Employee Educational Leave :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Employee Educational Leave

Policy Number: 405

Categorized: Human Resources

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Subject: Policy and procedures governing educational leave and obligation to the College

Related Policies: Employee Tuition Assistance – External Courses

Forms:

Additional Information:

Effective Date:

Last Reviewed Date: 06/04/2018


1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all employees who meet the eligibility criteria for Educational Leave as described in the accompanying procedures.

2.0 Policy Statement

The President or Northern Virginia Community College may grant eligible faculty and staff members educational leave contingent upon availability of funds and the needs of the College.

Educational leave is available to teaching, administrative and professional faculty and to classified staff. Educational leave may be without pay or with partial pay up to 50%.

An employee granted educational leave with partial pay must agree to return to the College as a full-time employee for a period equal to twice that of the period of absence; if the employee returns to NOVA for a lesser period of service, the employee shall be responsible for repayment of that portion of salary, tuition, and fees for the time not served. The outstanding pro rata portion of the note shall be paid in full within one year following termination of employment.

Employees must meet established eligibility criteria and follow application procedures for educational leave.

3.0 Definitions

N/A

4.0 Procedures

4.1 Eligibility for Educational Leave

Classified staff:

Full-time P-3 staff should have completed at least three years of satisfactory service with the VCCS.

Educational leave with partial pay must be for job-related degrees that can be utilized within NOVA. Educational leave with partial pay will be granted only for taking credit bearing courses in an approved course of study to complete a job-related, college-level degree.

Teaching, Administrative and Professional faculty:

  • Teaching and professional faculty shall not become eligible for educational leave with partial pay until they become eligible for or are in a multi-year appointment.
  • Administrative faculty shall become eligible for educational leave with partial pay when they have completed a minimum of three years of service at the College.
  • Teaching, professional, and administrative faculty must have completed three years of continuous, creditable full-time or equivalent part-time (P-3) service in the VCCS since a previously approved paid leave (sabbatical or educational). There is an absolute maximum of educational leave that may be taken in a four-year period: for teaching faculty, two semesters; and for twelve-month administrative/professional faculty, one year.

First consideration will be given to the following categories, dependent upon the needs of the College:

  • Faculty members needing to complete requirements for an advanced degree or for promotion.
  • Faculty members requiring further training.

4.2 Application

The employee should submit a request for educational leave at least one full semester prior to the leave start date.

Start date:

  • For administrative/professional faculty, leaves for the academic year will normally begin on July 1; leaves for one semester only will normally begin on July 1 for the fall semester and January 1 for the spring semester.
  • For nine-month teaching faculty, leaves for the academic year will normally begin on August 16; leaves for one semester only will normally begin on August 16 for the fall semester and January 1 for the spring semester.
  • For 12-month teaching faculty, leaves for the academic year will normally begin on August 16; leaves for one semester only will normally begin on August 16 for the fall semester, January 1 for the spring semester, and May 16 for the summer semester.

Submission of Requests:

  • Prepare a written memo with justification of the request, including the benefit to the college, dates of leave and study, adjusted pay request, and any other pertinent details discussed with the supervisor.
  • If leave without pay is requested, the employee should discuss the impact to benefits with an HR benefits representative.
  • Submit completed forms through the supervisory chain to the appropriate Administrative Council member and then to HR.
  • If the employee is seeking tuition assistance along with educational leave, the employee should also complete and submit the online Employee Educational Assistance Request - External Course form 105-043B.
  • Length of Educational Leave: Educational leave with or without pay is limited to twelve (12) months. An extension of twelve (12) months may be granted by the college president.

Review and Approval:

  • HR will forward the request to the President, or Designee, for approval after confirming completeness and adherence to policy.
  • The President, or Designee, responds and notifies HR of the decision.
  • HR will communicate the decision to the employee and the employee’s supervisor.

4.3 Monetary Compensation and Benefits

If the request is approved, HR will prepare a confirmation letter that will include the terms and length of leave and will address the effect of the leave period on salary, benefits, retirement and the timeframe to notify the college of the employee’s return to full-time employment.

The pay rate while on educational leave with partial pay will not exceed 50 percent of the employee’s current salary:

  • For classified employees, current salary shall be the salary in effect on the last workday prior to the period of educational leave. The base will be adjusted for merit increases at the time the increases become effective for all state employees.
  • For faculty, current salary shall be the salary in effect on the last workday covered by the Faculty Employment Contract prior to the effective date of educational leave with partial pay.

4.4 Obligation to the College

Promissory Note Required:
If the request for educational leave with pay is approved by the President’s office, the employee must execute a promissory note for the total amount of salary to be paid while on leave. HR will assist these employees to execute this note. The note will be in effect on the first day of the leave and interest will begin to accrue on the date study is terminated.

Obligation to the College:
An employee granted educational leave with partial pay must agree to return to the College as a full-time employee for a period of time twice that of the period of educational leave with partial pay. When returning to work from educational leave, the employee must submit a written report summarizing accomplishments during leave to the president through the appropriate administrative channels.

4.5 Repayment Provisions

  1. An employee who does not return to the College or the VCCS, or who resigns before completing a period equal to twice the period of educational leave, will pay the pro-rata portion of the note from existing leave balances or the final salary payment. If recovery of funds is not available from these sources, a repayment schedule with interest at the prime rate plus one (1) percent shall be paid with the final payment due within six months of the employee’s last day of employment.
  2. If an employee accepts employment with another Virginia state agency that is willing to repay the cost of the educational leave with pay by interagency transfer of funds, the employee may be released from the repayment obligation. Lacking this consideration, or on transferring outside the state service, the employee remains obligated for repayment as stated in the promissory note.
  3. An employee who fails to complete successfully any portion of the educational leave may be required by the president (or chancellor in the case of the president) to reimburse the College a proportional amount of the moneys received while on leave. If the employee remains employed within the VCCS, reductions in the employee’s salary will be initiated to recover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees. The repayment schedule, not to exceed six months, will be initiated immediately.
  4. In the event of death or approved disability, this note is canceled.

5.0 Authority

VCCS Policy 3.10 Educational Assistance

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