Standards for Non-Degree Programs


In addition to the general standards, which apply to all institutions, the following standards apply specifically to non-degree programs.


Teaching hours, assignments, and schedules will vary from field to field and from institution to institution but should in all cases allow time for adequate preparation and professional development. The institution shall devise a plan for the efficient use of faculty competence and time, including student-teacher ratios, number of teacher preparations, and number of teaching hours. Reasonableness may be defined by, but is not restricted to, the following expectations.

Teaching Load. An instructor’s teaching load, including night school, shall not exceed 32 clock hours per week, except that an overload of not more than one subject per term for additional compensation is permitted. Teaching loads may differ when using alternative methods of instruction and must be commensurate with the type of delivery method utilized. For purposes of this calculation, assigned courses offered by nontraditional or distance learning modes of instruction are deemed to consist of one clock hour per week for each unit of academic credit awarded.

Field Preparation. Assignments requiring more than three preparations in different fields (e.g., secretarial studies, business administration, data processing) shall not be given to an instructor during one academic term.

Subject Preparation. Not more than five preparations in different subjects within the same field (e.g., Accounting I, Accounting II, Keyboarding I, Business Mathematics, Business Law) shall be assigned to an instructor during one academic term.

Assignments. The requirements for full- and part-time faculty members teaching in the referenced subject areas are as follows:

  1. A bachelor’s degree and appropriate coursework in the assigned subject are required for faculty members teaching general education and other academic courses.
  2. A bachelor’s degree is required for faculty members teaching business and business administration courses.  If the bachelor’s degree is not in the assigned teaching field, at least two years of related work experience or evidence of specialized training or competency in the assigned teaching field is required. The burden is on the institution to demonstrate and justify the qualifications of the faculty to teach their assigned courses.
  3. Faculty members teaching courses not referenced above must demonstrate competency in the assigned teaching field, such as academic or vocational training and credentials, related work experience, licensure, or certification. The burden is on the institution to demonstrate and justify the qualifications of the faculty to teach their assigned courses.

Stability. There shall be an adequate core of full- and/or part-time faculty to ensure sound direction and continuity of development for the educational programs. The institution shall demonstrate through outcomes, length of service, reasonable retention of faculty, and other measures that the core faculty ensures that the institution will meet its stated mission and objectives. The institution shall promote stability in the faculty through compensation, fringe benefits, professional growth opportunities, and other incentives.

Student-Teacher Ratio. The student-teacher ratio shall be reasonable at all times in keeping with generally accepted delivery modes and course content. In determining a reasonable ratio, the institution shall consider the following factors:

  1. the amount of lecture given by instructors in skills-building and practice classes;
  2. the level of existing skills of the students;
  3. the amount of direct supervision exercised by the instructor and the availability of instructional equipment in a lab setting where there is primary instruction in a specific skill; and
  4. the use of technology in providing alternative instruction or evaluation.


The instructional resources, audiovisual teaching equipment, and instructional materials shall be adequate to serve the needs of the institution’s educational programs. The resources shall include current titles, periodicals, professional journals, or full-text online resources appropriate for the institution’s educational programs. There shall be evidence that appropriate instructional resources, equipment, technology, and materials are utilized to support the educational objectives.

References. The institution shall have available and easily accessible to faculty and students standard reference works appropriate to the curriculum. Major consideration will be given to the variety of volumes, periodicals, online resources and information technology readily available to students and faculty, recency of publications, appropriateness, and relevance to the programs.

Distribution of Resources and Materials. The instructional resources and references may be consolidated or may be distributed throughout the educational facility, or they may be provided by the institution under contract with an external organization on behalf of its student body which ensures access to library resources and references pertinent to the programs offered by the institution; including resources that are available exclusively online. Easy access to and use of reference materials, periodicals, and information technology are of prime importance in determining if the institution is meeting the educational needs of its students and faculty. Availability and utilization of audiovisual equipment also are important.

Inventory. A current inventory of instructional materials and equipment shall be maintained by the institution.

Budget. Budget allocations and expenditures for instructional resources, equipment, and materials shall be sufficient to meet the needs and fulfill objectives of the institution’s programs.