Academic Leadership Toolkit

Credentialing of Instructors (Faculty Members, Adjuncts, Teaching Postdocs, and Staff Instructors)


Prior to appointment, department chairs or directors must certify that all instructors have the credentials required to teach at the appropriate level of instruction, per Policy 3A-2. Earned degree (usually doctorate or other degree considered terminal in the teaching discipline) is typically used to establish the qualifications of full-time faculty members, yet it is possible to request the hiring of adjuncts (and sometimes others) on the basis of professional experience or other credentials. Graduate TAs are certified through the Graduate Student Tracking System. Proficiency in spoken English is certified in the hiring process and any necessary remediation is documented in the annual evaluation addendum.


  • To ensure that all instructors are qualified to teach in all assigned courses in academic programs at FSU.
  • To have access to data that can provide independent verification of FSU’s instructor qualifications. These data are collected, stored, and used to report compliance through the Instructor Credentials System (ICS). 

Authority and Responsibility:

  • Department chairs and deans/directors are responsible for obtaining and verifying instructor credentials.
  • The VP for Faculty Development and Advancement (via the ICS) reviews and verifies all requests for alternative credentials.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Not obtaining transcripts early enough to verify degree in a timely manner, resulting in appointment delays.
  • Designating a similar degree as the highest in the field without sufficient evidence.
  • Not submitting transcripts from foreign institutions to the appropriate translation service (even if they are in English).