Frequently Asked Questions                   Sign Up

  • What is SoCAFE's mission?

  • What is the cost of the complete certification package and what do I get for my money?

  • How do I contact SoCAFE?

  • Why was SoCAFE formed?

  • What is the certification process and how was it developed?

  • What are SoCAFE's 10 Core CompetenciesTM?

  • Why should an adjunct faculty seek certification through SoCAFE?

  • How does one become a Certified Adjunct Faculty Educator (C.A.F.E.)?

  • Is SoCAFE "accredited" by any other organization?

  • Is SoCAFE's certification appropriate for all adjunct faculty?

What is SoCAFE's mission?

The mission of the organization is to promote and advance the professional practice of adjunct faculty through certification, education, and collaboration in order to enhance the quality of student learning in higher education settings.  SoCAFETM was created to address the need for adjunct faculty to acquire and demonstrate competency in areas deemed necessary to be effective educators.

It is important to note that SoCAFETM grants a knowledge-based certification attesting to competency in the body of knowledge that adjunct faculty educators use in performing their jobs. The Society of Certified Adjunct Faculty Educators (SoCAFE) makes no warranties, express or implied, regarding the character or professional competence of its members.

What is the cost of the complete certification package and what do I get for my money?

The cost for accessing the online certification examination is $395 (USD), which includes:

  • Candidate Handbook (Instant download)
  • Required textbooks shipped to you
  • Access to our Member's only section for 6 months
  • 24/7 Access to the Online Certification Examinations for 6 months

How do I contact SoCAFE?

Mailing Address:
Society of Certified Adjunct Faculty Educators, Inc.
P.O. Box 555
Buffalo, IA 52728


Phone:  563-381-5219

Why was SoCAFE formed?

Over her years of teaching, Dr. Santopoalo noticed that colleges and universities were increasing their use of adjunct faculty. There was, however, minimal faculty development taking place to help practitioners with their teaching skills. In contrast, K-12 level teachers are required to be certified to teach any subject. Working in the classroom and networking with adjunct faculty made Dr. Santopoalo realized that there was a common body of knowledge that would benefit all adjunct faculty - regardless of the discipline they taught. She concluded that, like her K-12 peers, adjunct faculty teaching in higher education settings would also benefit from a certification process. A nationally-recognized, portable certification credential would demonstrate professional teaching competence on the part of adjunct faculty.

What is the certification process based on and how was it developed?

There are 10 Core CompetenciesTM that constitute the body of knowledge adjunct faculty need to teach effectively. These competencies emerged from more than 300 classroom observations and peer reviews conducted by Dr. Santopoalo. In addition, an exhaustive literature review and in-depth discussions with adjunct faculty and administrators were used to confirm and refine the areas of competency. SoCAFE’s core competencies were designed to address adjunct faculty regardless of their discipline, the level of their students, or the environment in which they teach (e.g., classroom or distance education).

What are SoCAFE's 10 Core CompetenciesTM?

  1. Maintain currency in scholarship of one’s discipline to ensure knowledge of what students must learn.

  2. Construct and deliver course content aligning objectives, methodology and evaluation that supports the learning objectives of the higher education setting.

  3. Manage the learning environment with a student-centered focus.

  4. Employ appropriate teaching strategies that actively engage students and achieve desired outcomes.

  5. Adapt teaching style to accommodate different student learning styles.

  6.  Interact effectively with a diverse student population.

  7. Incorporate technology in support of the teaching-learning process.

  8. Provide student feedback in a manner that supports learning.

  9. Choose appropriate assessment methods to evaluate student learning.

  10. Apply assessment results to improve teaching effectiveness.

Why should an adjunct faculty seek certification through SoCAFE?

Certification through SoCAFETM provides adjunct faculty with a portable credential confirming their knowledge as a professional educator. The designation of Certified Adjunct Faculty Educator (C.A.F.E.) denotes proven expertise in SoCAFE’s 10 Core CompetenciesTM.  Institutions of higher education can hire a C.A.F.E. and be confident that the individual has demonstrated the knowledge and skills needed to provide students with a quality learning experience. Certification provides adjunct faculty an opportunity to distinguish and differentiate themselves as being "first among equals."

How does one become a Certified Adjunct Faculty Educator (C.A.F.E.)?

You will have six (6) months to take all 10 module exams via our online testing platform.  The number of questions varies by module ranging from 10 to 35 questions per exam.  There are a total of 200 questions you will be asked to respond to in the 10 module exams.  You will need to answer 70% of the questions correctly on each module exam to pass.  You must complete all 10 module exams during your six month registration period.  Should you fail to complete one or more of the 10 module exams within six months as required, you may extend the certification timeframe for an additional three (3) months by paying a $100.00 fee.

Is SoCAFE "accredited" by any other organization?

SoCAFE’s certification process for adjunct faculty was developed to fill what we perceived as a vacuum in higher education. To date, no other organization has fielded a successful nationwide effort to provide external validation of adjunct faculty teaching competence. It’s a large undertaking and involved a sizeable investment of money, time, and effort to implement. Given these facts, we believe that our "accreditation" will come ultimately from the satisfied students, adjunct faculty educators, and institutions that engage with us in the C.A.F.E. process.

In view of the above, SoCAFE has not applied for "accreditation" by any other organization, nor do we have plans to do so. This does not mean, however, that we think we have all the answers to evaluating competency to teach at the college and university level. In developing our 10 Core CompetenciesTM we relied on input from multiple stakeholders – students, adjunct faculty, and higher education administrators. We value their input and will continue to consult with, and receive feedback from, each of these constituencies as we go forward.

Is SoCAFE's certification appropriate for all adjunct faculty?

Certification is not for everybody, regardless the field. Consider that not all accountants are CPA’s. Similarly, not all adjunct faculty will achieve the C.A.F.E. designation. Given the rigor of the certification process, we would expect only a select minority of adjuncts would choose to participate in, and complete, the C.A.F.E. process. We are confident that those who earn their C.A.F.E. designation will strongly agree that they "got their money’s worth" and that they are better teachers for the effort.


Sign Up


Society of Certified Adjunct Faculty Educators, Inc.
P.O. Box 555, Buffalo, Iowa  52728
Phone: (563) 381-5219
Copyright 2011 Society of Certified Adjunct Faculty Educators, Inc.
All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy   Legal Information    Disclaimer


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software