Iowa Admin. Code r. 281-24.5 - Accreditation components and criteria-additional state standards
Current through Register Vol. 44, No. 12, December 15, 2021
To be granted accreditation by the state board of education,
an Iowa community college shall also meet additional standards pertaining to
minimum or quality assurance standards for faculty (Iowa Code section
For the transition period ending September 1, 2017, an instructor deemed qualified to teach with a master's degree and 12 graduate semester hours within a field of instruction and who demonstrates adequate progress toward meeting the goals of the instructor's individual quality faculty plan shall remain qualified to teach until the date specified in the quality faculty plan or September 1, 2017, whichever comes first.
The following state regulations pages link to this page.
State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.
281—24.5 (260C) Accreditation components and criteria—additional state standards. To be granted accreditation by the state board of education, an Iowa community college shall also meet additional standards pertaining to minimum or quality assurance standards for faculty (Iowa Code section 260C.48(1)); faculty load (Iowa Code section 260C.48(2)); special needs and protected classes (Iowa Code section 260C.48(3)); career and technical education program evaluation (Iowa Code section 258.4(7)); facilities, parking lots and roads; strategic planning; quality faculty plan (Iowa Code section 260C.36); and senior year plus programs (Iowa Code chapter 261E).
a. Community college-employed instructors who teach college credit courses shall meet minimum standards and institutional quality faculty plan requirements. Standards shall at a minimum require that all community college instructors meet the following requirements:
(1) Instructors teaching courses in the area of career and technical education shall be registered, certified, or licensed in the occupational area in which the state requires registration, certification, or licensure and shall meet either of the following qualifications:
1. Possess a baccalaureate degree or higher in the field of instruction in which the instructor is teaching classes.
2. Possess a combination of education, training, and at least 6,000 hours of relevant tested experience in the field of instruction in which the instructor teaches classes. If the instructor is a licensed practitioner who holds a career and technical endorsement under Iowa Code chapter 272, relevant work experience in the occupational area includes, but is not limited to, classroom instruction in a career and technical education subject area offered by a school district or accredited nonpublic school.
(2) Instructors in the area of arts and sciences shall meet one of the following qualifications:
1. Possess a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited graduate school in each field of instruction in which the instructor is teaching classes.
2. Possess a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited graduate school and have completed a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in a combination of the qualifying graduate fields identified as related to the field of instruction in which the instructor is teaching classes. These 18 graduate semester hours must include at least 6 credits in the specific course content being taught, with at least 12 credits required for courses that serve as prerequisites for junior-level courses at transfer institutions.
For the transition period ending September 1, 2017, an instructor deemed qualified to teach with a master’s degree and 12 graduate semester hours within a field of instruction and who demonstrates adequate progress toward meeting the goals of the instructor’s individual quality faculty plan shall remain qualified to teach until the date specified in the quality faculty plan or September 1, 2017, whichever comes first.
3. For courses identified as applied liberal arts and sciences, possess at least a bachelor’s degree and a combination of formal training and professional tested experience equivalent to 6,000 hours. The instructor shall hold the appropriate registration, certification, or licensure in occupational areas in which such credential is necessary for practice.
b. Developmental education and noncredit instructors are not subject to standards under this subrule. Adult education instructors shall meet minimum standards set forth in rule 281—23.6(260C).
c. A faculty standards council shall be convened by the department to review procedures for establishing and reviewing minimum instructor qualifications and definitions for “field of instruction,” “applied liberal arts and sciences courses,” “qualifying graduate field or major,” and “relevant tested experience.” Definitions shall be based on accepted practices of regionally accredited two- and four-year institutions of higher education.
(1) The council shall include faculty and academic administrators and meet at least annually. The council shall make recommendations to a committee consisting of the chief academic officers of Iowa’s 15 community colleges. The committee shall adopt definitions and minimum faculty qualification standards to be utilized for the state accreditation process. Each community college shall adhere to the adopted definitions and minimum faculty qualification standards.
(2) When utilizing relevant tested experience to qualify an instructor to teach classes within a specific field of instruction, each community college shall maintain well-defined policies, procedures, and documentation in alignment with the adopted definitions and minimum faculty qualification standards. This documentation shall demonstrate that the instructor possesses the experience and expertise necessary to teach in the specified field of instruction and is current in the instructor’s discipline. When tested experience is assessed, an hour of relevant work is equal to 60 minutes and one full-time year of relevant work is equal to 2,000 hours.
