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8-5-3 English Fluency Requirements for Faculty Employment


NUMBER:  8-5-3          APPROVED DATE:  03-02-1998


PURPOSE: To comply with the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education (SBTCE) Policy 8-2-109 and Procedure 8-2-109.1 and the English Fluency in Higher Education Act of 1991. The purpose of this procedure is to define methods to ensure that all faculty assigned to full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and adjunct faculty whose first language is other than English and who teach one or more credit courses, possess adequate proficiency in both the written and spoken English language and that an appropriate response be given to student complaints regarding an instructor's English fluency.

EXCLUSIONS: This procedure does not apply to the following instructional settings: continuing education courses; student participatory and activity courses such as clinics, studio, and seminars; special arrangement courses, such as individualized instruction and independent study courses; courses designed to be taught predominantly in a foreign language; and courses taught by visiting faculty.


1. Applicants for FTE and adjunct faculty vacancies will proceed through the College's normal screening process with assessment based on standard job-related criteria to include perceived written and oral communication abilities.

2. If an applicant becomes a finalist for a faculty position but his/her written or oral English proficiency is judged by the Dean to require further evaluation, the applicant will be referred to an English Fluency Evaluation Committee, hereafter referred to as the Committee. The Committee will ensure that an English fluency evaluation is made on the basis of the following criteria. The Committee will evaluate the applicant through the performance of the following minimum proficiency exercises. 

   A. Writing an analysis of at least 350 words in English of a scholarly paper written in English and related to the subject area.

   B. Conducting an oral instructional presentation for a time period equivalent to a class period and related to the subject area. At least half of the presentation should use the lecture method.

3. The Committee will use the appropriate procedures to provide a favorable environment for the exercises, as well as controls and security to ensure that the exercises completed by the applicants are independent and original work. Candidates must be judged by Committee consensus as proficient in both exercises described in A and B above. The Committee will include representatives from the following: 

  • one representative from the Vice President for Academic Affairs Office;
  • one representative from Developmental Studies Reading;
  • one representative from Curriculum English;
  • Human Resources Director; and
  • representatives of appropriate race and gender groups.

4. Grievances under this procedure against a faculty member are to be filed with the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. When a student files a grievance regarding the English fluency of an instructor, the instructor will be referred within ten (10) working days to the English Fluency Evaluation Committee for a proficiency evaluation using procedures and methods described in A and B above.

5. An instructor who is judged proficient by the Committee will continue teaching assignments without any further action.

6. An instructor assigned to a FTE position who is judged deficient by the Committee will be given one semester to develop sufficient skill to be judged proficient by the Evaluation Committee. If during the semester, the instructor has not shown evidence of satisfactory progress in overcoming the deficiency, disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including termination. The process of notification of need for correction of the deficiency as well as the maximum time allowed for correction are defined specifically in SBTCE Policy 8-4-101 "Faculty Performance Management System" and Procedure 8-4-101.1, "Faculty Performance Management System (FPMS)."

7. TTC may immediately terminate any adjunct instructor judged deficient by the Committee. 

8. The College's Human Resources Director will report upon request to SBTCE a recap of grievances filed by students under the provisions of this policy and any invocation of the fluency proficiency guidelines herein.

Updated: 02-26-2010

Updated: 08-26-2015