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Faculty Proficiency in Oral & Written English :

Policy/Guideline Area

Personnel Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges


The Tennessee Board of Regents recognizes that the ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill necessary for all academic personnel to perform successfully in Board of Regents Institutions.


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional accrediting body that accredits the community colleges in the TBR system.
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE) is the national accrediting agency that accredits the technical colleges in the TBR system.


  1. Policy

Pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 211 adopted by the 1984 General Assembly and to the accreditation standards of SACSCOC and the COE, all TBR institutions shall ensure that all faculty at Board of Regents institutions are proficient in oral and written English.

At a minimum, candidates shall demonstrate:

  • An ability to speak and write English clearly
  • An ability to understand written and spoken English
  • An ability to communicate effectively in an academic environment


  1. Procedures
    1. Each institution shall develop written procedures for review and evaluation of English language competency of candidates for appointment to or tenure in a teaching position.
    2. No individual shall be appointed to a teaching position or recommended for tenure in such a position on any campus or other institutional unit of an institution unless the community college chief academic officer or the college of applied technology president has certified that such individual can communicate effectively with students in the English language.
    3. The foregoing criteria are to be used strictly as a measure of a candidate's ability to communicate effectively as an instructor and shall not be utilized to arbitrarily disqualify applicants of certain nationalities.
    4. The process includes procedures ensuring compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with disabilities.
    5. Each institution shall establish procedures for providing assistance and improving the written and spoken English competency of currently employed teaching personnel who are identified as needing such assistance.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All Federal, state, and regional statutes, codes, and rules referenced in this policy.


TBR Meeting, December 14, 1984; September 23, 1994; Revision approved by Board on December 13, 2018.