In accordance with State Board Policy 609, VCSU has established the following process for verifying communication skills, including the verbal and written English language proficiency of all personnel whose appointments include classroom instruction.

Announced Vacancies
1.  All vacancy announcements which include classroom instruction as part of the duties will include the following statement:

a.  Any person appointed to a position which includes classroom instruction must be reviewed and approved for appropriate communication skills, including verbal and written English language proficiency, prior to the appointment.

2.  Language proficiency of the candidate selected for hire is determined using the following methods:

a.  Written proficiency in the English language is examined by the Search Committee using the documents submitted in the application. Additional writing samples may be requested. 

i.   Members of the search committee will select from categories of excellent, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory on form AA-32 for written communication. An overall rating of satisfactory or higher is required for employment.

b.  Verbal communication ability is assessed based on the formal interview, which may include a verbal teaching presentation. The presentation evaluation method, where applicable, is to be completed by all audience members in attendance, including students and the search committee members, and will solicit feedback on the effectiveness of the presentation, including verbal communication skills.

i.  Members of the search committee will consider these comments in their evaluation of the communication and teaching proficiency of the selected candidate.
ii.  Members of the search committee will select from categories of excellent, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory on form AA-32 for verbal communication.
iii.  An overall rating of satisfactory or higher is required for employment.

c.  Finalists may be asked to provide a TOEFL Internet based test (TOEFL iBT) score of 100 or above as further evidence of proficiency.

Adjunct/Temporary Appointments

3.  Departments are responsible for determining and documenting the communication
proficiency of temporary or part-time instructional staff who are not hired through an open search process (see above).

Continuous Improvement

4.  Irrespective of initial employment considerations, any faculty member (both full time and adjunct) may be recommended for a language development program if sufficient evidence indicates a language proficiency problem.Completion of such an on-going language proficiency program may be a condition of continued employment and indicated contractually.
a.  The Vice President for Academic Affairs will be notified of all faculty communication (language) development programs and will be responsible (along with deans/department chairs) for implementation.
b.  The Vice President for Academic Affairs will report such communication development programs to the President's Office for contractual considerations and progress reports.


5.  Students and/or personnel who have difficulty communicating with an instructor due to that
person's language proficiency may contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs to discuss the concern or file a complaint using the Language Proficiency Complaint form, which is available in the Academic Affairs Office. Administrators who receive formal complaints must respond and take action within 15 days; any retaliation against a student who files a complaint under this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


6.  Special consideration and/or methods involving specialized testing and/or equipment may be necessary to evaluate potential and existing faculty to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, as well as federal and state constitutions and laws. The mechanisms used to determine communications (language) proficiency will take into consideration inability of otherwise qualified candidates and/or faculty to demonstrate proficiency because of disability, race, religion, or other protected characteristics

7.  Faculty who feel that they may have been discriminated against by the application of this policy may utilize the VCSU faculty grievance process (V605.2).

8.  Information about this policy is published in the Student Handbook, and the policy is reviewed regularly under the campus policy review cycle.

Related Forms

Sponsor: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Approved: December 2010
Revised:  November 2018