HAPS has a long history of advocating for our members whose credentials have been questioned by accreditation committees. This started in 2005 under the leadership of then-president Ric Martini and continued with a 2013 HAPS Position Paper on Faculty Credentialing that included guidelines for documenting non-academic experiences that qualify an instructor to teach A&P. Many of the problems that prompted these position papers were related to the 2012 Principles of Accreditation published by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) that directed institutions credentialing their faculty to give "primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline.” Because few people hold a graduate degree in combined anatomy and physiology or 18 graduate credit hours in A&P, many highly qualified instructors were laid off or sent back to graduate school.
Recently we learned that SACS has once again revised its descriptions of what makes an instructor qualified. The graduate degree is important but no longer the primary consideration. The Faculty Roster that institutions must complete for SACS accreditation has one column for graduate degrees and coursework, but now has a second column for “other qualifications and comments” where faculty members can document non-coursework training and experiences that make them qualified to teach A&P. The instructions also mention including evidence of teaching effectiveness in the documentation.
In response to these changes, the HAPS Board of Directors has now approved a revision of the 2013 Position paper and its appendices that removes any mention of credit or credit hours. The many ways that instructors can become qualified to teach A&P have not changed. The revised position statement can be found here, along with the three appendices that you can use to document your own qualifications.
The recognition that non-academic training and experiences contribute to obtaining expertise in A&P is an important one that should benefit many HAPS members. We welcome your feedback.