UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 02-02-16

CATEGORY:              ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

SECTION:                  Faculty Appointment and Tenure

SUBJECT:                 Certification of English Language Fluency for Teaching

EFFECTIVE DATE:   March 29, 1991

PAGE(S):                   2

I.    SCOPE

      This policy establishes the responsibility of the University of Pittsburgh to determine that

      all individuals who teach possess adequate English language fluency for effective

      communication with students.  This policy applies to all full-time, part-time, and visiting

      faculty, including teaching assistants and teaching fellows (TA/TFs), instructional staff, and

      other academic employees who teach at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

      In compliance with the English Fluency in Higher Education Act, the University is responsible

      for certifying to the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that

      certain specified individuals who teach and who were hired subsequent to September 7,

      1990 are fluent in the English language.

II.   POLICY

      Each academic center or department is responsible for evaluating their instructional faculty

      and staff for English language fluency and certifying that those individuals will be permitted

      to teach only after demonstrating sufficient fluency in English to be understood in the

      classroom.

      Full-time, part-time and visiting faculty, instructional staff, and other academic employees

      who are non-native speakers of English must be evaluated by two personal interviews, one

      conducted by the academic dean or the department chairman and the other by a senior

      member of the faculty.  Each academic center or department may determine individual

      guidelines for conducting such interviews or whether further assessment by professional

      presentations is necessary in making the determination.

      Teaching assistants and teaching fellows who are non-native speakers of English must be

      evaluated through a test designed to assess spoken English, approved by the Office of the

      Provost and administered by the English Language Institute (ELI).  The Office of the

      Provost in consultation with ELI will establish minimum scores acceptable to permit a TA/TF

      to teach.  Individual academic centers or departments may require higher scores than the

      established University minimums.  All TA/TFs realizing unsatisfactory scores will be provided

      with remediation in the form of tutoring or a class.  An unsatisfactory score at the time of

      reappointment is sufficient cause for nonrenewal.

      Certification that a faculty member, TA/TF, instructional staff, or other academic employee

      is sufficiently fluent in English to teach, or that teaching will be limited to courses in which

      the primary language of instruction is not English, must be made at the time of hire, before

      the individual teaches a class, by either the academic dean, department chairman, or

      designee.  If the English language fluency of an individual has been assessed as

      insufficient or if assessment has not occurred, the academic dean, department chairman,

      or designee must certify that the individual will not teach.  See Procedure 02-02-16,

      Certification of English Language Fluency for Teaching.

      Annually, by September 1 of each year, the University of Pittsburgh will file a statement

      of certification with the Department of Education indicating that all individuals who teach

      and who were hired since the effective date of the English Fluency in Higher Education

      Act, or hired subsequent to the last annual certification, are fluent in the English language.

      Exempt from certification to the Commonwealth are individuals who teach graduate

      courses; courses in which the primary language of instruction is not English; student

      participatory and activity courses such as clinics, studios, seminars, and laboratories;

      special arrangement courses such as individualized instruction and independent study

      courses; and continuing education courses.

III.  REFERENCE

      Procedure 02-02-16, Certification of English Language Fluency for Teaching