Human Resources

Staff education assistance

As an institution of higher education committed to academic achievement and lifelong learning, Reed College supports the educational pursuits of its staff. Reed staff members have the opportunity to apply for staff education assistance to further their professional or personal development through formal education.

Reed’s staff education assistance program assumes coursework is taken outside of normal working hours and is therefore distinct from short-term training or professional development opportunities which are expected to be covered by departmental budgets (e.g. training programs, workshops, seminars, meetings of professional organizations).

A limited amount of staff education assistance funding is available each fiscal year. Eligible employees may apply for reimbursement of up to $4,000 per fiscal year for tuition and registration costs.

Eligibility

  • All staff are eligible to apply for staff education assistance if they have had at least two years of continuous benefits-eligible employment (.5 FTE) at Reed College by the start date of the proposed coursework. Staff may apply for assistance before their two-year anniversary is reached as long as the proposed coursework will begin after the two-year mark.
  • Temporary or contract employees are not eligible for staff education assistance.
  • Eligible courses include undergraduate and graduate credit-bearing courses, classes, or programs from accredited educational institutions.  Also eligible are continuing education courses, vocational courses, ESL, GED, and literacy courses.
  • Expenses covered are typically between 50-100% of tuition and registration costs, up to $4,000 per fiscal year. Expenses for books, library fees, technology fees, exam fees, or other fees are not eligible for reimbursement.

Application and selection process

  • The call for staff education assistance applications will be made twice each year, in August and February. To apply, staff members must submit an application form by October 1 or April 1 to their supervisor and human resources. The April 1 deadline is for courses completed between May 1 and December 31.  The October 1 deadline is for courses completed between November 1 and May 31.  Decisions will be announced in early November and early May.
  • An ad hoc staff education assistance committee composed of the director of human resources and up to four staff members from different departments, all appointed by the director of human resources, will review applications and recommend a select number of proposals to the Vice Presidents/Deans, who will make the final determination.
  • Courses do not necessarily have to be related to the employee’s current position with the college and do not necessarily have to be part of a degree or certificate program.
  • Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate benefit to the staff member’s professional and personal development, preparing them for future growth opportunities within the college.
  • Priority will be given to the applications of employees pursuing a certificate program or a first undergraduate degree. Applications for reimbursement of costs related to a graduate degree or a subsequent undergraduate degree will be considered after those for a certificate program or a first undergraduate degree if there are funds remaining.
  • Priority will be given to applications of employees who have previously received assistance under this program in pursuit of the same certificate or degree. Continuing assistance is not guaranteed, however, and the amount of assistance may not be the same each semester.
  • Priority will be given to applications of employees who have not already completed a certificate or degree with the assistance of the employee education assistance program.
  • Priority will not be given to applications based on the seniority of the applicant.
  • Applicants must obtain advance approval from their supervisor for any coursework that will take place during the applicant’s normal working hours.

Provisions for reimbursement

  • If approved, recipients should submit a staff education assistance reimbursement form to the human resources office accompanied by a receipt of tuition payment. Recipients will be reimbursed within ten days after submitting the claim form.
  • Recipients may request direct payment to the educational institution if financial hardship can be demonstrated.
  • Under Section 127, the IRS currently allows employees to receive up to $5,250 in educational assistance each calendar year without being subject to federal income tax.  Recipients are encouraged to speak to a tax professional about the tax implications for their individual situation.
  • Within 30 days after the end date of the coursework, recipients must provide documentation of course completion to human resources. In cases where a recipient has not demonstrated completion of a class or course for which they received staff education assistance (in whole or in part), the recipient will be ineligible to apply to the program for one year from the end date of the course.