Does ‘faculty’ include external clinical supervisors?
No, unless these individuals are employees of the university. “Faculty” includes tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty members, lecturers, clinical supervisors, and all other instructional staff members who are employees of the program.
Thus, faculty does not apply to off-site clinical supervisors, preceptors, internship mentors, or similar personnel who do not hold employment contracts with the institution of higher education.
Faculty Qualifications (Standard 2.1)
What credentials must an instructor have to teach a course? Can you clarify the requirement that doctoral faculty must teach academic content?
Academic content is to be taught by doctoral-level faculty except where there is a compelling rationale for instruction by an individual with other professional qualifications that satisfy institutional policy. Programs have the discretion to assign faculty based on credentials and institutional/college expectations. The intent is that all educators, both academic and clinical, are vetted by the program as qualified and competent to fulfill their assignments and responsibilities. When making assignments for academic courses, programs should consider an individual’s areas of expertise, degrees, research or practice background, and other variables relevant to the program and institution to ensure appropriate assignments are made that ensures compliance with university expectations. The CAA expects that the skill set (education, experience, credentials, etc.) of the instructor should be evident and match course content.
Does “doctoral” mean PhD? How about AuD?
The CAA considers “doctoral” to include any earned doctorate for which the degree has been conferred (e.g., PhD, AuD, ScD); thus an ABD would not be considered as doctoral faculty. Individuals with clinical or research degrees should have responsibilities in the program consistent with the type of degree they hold and be consistent with the expectations of the institution for clinical graduate programs.
The CAA expects that the complement of full-time doctoral faculty include individuals who are research-qualified—so having a faculty of all clinical doctorates would not meet the CAA’s faculty standards.
Does doctoral level faculty apply only to graduate level teaching?
As the CAA only reviews and accredits graduate programs, this standard can be applied only to the graduate curriculum and faculty.
Do site visitors need to verify supervisors’ status by seeing ASHA certification cards along with their license information?
No. Prior to 2008, the CAA requested programs to identify the clinical supervisors used and their CCC status; however this is no longer the practice. CAA is interested in the process of how the program verifies credentials and when. The program should be able to describe the process used to verify all necessary credentials (e.g., ASHA certification, state license, state teacher certification, etc.) of clinical supervisors who supervise its students. The CAA does not require programs to submit evidence of ASHA certification of their supervisors, so site visitors will not review or request materials to verify CCC status of clinical supervisors.
Could you clarify the distinction between the CAA standards and the CFCC standards related to verifying the CCC status of clinical supervisors?
The CAA is interested in the process employed by the program to verify supervisor credentials and how appropriately supervised clinical hours are tracked to support students’ opportunity to pursue ASHA CCC, state licensure, and other credentials.
The CFCC’s Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence define the qualifications for individuals who provide clinical supervision to students for the purposes of ASHA certification. Hours supervised by those meeting CFCC’s standards may be counted toward a student’s Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) application.
Faculty Sufficiency (Standard 2.2)
Is the faculty to student ratio a factor in determining compliance under the current accreditation standards?
The CAA has not mandated a minimum faculty to student ratio since 1996. However, the issue of having sufficient faculty to meet the teaching, research, and service expectations is still a critical component to ensure quality within the program. It’s important to note that faculty size alone does not always correlate to the quality of the students and graduates of the program. CAA acknowledges that faculty expectations vary among universities and considers indicators that may suggest whether the mission and goals are being met by students and the program. Critical factors that the CAA considers in determining compliance with this standard regarding sufficiency of full-time and other faculty, include:
- Do faculty members have time to meet their program and institutional commitments?
- Are classes being taught primarily by full-time doctoral faculty in their area of expertise?
- Are classes offered regularly?
- Are faculty teaching overloads?
- Are students graduating on time?
- Are graduate students accruing the needed clinical hours?
- Do faculty members achieve tenure or secure promotions?
- Do students have access to faculty?
Are there specific degrees that constitute “research-qualified” doctoral-level faculty?
The CAA expects that there are research-qualified doctoral-level faculty with full-time appointments on the graduate program faculty. Research-qualified faculty are individuals who hold an earned PhD or EdD to meet the intent of this standard.
*Note: As one of the most frequently cited standards for partial or non-compliance, programs should document their processes used to determine that faculty is sufficient to meet the teaching, research, and service expectations of the program and institution. If there are open faculty lines, the program should document support from the administration to fill needed positions—initiate searches, interview, and hire faculty—within a reasonable time frame.