Current Minimum Qualifications List (Disciplines List) - PDF Save it on your computer!

The following text, taken from the “COR: Curriculum Reference Guide” published by the ASCCC in 2008, clarifies the process and, further, recommends that discipline assignation be a stated duty of the curriculum committee as it is functionally related to other CC decisions. 

Overview and Principles of Effective Practices

Each course must be assigned by the curriculum committee to the appropriate discipline(s).  This assignment helps describe the course by classifying it in a discipline (e.g., History 103 is clearly a history course and would be assigned to the History discipline) and also indicates what academic and occupational (if it is for a non-master’s degree discipline) preparation is needed to teach the course.  These disciplines are those that appear in Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in the California Community Colleges, also known as the “Disciplines List.”  Generally a course is assigned to a single discipline.  However, some courses are cross-listed, i.e. placed in two or more disciplines.  For example, a course on the Sociology of Aging may be appropriately assigned to both the disciplines of sociology and psychology, meaning a faculty member meeting the minimum qualifications of either discipline would be able to teach the course.  Some courses can also be listed in the Interdisciplinary discipline, which is the combination of two or more disciplines---the faculty member must meet the minimum qualifications of one of the disciplines listed for that Interdisciplinary discipline and have preparation in each of the other disciplines listed for the Interdisciplinary discipline.

    All courses must be listed under disciplines. Departments are not disciplines. Here is a summary of the definitions and questions to help you understand minimum qualifications and disciplines listing of courses.

    Please remember that districts have a degree of flexibility in applying these minimums, how they organize courses within disciplines, how to apply equivalency, and how to develop criteria and employ processes to select staff and instructors.

A distinct, usually specific division of a school or college dealing with a particular field of knowledge.

A branch of knowledge or teaching.

a. A complete body of prescribed studies constituting a curriculum: a four-year course in engineering.
b. A unit of such a curriculum: took an introductory course in chemistry; passed her calculus course.

Questions to think about:

1) Based on the definitions above, which is the broadest: a course, a discipline, or a department? Explain your answer.

2) Can you give a set of examples where a department might have more than one discipline under its wing? You may use the disciplines list at your table as a guide for discipline definitions for California Community Colleges.

3) Can you come up with an example where a course might fall under more than one discipline? You can consult our college catalog by looking at course descriptions and titles if you would like.

4) Can you come up with a situation where a person is very qualified in a discipline but where one may not want that person to be “qualified by default” to teach everything in a department?


Read through these frequently asked questions about disciplines and minimum qualifications.

1) When was all this stuff started?

§87351. Minimum qualifications for service, operative date:
The minimum qualifications for service prescribed by this chapter shall become operative on July 1, 1990.

2) Who maintains or updates the lists of minimum qualifications for disciplines?

§87357. Minimum qualifications; establishment and maintenance; “discipline”; definition and recommendations:
With regard to minimum qualifications for faculty, the board of governors shall consult with, and rely primarily on the advice and judgment of, the statewide Academic Senate.

The board of governors, relying primarily upon the advice and judgment of the statewide Academic Senate, shall prescribe by regulation a working definition of the term “discipline” and shall prepare and maintain a list of disciplines that are “reasonably related” to one another, as that phrase is used in the minimum qualifications.

3) Can our College have more or less stringent regulations than the statewide list?

a. We can have more stringent requirements but cannot have less stringent requirements.

4) Do we hire people for departments or disciplines in the state of California Community College system?

a. We hire people under disciplines … not departments.