24.5(2) Faculty load.
a. Arts and sciences. The full-time teaching load of an instructor in arts and sciences courses shall be 15 credit hours within a traditional semester or the equivalent and shall not exceed a maximum of 16 credit hours within a traditional semester or the equivalent. An instructor may also have an additional teaching assignment beyond the maximum academic workload, provided the instructor and the community college administration mutually consent to this additional assignment and the total workload does not exceed the equivalent of 22 credit hours within a traditional semester or the equivalent.
b. Career and technical education. The full-time teaching load of an instructor in career and technical education programs shall not exceed an aggregate of 30 hours per week or the equivalent. An instructor may also teach the equivalent of an additional 3 credit hours, provided the instructor consents to this additional assignment. When the teaching assignment includes classroom subjects (nonlaboratory), consideration shall be given to establishing the teaching load more in conformity with that of paragraph 24.5(2)“a.”
24.5(3) Special needs and protected classes. Community colleges shall provide equal access to the full range of program offerings and services including, but not limited to, recruitment, enrollment, and placement activities for students with special education needs or protected by state or federal civil rights regulations. Students with disabilities shall be given access to the full range of program offerings at a college through reasonable accommodations.
24.5(4) Career and technical education evaluation. The director of the department shall ensure that Iowa’s community colleges annually review at least 20 percent of approved career and technical education programs. The community college career and technical program review and evaluation system must ensure that the programs:
a. Are compatible with educational reform efforts.
b. Are capable of responding to technological change and innovation.
c. Meet educational needs of the students and employment community, including students with special education needs or protected by state or federal civil rights regulations.
d. Enable students enrolled to perform the minimum competencies independently.
e. Are articulated/integrated with the total school curriculum.
f. Enable students with a secondary career and technical background to pursue other educational interests in a postsecondary setting, if desired.
g. Provide students with support services and eliminate access barriers to education and employment for students with special education needs or protected by state or federal civil rights regulations.
24.5(5) Facilities, parking lots and roads.
a. Facilities master planning. Each community college shall present evidence of adequate planning, including a board-approved facilities plan. Planning includes tentative program approval, a master campus plan, written educational specifications, site plot showing location of proposed and existing facilities, elevations and floor plans.
b. Accessibility and safety. All new or remodeled facilities (buildings and programs offered in such facilities) and services in such facilities shall be made functional and usable for persons with special needs and shall comply with Iowa Code chapter 104A and the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, and address issues of campus safety and security as required by Iowa Code chapter 260C and by the federal Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f). All parking areas and roads shall comply with all state and federal rules and regulations dealing with roads, parking ramps, and accessibility requirements.
c. Adequate facilities. All administrative facilities, classrooms, laboratories, and related facilities shall be educationally adequate for the purpose for which they are designed.
d. Library or learning resource center. A library or learning resource center shall be planned as part of the master campus plan and space made for library or learning resource center services within the initial construction. The library or learning resource center shall be adequately staffed with qualified professionals and skilled nonprofessional personnel. The library or learning resource center materials collection of a community college shall be accessible and adequate in size and scope to serve effectively the number and variety of programs offered and the number of students enrolled, including students enrolled at distance and satellite sites. The library or learning resource center materials shall show evidence of having been selected by faculty as well as professional library or learning resource staff and shall be kept up-to-date. The budget of the library or learning resource center shall be appropriate for the programs and services offered by the community college.
e. Student center. An area of the college shall be provided where students may gather informally and where food is available.
24.5(6) Strategic planning. The community college shall prepare a strategic plan at least once every five years to guide the college and its decision making.
24.5(7) Quality faculty plan. The community college shall establish a quality faculty committee consisting of instructors and administrators to develop and maintain a plan for hiring and developing quality faculty. The committee shall have equal representatives of arts and sciences and career and technical faculty with no more than a simple majority of members of the same gender. Faculty shall be appointed by the certified employee organization representing faculty, if any, and administrators shall be appointed by the college’s administration. If no faculty-certified employee organization representing faculty exists, the faculty shall be appointed by administration pursuant to Iowa Code section 260C.48(4). The committee shall submit the plan to the board of directors for consideration, approval and submittal to the department of education.
a. For purposes of this subrule, the following definitions shall apply.
(1) “Counselor” means those who are classified as counselors as defined in the college’s collective bargaining agreement or written policy.
(2) “Media specialist” means those who are classified as media specialists as defined in the college’s collective bargaining agreement or written policy.
b. The institutional quality faculty plan is applicable to all community college-employed faculty teaching college credit courses, counselors, and media specialists. The plan requirements may be differentiated for each type of employee. The plan shall include, at a minimum, each of the following components:
(1) Plan maintenance. The quality faculty committee shall submit proposed plan modifications to the board of directors for consideration and approval. It is recommended that the plan be updated at least annually.
