HLC Self Study
Chapter 3 Graphic

First Opportunity for Improvement

“Adjunct Faculty without a master’s degree should be encouraged to complete that degree.”

Estrella Mountain Community College follows the hiring policies and practices of the Maricopa County Community College District, which has established and published minimum requirements for the hiring of faculty and adjunct faculty to teach in academic areas. The academic teaching fields require the following from an accredited college or university:

  • Master’s degree in the teaching field, or
  • Master’s degree in any teaching field with 24 upper division and/or graduate semester hours in the teaching field, or
  • Master’s degree in any teaching field with 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching field
  • EDU 250 – Teaching and Learning in the Community College – or equivalent – must be completed within two years of date of hire

Adjunct faculty members working within the occupational areas are not required to have a master’s degree. This excludes nursing, which must adhere to national guidelines that require 50 percent of adjuncts teaching within the college program to have master’s degrees. The Maricopa County Community College District has established and published minimum requirements for occupational areas. The occupational teaching fields require the following from an accredited college or university:

  • Qualifications listed for Academic Teaching Fields, or
  • Bachelor’s degree plus three years work experience in field to be taught, or
  • Associate degree or 64 semester hours and five years work experience in the field to be taught, or five years work experience in the field to be taught
  • EDU 250 - Teaching and Learning in the Community College – or equivalent – must be completed within two years of date of hire

Even though a master’s degree is not required, most adjuncts hired at Estrella Mountain in the areas of Business, Administration of Justice and Education hold a master’s degree, and those who do not are encouraged to obtain one. For the spring 2011 semester, of the 310 adjunct faculty members teaching at Estrella Mountain Community College, 88 percent held a master’s degree or higher.