Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael Miller

Committee Member

Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Second Committee Member

Suzanne McCray


Faculty Credentials, Grade Distribution, Instructor Effectiveness, Student Survey of Instruction


The purpose of this research was to determine what, if any, relationship existed when considering instructor credentials in relation to student surveys of instruction (SSOI), instructor credentials in relation to grade distribution, and the relationship between SSOI and grade distribution. The case study college is a two-year rural institution in Oklahoma employing 53 full-time faculty in Fall 2016. Eighteen of those faculty lack the adequate credentials as required by the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body for the college. Very little information was discovered verifying the impact of credentials on effectiveness, and what was located was anecdotal rather than data driven. Four research questions and three hypotheses were developed to determine the extent of the relationships in question. The findings suggested that grade distribution and student survey of instruction (SSOI) results at the case study college exhibited expected relationships between those two variables; however, there was no statistical data to support a relationship between faculty credential level and either SSOI results or grade distribution. The results are useful for institutional leaders for providing professional development activities to increase instructor effectiveness rather than relying on credential level, as well as directing institutional policy, and potentially influencing regional accreditation policy interpretation.