Skip to main content

Faculty Salary Equity Placement Method

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Human Resources, Academic Affairs
Original Date Adopted: 07-01-09
Dates of Revision: 08-23-11, 07-09-18
Last Date Approved: 08-23-11, 09-25-18

The Lake Michigan College equity salary placement method is intended to provide an objective base salary placement for new hires. The method may also be used as a basis for annual salary progression and to adjust the placement of current faculty when the individual attains new educational credentials.

The individual faculty member is responsible for providing complete credential documentation, including transcripts, certificates and the information needed to verify and evaluate previous employment. All academic course work must be verified by original transcript. A minimum of an associate degree is required for all teaching faculty. Some disciplines/programs may require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. 

Minimum Qualifications Aligned with Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Guidelines

  1. Faculty members teaching Life Enrichment Courses must have a minimum of an associate degree and technical training or industry credential and evidence of expertise in the field.
  2. Faculty members teaching college-level occupational courses in certificate and associate degree programs must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field and/or a combination of appropriate and relevant education, training, and tested experience. In addition, all faculty members teaching in programs approved for Perkins CTE Act funding must have a minimum of the equivalent of two years of full-time, non-teaching work experience in a relevant field. Additional academic degrees, licenses, and/or certifications may be required per program accreditation and industry standards.
  3. Faculty members teaching transitional studies courses must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in the discipline taught or a related discipline. Teaching experience with developmental or adult learners preferred. Teaching experience with developmental or adult learners preferred.
  4. Faculty members teaching college-level general education or other non-occupational courses (i.e., courses not designed to prepare students directly for a career) must hold a master’s degree or higher in the discipline or subfield of the course(s) they teach. If a faculty member holds a master’s degree or higher in a discipline or subfield other than that in which he or she is teaching, that faculty member must have completed a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline or subfield in which they teach. When evaluating credentials of faculty who have obtained a Master of Education degree, but not a master’s degree in a discipline, graduate-level courses in the discipline and methods courses that are specifically for the teaching of that discipline may be considered for meeting the 18 graduate credit hour minimum.

Please refer to the Faculty Qualifications Procedure for additional information. 

Evaluation of credentials and the determination of placement is the responsibility of the Placement Committee, which will include the following: the Director of Accreditation, the Academic Deans, the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, a Faculty Association Officer, and the Assistant Director of Human Resources.

Level of education will be the first measure used to determine level placement on the grid. Step placement will then be determined by using teaching experience or its equivalent plus relevant experience where applicable and/or required.

    1. The salary placement schedule has twelve levels based on academic credential and continued professional development.
      *Degree equivalents are awarded a lesser amount than the earned degree. (See current Salary Scale for details.)

      1. Less than Baccalaureate degree (See B.3.a.)
      2. *Baccalaureate degree equivalent (See B.3.b.)
      3. Baccalaureate degree
      4. Baccalaureate degree or equivalent plus 15-29 graduate semester hours
      5. *Master's degree equivalent (Baccalaureate degree or equivalent plus 30-44 graduate semester hours)
      6. Master's degree
      7. Master's degree or equivalent plus 15-29 graduate semester hours (45-59 graduate semester hours) (See B.3.c.)
      8. Master's degree or equivalent plus 45-59 graduate semester hours (60-74 graduate semester hours)
      9. Master’s degree plus additional Master’s degree or equivalent 
      10. Master’s degree plus additional Master’s degree or equivalent plus 15-29 graduate semester hours (75-89 graduate semester hours)
      11. *Doctoral degree equivalent (90 or more graduate semester hours or more)
      12. Doctoral degree
    2. Level Placement Guidelines:
      1. The academic degree and any additional graduate semester hours must be earned from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized regional accreditation association; for example, the Higher Learning Commission.
      2. Quarter-hour credit conversion to semester hours is at the rate of two semester hours for three quarter hours (2/3 times term hours), unless a different valuation is indicated by the granting institution.
      3. Degree equivalency shall be established by the following criteria:
        1. Less than Baccalaureate degree: Individuals with an associate degree will also be required to have five (5) years of work experience directly related to the assignment. 
        2. Baccalaureate degree equivalent: Individual must have completed a minimum of 120 credit hours and a minimum 2 years’ relevant work experience.
        3. Master's degree equivalent: Individual must hold a baccalaureate degree or equivalent and (1) must have been employed in an occupation directly related to his/her assignment for an additional five (5) years, and (2) must have completed 30 graduate semester hours.
        4. Approved vocational certifications (for example Journeyman certification) can be equated to one level increase, and may be used once.
        5. Where the work experience of the individual exceeds the minimum requirements listed above, the excess may be used for step placement purposes but experience once allocated for level equivalency purposes cannot be used again for step placement.
      4. One additional semester hour of credit towards level increase may be administratively granted for every thirty (30) contact hours of participation in continuing education workshops or seminars in the individual's subject area which meet the following requirements:

        NOTE: One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as ten (10) contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction.

