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3.42 / Tuition Assistance Program for Employees

Purpose:
The purpose of this policy is to implement state law regarding the payment of tuition and other education expenses of eligible University employees.

Preamble:
The University has authority under state law to pay tuition and other education expenses for the education or training of eligible University employees when such education or training has been determined to be of value to the state and the University.

Policy Statement:

1.  Wichita State University may pay, from available appropriations, the actual cost of tuition and required fees in order to provide education or training for any eligible university support staff or unclassified non-teaching employee when such education or training is determined to be of value to Wichita State University.

2.  Employees eligible for tuition assistance will be those Wichita State University support staff and unclassified professional non-teaching employees who hold at least a half-time, benefits eligible appointment. Assistance is not payable to employees on unpaid leave. Employees would also be eligible to apply for grants or scholarships that may be available to them through their departments or other resources. The employee must have a current performance evaluation of  “satisfactory,” “meets expectations” or an equivalent rating, or be pursuing training or education directly related to a specific performance deficiency.

3.  To maintain eligibility, the employee must satisfactorily pass all courses with a “C” or better while receiving assistance for undergraduate coursework, or a “B” or better for graduate courses. Failure to meet this requirement will make the employee ineligible for tuition assistance until the employee has satisfactorily passed another qualified course of the same number of hours at the employee’s expense.

4.  A Wichita State University course or seminar will be considered to be of value to the state and the University and thus eligible for tuition assistance if it is determined that the course can be credited towards a degree, will provide professional growth or development for the employee, or is job-related training.

5.  Subject to availability of funds, assistance is limited to two courses or seminars per semester, not to exceed payment for six semester hours in the fall or spring semesters, or three hours in the summer semester. Assistance is limited to tuition cost only and does not include books, student fees or housing. Seminars that exceed the cost of the maximum undergraduate hours allowed in a semester will be limited to a reimbursement amount that is equivalent to the cost of the maximum undergraduate hours that could have been taken that semester.

6.  The Tuition Assistance Program will be administered by the Director of Human Resources including establishing and communicating an appropriate application process to University employees.

7.  In the event insufficient funds are available to fund all tuition assistance requests, the decision of which applications will be approved will be determined by the Director of Human Resources or the Director's designee.

8.  Release of an employee to attend University classes or seminars during regular work hours is subject to the requirements and discretion of the employee’s supervisor and budget officer. Release time may be granted to eligible university support staff and unclassified professional non-teaching employees to take one course or seminar per semester. Makeup time is not required for academic classes or seminars related to the employee’s job or performance, as determined by the employee’s supervisor and budget officer. Release time for classes, which are not directly related to the employee’s job or performance, must be unpaid, made up, or charged to vacation leave with the supervisor’s approval. There is no appeal for release time beyond the decision of the employee’s budget officer.

Implementation:
This policy shall be included in the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual and shared with appropriate constituencies of the University.

The Director of Human Resources shall have primary responsibility for publication, dissemination and implementation of this University policy.

Effective Date:
May 10, 2001

Revision Date:
August 1, 2007
December 24, 2011
June 8, 2014

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