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Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

Faculty Qualifications Exception

Policy 1.7
Approved by: President
Responsible Officer: Provost and vice president for academic affairs
Responsible Office: academic affairs
Originally Issued: 09/08/2017
Last Revision: 02/27/2023
Category: Academics
Related Policy
SDBOR Policy 2.4.5 Externally Funded Courses for Academic Credit
SDBOR Policy 4.4.6 Rank and Promotion


This policy supplements South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 2:13 and Policy 4:11. In any case where the two policy sources conflict, the Board of Regents policy will be upheld.


  1. Tested Experience. The Higher Learning Commission defines tested experience as the experience the institution determines is equivalent to the degree it would otherwise require for a faculty position. Tested experience qualifications should be established for specific disciplines and programs and could include skill sets, types of certifications or additional credentials, and experiences.


  1. The Higher Learning Commission requires that all university faculty, regardless of title or rank, possess academic credentials one degree higher than the students they teach or tested experience within the discipline. Dakota State University recognizes that experience and accolades from industry can equate to proper preparation in order to be able to teach effectively. The intention of this policy is to allow uniquely qualified faculty members with demonstrated tested experience to teach at Dakota State University. Tested experience should be equivalent to the degree that would otherwise be required for a faculty position. Dakota State University defines tested experience by the following criteria:
    1. Possession of an academic credential in the discipline and content area at least equivalent to the degree level of the program being taught, and
    2. Significant employment experience within the discipline and content area (typically 5+ years), and
    3. A distinguished record of achievement as a practitioner within the discipline and content area, and
    4. At least one, and preferably more than one of the following:
      1. Possession of a nationally recognized professional license or credential within the discipline, or
      2. Evidence of specialized training in the discipline and content area, or
      3. Evidence of major contributions to the discipline and content area (i.e., research, grants, presentations, inventions, training, mentorship), or
      4. Evidence of peer-reviewed accomplishment in the discipline and content area (i.e., publications in peer-reviewed journals, awards given by peers)
  1. The determination of sufficient tested experience will be made by the respective dean of the college, and approved by the Provost using the procedures set out in this policy.


  1. Upon receipt of an application for teaching any academic course that results in academic credit at DSU, the college dean and search committee, if applicable, will review it for both academic qualifications and tested experience. The dean may recommend to the provost that the applicant be screened as a potential hire for instruction in that particular college. If the applicant does not possess the needed academic qualifications per Board Policy 2:13, the provost can approve an exception to teach based on the university’s tested experience criteria. The dean will file a petition for an exception directly to the provost.
  1. In the petition, the dean should include the rationale for why the applicant ought to be granted the exception. This should include how the candidate meets the required criteria for tested experience noted in the Statement of Policy.

    The provost will have one week to review and deny or approve the petition.



REVISED: 02/27/2023