        1. The individual's participation in the workshop or seminar must have prior approval by the Academic Dean and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. New hires must have workshops or seminars evaluated and approved by the Placement Committee.
        2. The individual must present formal certification of the successful completion of the activity to the Academic Dean. CEU’s, Michigan Nursing Association (MNA) units or other formal documentation is preferred. Contact hours in attendance at professional conferences, lectures, etc. will be counted only for those activities which meet CEU criteria.
        3. If CEU's are not available, the individual may submit a written report of the activity for review by their Academic Dean, which includes hours participated, purpose, objectives and the specific outcomes related to the work assignment completed or gained by the individual.
        4. Undergraduate courses taken at an accredited institution, including retraining course work, may be counted toward continuing education on a contact hour basis with the prior approval of the Academic Dean; i.e. one semester hour's credit may be counted as the equivalent of 16 contact hours (1.6 CEU).
        5. "Continuing education" is to be construed as the learning of new information, not the sharing of one's expertise. Examples of experiences which may NOT be counted as continuing education include: volunteer teaching, guest teaching, consulting, reviewing for a publisher, etc.
    1. The equity salary placement method has seventeen (17) equal steps within the range for each level. Each step represents one year of college teaching experience or its equivalent plus relevant experience where required.

      NOTE: For step placement, credit for prior teaching experience is limited to a maximum of seven (7) years, while credit for prior non-teaching experience is limited to a maximum of six (6) years. Maximum normal placement is step thirteen (13).

      The Placement Committee may recommend to Human Resources that the College award additional steps above the new hire’s normal placement for prior experience, special skills, additional degrees, or other factors (e.g., market driven position) relevant to the position for which the individual is being hired. Future wages would be regular movement on the faculty grid.

    2. Step Placement Guidelines:
      Placement in the range on each step of the level will be determined in the following manner:

      1. Full-time college and/or public or private school teaching, counseling or librarian experience will be counted one year for one year. If the experience is part-time, including research, teaching fellowships, or teaching assistantships, it may be equated to yearly experience (i.e., 30 semester hours equals one year). Such part- time experience will not be counted until it is the equivalent of one or more full years.

        Only graduate teaching assignments are counted as teaching experience, and are normally counted as half-time appointments. Student tutoring or teaching during the pursuit of an undergraduate degree may be counted as work experience only if it is directly relevant to the individual's primary assignment.

      2. Full-time related industrial teaching, counseling or librarian experience will be counted one year for one year.
      3. Full-time college and/or public or private school administrative experience will be counted one year for one year.
      4. Other relevant experience will be equated as follows:
        1. Prior full-time non-teaching industrial, business, public service or military experience will be equated at one-half, if the experience is directly related to the individual's major teaching assignment. For example, an individual with twelve (12) years relevant non-teaching experience would move six (6) steps on the grid.
        2. No more than one year's experience will be counted in any one calendar year, (i.e., experience such as overloads, summer school teaching, coaching, or part- time teaching at a second institution performed concurrently with full-time teaching/counseling employment will not be counted as additional experience).
        3. Concurrent technical experience that is specifically approved in advance by the Academic Dean as "retraining" may be equated at the rate of 2000 documented clock hours for one year (up to a maximum of three years) if it can be established that no equivalent academic course work is available.
        4. Experience acquired during special purpose, exchange teaching or sabbatical leave will be fully credited upon approval of the Placement Committee.
        5. The individual will receive credit for additional years of experience at Lake Michigan College only for those years for which he/she receives a "Satisfactory" performance rating.
        6. In evaluating concurrent experience, the equivalency method most favorable to the individual will be used.
      5. Additional comments:
        1. Any fractions appearing in the total figures will be rounded to the next lowest whole number.
        2. Application for new level assignment must be received by the Academic Dean before June 1 for the following Fall semester, and by October 1 for the following Spring semester. The application must be substantiated by appropriate documentation.
        3. Reassignments will be made upon the recommendation of the Placement Committee. Salary adjustments will take effect in the semester following approval of the application.
        4. Individuals employed by the College in grant-funded positions are not placed according to this method. If the position becomes a part of the general operating fund, the individual's credentials will be evaluated and he/she will be placed as a new hire.


An individual may appeal his/her placement as follows:

  1. On written request to the Vice President, Administrative Services for a hearing within thirty (30) working days of receipt of the placement result, an individual may meet with the Placement Committee to present additional documentation.
  2. The hearing will be held within ten (10) working days from the time of receipt of the request. The Committee will render a decision within three (3) working days.
  3. The individual may appeal the decision of the Committee to the President within ten (10) working days. The President will render a decision within three (3) working days.
  4. The decision of the President will be final. A written rationale shall be sent to the Equal Opportunity Officer, the Academic Dean and the individual concerned.


Faculty assigned to work special non-teaching assignments (e.g., Title III) other than the standard Lake Michigan College academic year of thirty-seven (37) weeks will receive an increment in addition to the computed base salary. The increment will be determined as the equity base salary divided by thirty-seven (37) multiplied by the number of weeks assigned in excess of thirty-seven (37).


The Academic Dean and the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs will determine all new year-round Full-time Faculty positions. In addition, current Full-time Faculty may receive year-round contracts with the agreement of the Academic Dean and the Full-time Faculty member and the approval of the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Year-round Full-time Faculty contracts will typically be scheduled twelve (12) contact hours Fall Semester, twelve (12) contact hours Spring Semester, and twelve (12) contact hours Summer Terms. Annual wage will be prorated for the additional six (6) contact hours. 

Responsibility: Vice President, Administrative Services; Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

References: Faculty Qualifications Procedure


Back to Top Apply Now