At my college, which is a community college, the college adopted the following official titles in 1992:
PROFESSOR; for all tenured faculty with a Master's degree or higher and 8 years of tenure or more. The college conferred the title of Professor on me on this basis. No one asked me if I deserved it or wanted it; it was done by the Board of Trustees, and the college printed my business cards accordingly. It was my official title, and that was that.
Assistant Professor; for tenured faculty with less seniority or standing.
Lecturer; other full-time or part-time faculty (non-tenured),
Every college or university has the power to confer titles as they see fit; there are no universal standards, as you seem to infer. Wikipedia is often imprecise or wrong in such matters (and in any case, they are making very general statements).
In some universities I have attended or been affiliated with, the decision to grant a full professorship was not always dependent on a doctorate; in some disciplines or departments it was pretty much required, but not in others. A committee usually decided on each faculty member on his or her individual merit, and many factors were considered.
I have no PhD; only a Master's degree and other post-graduate work. I do not normally use the title "professor", or any other title, but my TITLE was Professor at the college. Titles of all sorts do not concern me much but that IS how I was officially designated and called at the college, so it is quite appropriate that I refer to myself in that manner should I wish to (and sometimes you may even get better service on cruises...lol).
Originally Posted by beaveav
"In the United States and Canada the title of professor is granted to most scholars with Doctorate degrees (typically Ph.D.s) who teach in two- and four-year colleges and universities, and is used in the titles assistant professor and associate professor, which are not considered professor-level positions elsewhere, as well as for full professors."
commsysman, where did you get your PhD?
I have had co-workers who taught electronics classes at a local community college. They did not refer to themselves as "professors."