The Meaning of Equivalency

Equivalency means equal to the state-adopted minimum qualifications for a particular discipline. In some cases, this means equal to a Master's degree in a discipline. In disciplines for which a Master's degree is not generally available or expected, it means equal to either a degree, or a combination of degree and experience.

Equivalency may come into three distinct ways: by coursework, by work experience, or by eminence in the field. Equivalency may never mean fewer qualifications then the published minimum qualifications.

One benefit of the equivalency process is that the hiring remains less bureaucratic, less rigid. Applicants who can provide conclusive evidence that they have education or experience at least equal to what is required by the minimum standards deserve careful consideration, even if their degrees have different titles from those recognized in the "Disciplines List" or if they acquired their qualifications by route other than a conventional one. If the equivalency process were not used at all, some fully qualified candidates would not receive consideration.

On the other hand, the authority to determine equal qualifications does not give a district the authority to waive or lower standards and except less qualified individuals. The fact that a particular candidate is the best a college can find does not change the requirement that he or she process qualifications at least equal to the published minimum qualifications.

An applicant who is granted equivalency and subsequently hired maintains that status for his entire career in the district which granted that equivalency. However, when a faculty member applies for position in another district, she or he may need to go through equivalency processes in those other districts because equivalency is not transferable from district to district.

As established by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges