The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a process for promotion to recognize the cumulative accomplishments and contributions of full-time, fixed-term, or standing non-tenure-line faculty who are in the second rank (Assistant Teaching Professor for faculty without a terminal degree or Associate Teaching Professor for faculty with terminal degree). This promotion is based on consistently demonstrated outstanding performance during the period beyond the second rank related to the individual’s teaching and related activities, efforts to remain current in one’s discipline, and service to the College, University, and the profession.
These Altoona College guidelines cover full-time, fixed-term, or standing non-tenure-line faculty, who are in the second rank and are subject to the review and evaluation procedures of the Altoona College.
Criteria for Promotion
There is no fixed time period for promotion to the third rank. Reviews for promotions should be conducted solely with regard to the merit of the candidate.
A candidate for promotion to the third rank (Associate Teaching Professor for faculty without a terminal degree or Teaching Professor for faculty with terminal degree) is expected to demonstrate continued effectiveness as a teacher while in the second rank; and must show evidence of professional growth, scholarship, and/or mastery of subject matter at a level of distinction beyond the level presented at the time of promotion to the second rank. More specifically, the candidate must meet the criteria described below in the areas of teaching, efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught, and service. Based on a 4-point scale
(4 = excellent; 3 = very good; 2 = satisfactory; and 1 = unsatisfactory), the faculty member is expected to demonstrate level-4 performance in teaching and at least level-3 performance in both of the remaining categories.
Elaboration of the Three Basic Criteria for Promotion
- Teaching. Evidence of continued effectiveness and excellence in this area should include but is not limited to SRTEs, written student evaluations, peer evaluation, student interviews, letters from former students, and advising evaluations as applicable. The distinction in teaching necessary to attain the third rank may also be supported through documentation indicating exceptional performance in the supervision of internships, supervision of clinical experience, supervision of undergraduate research and creative activity, contributions to the development of curriculum as well as development and implementation of new courses, study abroad and study away courses, and making significant pedagogical improvements through unique collaborations, interdisciplinary course projects, multi-semester or linked courses, and/or program assessment activities. Distinction may also be characterized by contributions to the pedagogical improvements of other faculty members (especially junior faculty), providing mentoring or training new faculty advisors, creating programming aimed at tracking, evaluating, or improving academic advising at Penn State Altoona, efforts aimed at student retention, or developing other unique programs associated with student engagement
- Efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught. Evidence of high-quality performance in this area required for promotion may include, but is not limited to, significant continuing education, new or unique creative accomplishments, professional publications in one’s discipline, participation in professional meetings and symposia, garnering individual research and/or institutional grant proposals, or participating collaboratively in the research or grant writing process with students, campus faculty members, or faculty members from another institution within or outside of Penn State. Also supporting high-quality performance are relevant outreach activities that utilize the candidate’s professional expertise, and evidence of leadership roles in community, regional, state, or national organizations.
- Service to the College, University, public, and the profession. Evidence of high-quality performance in service shall reflect division-wide, College-wide, and/or University-wide reputation for meaningful activity aimed at improving the overall academic or professional experience of students, faculty colleagues, and/or staff. These activities may include, but are not limited to, leadership or significant active participation in service on division, college, and/or university committees, professional service to the local community, organizing workshops or programs for the College and the local community, administrative support work, and service to student groups.
Promotion Review Procedures
Faculty who have completed the requisite years of service and are interested in being considered for promotion should meet with their respective Division Head during the spring semester to discuss their potential candidacy. If there is a consensus that the faculty member is ready to move forward with a case for promotion, the faculty would then work with the corresponding Division Head to prepare a dossier documenting the candidate’s credentials and evaluative evidence with respect to teaching; efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught; and service to the College, University, public, and the profession. The Division Head has the responsibility for preparing the dossier in consultation with the candidate. The dossier will be submitted to the Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee at the start of the fall semester promotion cycle.
If there is a disagreement between the faculty and the Division Head about the presented case for promotion, the faculty member may solicit a letter from a fixed-term faculty member of higher rank, or from a tenured Associate Professor, or Professor in the same discipline to support the promotion request. If a member of the discipline is not available, a faculty member from the same division should be sought. This letter, together with other supporting documentation, should be submitted to the chair of the corresponding Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee. The committee will then review the supporting materials and write an independent recommendation letter by the end of the spring semester. If the faculty member is not recommended for nomination at that time, formative feedback will be provided in writing from the Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee. If the recommendation is to move forward with a case for promotion, the faculty would then prepare a dossier for submission to the Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee at the start of the fall semester promotion cycle.
Preparation of the dossier
For all faculty members seeking promotion to Associate Teaching Professor (for faculty without a terminal degree) or to Teaching Professor (for faculty with terminal degree), the Division Head has the responsibility for preparing, in consultation with the candidate, the dossier documenting the candidate’s performance in teaching, efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught, and service. The dossier will include the candidate’s written narrative statement of no more than three pages identifying her/his accomplishments and/or contributions of her/his Penn State career that support the promotion. Candidates shall assist in supplying relevant information for their dossiers.
Evaluation of teaching shall be based on both student and peer rating information about the quality of the teaching. Student ratings shall be obtained using the Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE) in accordance with the University Policies. The Division Head in consultation with the candidate will supplement this survey by other forms of student evaluation such as student comments on course evaluation questionnaires and letters solicited by the Division Head from former students. Peer evaluation of teaching will be performed by the members of the Peer Review of Teaching Committee, including those appointed by the Division Head to ensure appropriate disciplinary representation.
Evidence of efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught, and service to the College, University, public, and the profession will be provided through information about these activities from the candidate and from previous annual letters of evaluation. Each division may identify additional materials to supplement these areas.
Levels of Review
The Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee will review the dossier and write a joint letter indicating their recommendation(s) to the Division Head.
The Division Head will review the dossier and the letter from the Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee and write a letter indicating his/her recommendation to the College Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee.
If the Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee and the Division Head do not support a promotion after reviewing the dossier, the candidate should be so informed by the Division Head and given the option of withdrawing their candidacy at this stage prior to the subsequent levels of review described below.
The College Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee will review the dossier, the letter from the Division Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee, and the letter from the Division Head and write a letter to the Chancellor and Dean indicating their recommendation(s).
The Chancellor and Dean will review the recommendation from the College Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee and notify the candidate of the outcome of the review by the end of the spring semester. Approved promotions will become effective July 1 for the following academic year.
A salary increase in addition to an annual merit increase will accompany the promotion. The increase in salary will be a standard dollar amount and will be given to all faculty approved for promotion. A five-year contract will also accompany the promotion (see AC21).
A full-time, fixed-term, or standing non-tenure-line faculty member with the title of Assistant Teaching Professor who is promoted according to this procedure will receive the rank of Associate Teaching Professor. A full-time, fixed-term, or standing non-tenure-line faculty member with the title of Associate Teaching Professor who possesses a terminal degree and is promoted according to this procedure will receive the rank of Teaching Professor.
Updated April 22, 2021. Added length of contract details under Promotion Award.
Updated November 19, 2020. Added language allowing candidates to withdrawal after negative recommendations at the Division and Division Head level.
Approved by the Altoona College Faculty Senate on November 19, 2020
Approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs on November 19, 2020
Approved by the Chancellor and Dean on November 19, 2020
Approved by the Altoona College Faculty Senate on March 20, 2018.
Approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs on March 21, 2018.
Approved by the Chancellor and Dean on March 20, 2018.