(2) A determination of the faculty and staff to be included in the plan including, but not limited to, all instructors teaching college credit courses, counselors, and media specialists.
(3) Orientation for new faculty. It is recommended that new faculty orientation be initiated within six months from the hiring date. It is recommended that the orientation of new faculty be flexible to meet current and future needs and provide options other than structured college courses for faculty to improve teaching strategies, curriculum development and evaluation strategies. It is recommended that the college consider developing a faculty mentoring program.
(4) Continuing professional development for faculty. It is recommended that the plan clearly specify required components including time frame for continuing professional development for faculty. It is recommended that the plan include the number of hours, courses, workshops, professional and academic conferences or other experiences such as industry internships, cooperatives and exchange programs that faculty may use for continuing professional development. It is recommended that the plan include prescribed and elective topics such as discipline-specific content and educational trends and research. Examples of topics that may be considered include dealing with the complexities of learners, skills in teaching adults, curriculum development, assessment, evaluation, enhancing students’ retention and success, reaching nontraditional and minority students, improving skills in implementing technology and applied learning, leadership development, and issues unique to a particular college. The institutional quality faculty plan shall include professional development components for all instructional staff, counselors, and media specialists and may include reciprocity features that facilitate movement from one college to another.
(5) Procedures for accurate record keeping and documentation for plan monitoring. It is recommended that the plan identify the college officials or administrators responsible for the administration, record keeping and ongoing evaluation and monitoring of the plan. It is recommended the plan monitoring, evidence collected, and records maintained showing implementation of the plan be comprehensive in scope. It is recommended that the plan provide for the documentation that each faculty member appropriately possesses, attains or progresses toward attaining minimum competencies.
(6) Consortium arrangements where appropriate, cost-effective and mutually beneficial. It is recommended that the plan provide an outline of existing and potential consortium arrangements including a description of the benefits, cost-effectiveness, and method of evaluating consortium services.
(7) Specific activities that ensure that faculty attain and demonstrate instructional competencies and knowledge in their subject or technical areas. It is recommended that the plan identify faculty minimum competencies and explain the method or methods of determining and assessing competencies. It is recommended that the plan contain procedures for reporting faculty progress. It is recommended that faculty be notified at least once a year of their progress in attaining competencies.
(8) Procedures for collection and maintenance of records demonstrating that each faculty member has attained or documented progress toward attaining minimum competencies. It is recommended that the plan specify data collection procedures that demonstrate how each full-time faculty member has attained or has documented progress toward attaining minimum competencies. It is recommended that the plan incorporate the current department of education management information system data submission requirements by which each college submits complete human resources data files electronically as a part of the college’s year-end reporting.
(9) Compliance with the faculty accreditation standards of the Higher Learning Commission and with faculty standards required under specific programs offered by the community college that are accredited by other accrediting agencies. It is recommended that the plan provide for the uniform reports with substantiating data currently required for Higher Learning Commission accreditation.
c. The department of education shall notify the community college when the department requires that a modified quality faculty plan be submitted. The department shall review the plan during the state accreditation evaluations to ensure each community college’s compliance and progress in implementing a quality faculty plan as approved by the local board of directors. The department shall review the following:
(1) Documents submitted by the college that demonstrate that the plan includes each component required by paragraph “b” of this subrule.
(2) Documentation submitted by the college that the board of directors approved the plan.
(3) Documentation submitted by the college that the college is implementing the approved plan, including, but not limited to, evidence of plan monitoring, evaluation and updating; evidence that the faculty has attained, or is progressing toward attaining, minimum competencies and standards contained in Iowa Code section 260C.48; evidence that faculty members have been notified of their progress toward attaining minimum competencies and standards; and evidence that the college meets the minimum accreditation requirements for faculty required by the Higher Learning Commission.
(4) Documentation that the college administration encourages the continued development of faculty potential as defined in Iowa Code Supplement section 260C.36 as amended by 2008 Iowa Acts, House File 2679.
(5) Documentation of the human resources report submitted by the college through the department’s community college management information system.
24.5(8) Senior year plus. The community college shall provide access to joint enrollment opportunities for high school age students. Each college shall comply with the appropriate standards defined in Iowa Code chapter 261E.
[ARC 8644B, IAB 4/7/10, effective 5/12/10; ARC 0015C, IAB 2/22/12, effective 3/28/12; ARC 2945C, IAB 2/15/17, effective 3/22/17]