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Professional Development

Employee Development Program
July 2011 - June 2012
An Affirmative Action Program of UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension

Program Purpose and Funding Source

This program supports the reimbursement of higher education tuition and fees and is open to all nonintegrated, nonclassified Cooperative Extension employees. The goal of the program is to further the recruitment of diversity and multicultural staff and programming priorities of Cooperative Extension. It is administered under UW System and UW-Extension guidelines. It is intended to:

The specific priorities of the program will be determined on an annual basis depending on the diversity and multicultural objectives and needs of Cooperative Extension.  Priorities will be communicated to all Cooperative Extension faculty and academic staff before the application deadline for spring semester.  The priorities for 2011-2012 are listed below in ranked order.

Who May Participate

This program is open to nonintegrated, nonclassified Cooperative Extension employees who are employed half time or more and have a permanent or project appointment. Nonintegrated county-based and campus-based faculty and academic staff have 100% of their appointments with Cooperative Extension. State of Wisconsin classified personnel are not eligible for this program.

If during the reimbursement period (the beginning of a semester, quarter or summer session to one month after the last day of class) the employee terminates or is terminated from employment, UW-Extension will not reimburse for course work.

How to Participate

Requests for reimbursement for coursework must be facilitated through cooperation between the employee and the employee’s supervisor.

An educational plan with the written approval of the supervisor (this will often be in the form of a letter but may be a more formal educational plan) must be prepared and on file in the employee’s county office, unit or department.

Required for Application

  1. The Cooperative Extension form titled "Employee Assistance Program - Request for Authorization to Reimburse Employee's Fee/Tuition" The form is an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file so it may be printed. You will need Acrobat Reader to access the file.
  2. An educational plan outlining the applicant’s educational goals and how these goals will be applied to an Extension career.
  3. Approval of the supervisor with a brief justification for awarding the applicant tuition reimbursement from this affirmative action fund. Justification might be: a) the applicant is from an underutilized racial/ethnic or gender group and is preparing for a career in Extension education, or b) the applicant currently works with clientele of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups (Identify the groups served. These groups should be a substantial component of the employee's programming clientele.) and is preparing for a career in Extension education.
  4. Applications must be received in the Office of the Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension with signatures of department head/supervisor and appointing authority (district director) by the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
  5. The application must be completely approved at all levels of the UW-Extension prior to the start of the course for which reimbursement is being requested. If the application is approved, a copy of the signed form will be returned to the employee so it can be attached to the Travel Expense Form with tuition receipts.

Coursework for this program must be taken on the employee's own time. No more than one course of up to five credits or a training equivalent may be reimbursed in a semester or quarter.

Coursework may be taken at any state accredited public or private higher educational institution or WTCS district institution. Coursework at UW System institutions is encouraged. Reimbursement for coursework taken at private institutions will be limited to the rate of an equivalent course at the home institution.

Criteria for Approval

Educational plans for the individuals seeking reimbursement must be approved by the supervisor.

Educational plans for individuals seeking reimbursement must be compatible with the educational mission and the diversity and multicultural priorities of Cooperative Extension.

In 2011-2012, the following priorities will be applied in this program.  The priorities are ranked with 1 being the highest priority and 3 being the lowest priority.  Funding will be distributed based on this ranking.
 
1) Bachelor's and master's degree programs for individuals of racial and ethnic or gender groups that are underutilized as defined by the UW-Extension Affirmative Action Plan or underrepresented as defined by UW-Extension diversity and multicultural plans and policies.

2) University or technical college coursework for individuals working with racial and ethnic audiences to become fluent (for use on the job) in Spanish as a second language and individuals who are pursuing coursework to become fluent (for use on the job) in English as a second language.

3) Bachelor's and master's degree programs for individuals from racial and ethnic groups that are not underutilized as defined by the UW-Extension Affirmative Action Plan who work with racial and ethnic audiences that are underserved by UW-Extension.

Application Deadlines

There are three deadlines for applications:

Friday, July 27, 2012—applications for fall semester reimbursement
Friday, December 14, 2012—applications for spring semester reimbursement
Friday, April 19, 2013—applications for summer session reimbursement

Employees will be informed of the status of their application via e-mail within one week after the deadlines.

Allowable Reimbursements

Reimbursement may be requested by nonintegrated, nonclassified Cooperative Extension employees for undergraduate and master’s degree courses (doctoral level work is not reimbursable) taken to meet the minimum educational requirements for Cooperative Extension positions, or which will qualify the employee for a new, higher level position.

Books, supplies and travel costs are not reimbursable. Segregated fees may be reimbursed or waived.

If an employee changes jobs within an institution prior to completion of an authorized course, s/he must notify the new appointing authority of the authorization.

Employees applying for reimbursement under this program must notify Cooperative Extension at the time of application about any financial aid received by the employee for tuition and fees. Financial aid will be taken into account when determining the amount to be reimbursed. The employee will not be awarded reimbursement for tuition that is being paid by financial aid.

Reimbursement may be authorized as job-related or career related:

1. Job related course work directly applies to job responsibilities. This is considered a business expense like any other university business expense and reimbursement is generally not taxable.

2. Career related course work generally advances career goals of the individual.

Paperwork Required for Reimbursement

The employee is entitled to reimbursement of tuition and fees (or a lesser amount if agreed by the hiring authority). Books, supplies and travel costs are not reimbursable. After the course has been completed, the staff member should submit a Travel Expense Report and attach a copy of the tuition receipt and grade report (you must pass the course in order to get reimbursement). The approved “Request for Authorization” form also must be attached. Submit the above materials to JoAnn Hinz, Cooperative Extension, 601 Extension Building, 432 N. Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706. Reimbursement normally takes 2-3 weeks.

This program complies with the following UW-Extension and UW System policies:

rev. 6/03/11

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