I set up this board to have five levels of member (based on # of posts you make)
Student, Advanced Student, Advisor, Teacher, and one above that.
But the program didn't automatically change the people who had signed up before -- they had titles like "newbie", "member", etc.
Luckily I can modify databases by hand -- I'm familiar with MySQL so I went in and updated all the existing users. Now you should be able to "gain levels" with no problem.