faculty. [1] One should note that the World Languages and Cultures major includes both French and Spanish courses.  Therefore, the percentage of credit hours taught in that major by TTE faculty in that major was 50%.

Similarly, in Spring 2017, the disaggregation by program indicates that across the main campus 74% of credit hours in major required courses were taught by TTE faculty. The percentage of courses taught by TTE varied from 46% in Business Administration to 100% in 11 disciplines.

Terminal Degrees at Off Campus Locations

Reinhardt offers only one baccalaureate degree at off-campus locations: The Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Management and Leadership (OML). The distribution of credit hours by location indicates that 64 credit hours were taught at three off- campus sites for the OML program in Fall 2016 with 44% of the faculty classified as TTE prepared. All sites exceeded the 25% threshold for TTE prepared faculty. See 2016-17 Percentage of Credit Hours for Major Required Courses Taught Off Campus by Terminally Qualified Faculty. [2]

Disaggregation of courses by location indicates that 24 major-required credit hours were taught at one off-campus site in Spring 2017 with 50% of the faculty classified as TTE prepared. See 2016-17 Percentage of Credit Hours for Major Required Courses Taught Off Campus by Terminally Qualified Faculty. [2]

Terminal Degrees for Distance Education Programs

The Fall 2016 disaggregation by online program indicates that across all distance learning programs 43% of credit hours in major required courses were taught by TTE faculty.  The distribution was as follows: 22% for BBA, 42% for CRJ, and 58% for HCA. See 2016-17 Percentage of Online Program Credit Hours for Major Required Courses Taught by Terminally Prepared Faculty. [3]

In Spring 2017, the disaggregation by distance education program indicates that across the three online programs 29% of major-required courses were taught by TTE faculty. The percentage of courses taught by TTE varied from 14% for BBA to 50% for HCA. See 2016-17 Percentage of Online Program Credits Hours for Major Required Courses Taught by Terminally Prepared Faculty. [3]

Conclusion

The supporting documentation indicates that in 2016-17 all RU baccalaureate degree programs surpassed the 25% threshold for major credit hours taught be terminally qualified faculty with one exception: the Online BBA, where 17% of the credit hours in the major were taught by faculty with a terminal degree or the equivalent of a terminal degree.  Reinhardt has addressed this issue during the Fall 2017 term, ensuring that 25% of faculty teaching BBA courses have earned doctorates in the teaching discipline [4].  Reinhardt academic leadership has established an action plan to ensure the 25% threshold is met for future academic terms. [5]

 

Supporting Documents

[1] 2016-17 Percentage of Credit Hours for Major Required Courses Taught at the Main Campus by Terminally Qualified Faculty

[2] 2016-17 Percentage of Credit Hours for Major Required Courses Taught Off Campus by Terminally Prepared Faculty

[3] 2016-17 Percentage of Online Program Credits Hours for Major Required Courses Taught by Terminally Prepared Faculty

[4] Fall 2017 Courses Taught in the Online BBA Program  

[5] BBA Action Plan to Meet the 25% Threshold