Originator: Director, Human Resource Services
Approver: President’s Council
Effective: December 2012
Replaces: New

Download the PDF version of this policy

1. Preamble

Red River College is committed to lifelong learning. We strive to:

  • Build a knowledgeable, skilled and versatile workforce
  • Strengthen organizational performance
  • Maximize the contribution of every employee in realizing the College’s strategic priorities and directions

2. Policy

All College staff has a role to play in learning and development. The policy describes supports and resources available as well as related decision-making criteria applicable to all employees or where noted, specific employee groups, e.g., faculty. This comprehensive policy addresses the following areas:

  • Employee Educational Assistance (Schedule A)
  • Educational Leave Opportunities (Schedule B)
  • Tuition Fee Waivers (formerly H14 Schedule C)
  • Faculty Certification (formerly H13; no Schedule)

3. Structure and Procedures

3.1

Learning and development will be funded centrally (corporate committee) and within departments/schools (deans/directors fund). The range of opportunities and corresponding funding guidelines are provided under Schedules A and B. These guidelines will be reviewed annually by Human Resource Services in consultation with Finance and Executive Committees.

3.2

On an annual basis, managers will assess and review the learning and development needs of their areas.

3.3

College-wide supports, including strategic directions, priorities and plans, will be reviewed and monitored by Executive and Human Resource Services as part of the planning and budgeting process.

3.4

All Divisions, Departments and Schools are encouraged to develop their own broad learning and development plans based on their needs and goals. Such plans are to be consistent with College-wide directions, priorities and plans.

3.5

Individual learning and development objectives will be identified through many processes which may include operational plans, performance review meetings, self-assessments, job requirements, career and succession planning.

3.6

Planning processes will typically identify a number of possible employee learning and development actions. Implementation of plans will depend on multiple factors, including budget, and the strategic priorities of the applicable Division, Department or School.

3.7

Employees will require prior written approval from their Supervisor to attend learning and development activities during normal working hours.

3.8

Employees may be requested to attend required training or development by the College. Supervisors will use best efforts to ensure that such training is completed by their employees in an expeditious manner.

3.9

Employee Educational Assistance Opportunities: A range of opportunities may be made available to employees as part of the College’s commitment to lifelong learning. Guidelines, eligibility requirements, and funding assistance details are provided in Schedule A.

Educational Leave Opportunities: The College recognizes that under certain circumstances, it is beneficial to both an employee and the College for an employee to be granted leave to pursue educational studies or to experience industry updates. Schedule B outlines the different forms of leave recognized by the College, the procedures, requirements and conditions.

Tuition Fee Waivers: Employees have access to courses (tuition-free) within the College’s Continuing Education Division for personal and professional interest. Refer to Schedule C.

Faculty Certification: Red River College instructors must obtain a Certificate in Adult Education (CAE) or an equivalent qualification, as specified in the College’s Collective Agreement with the Manitoba Government and General Employee’s Union, Local 73. The procedures for enrolling in the CAE program are set out by the Teacher Education Department. In situations where new hires have indicated that they have the equivalent, the Coordinator of the CAE Program must be involved in a review to decide if the equivalent is met in whole or in part.

4. Responsibilites

Learning is a responsibility shared by the College and its departments, schools and employees. Red River College will provide an environment that encourages employee learning, growth and development. Employees are expected to take charge of their own professional growth and development to achieve outcomes efficiently and effectively.

5. Review

This policy will be reviewed within six months of the ratification of a new Collective Agreement by the College and MGEU Local 73.

Related Policy and Legislation

Collective Agreement, Article 49

For more detail, access Schedules A, B, and C.

Schedule A

Employee Educational Opportunities Funding Guidelines 2013-2014

I. Eligibility: All non-probationary employees. Additional eligibility requirements, i.e. years of service, apply in formal degree study programs and some Leave categories. Note: Eligibility does not necessarily mean funding approval.

II. Prioritization/Decision-ma king Criteria:

The Request/Application…

  • Directly relates to the employee’s current position, discipline, program, department or is required as an advanced credential for teaching in one of the College’s degree- granting programs or;
  • Directly and demonstrably supports a commitment to identified objectives required to accomplish a school’s/department’s strategic directions or;
  • Relates to identified current and/or future human resource development gaps or requirements necessary for the effective delivery of college programs and the teaching and learning process or;
  • Supports the goal of proportionate representation of employment equity target groups or;
  • Supports an employee’s career development plan within the College, especially where there is an identified need for the credential or a possibility that future position vacancies may arise requiring the credential or;
  • Relates to a position to which the College has indicated its intentions to assign the employee or related to an ongoing College requirement, but not to present job or;
  • Relates to a planned program change

 

Educational Opportunities Funding Source Funding Assistance
Stand-alone Course (credit/non-credit), Seminar, Workshop, Designation (special circumstances) not leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree Deans/Directors’ department fund; Corporate Committee informed In keeping with prioritization criteria noted above, tuition and associated costs may be supported at the discretion of the school/department
Institute, Conference Deans/Directors’ department fund, Corporate Committee informed In keeping with prioritization criteria noted above, tuition and associated costs may be supported at the discretion of the school/department
Certificate (part-time) Deans/Directors’ department fund; Corporate Committee informed In keening with prioritization criteria noted above, tuition and associated costs may be supported at the discretion of the school/department

(in the case of certificates, maximum of 50% coverage for tuition costs upon proof of successful completion)

Diploma (part-time) Deans/Directors’ department fund; Corporate Committee informed In keeping with prioritization criteria noted above. Tuition coverage and associated costs may be supported at the discretion of the school/department

(in the case of diplomas, maximum of 50% coverage for tuition costs upon proof of successful completion)

RPL course assessment for credit Deans/Directors’ department fund Employees seeking RPL for credit toward a credential that has value to RRC, and where there is a cost for the assessment, RRC may pay up to 5o% of the RPL assessment cost
Associated Costs:All other related costs are at the discretion of a school/department through the Dean or Director’s fund.
University Degree Program of Study Funding Source Funding Assistance
Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree (part-time)

Can take several forms, e.g.,:
– general and discipline-specific nature
– individual
– group cohort
– online

Application-based; Funded centrally; such requests are reviewed by a Corporate Committee.

Application form is found in portal forms, under Human Resources.

Reimbursement of tuition:
– 50% of tuition costs to maximum of $2,500, in total program costs, upon proof of successful completionAssociated Coats (see explanation in box below):– Coverage for textbooks in university degree programs of study over and above tuition reimbursement. This is covered up to 50% by the school/department; other associated costs determined on individual basis
Graduate Master’s Degree (part-time)
– general and discipline-specific
– individual study
– group cohort
– online*most universities require that this degree be completed within 5 years
Application-based; Funded centrally; such requests are reviewed by a Corporate Committee.

Application form is found in portal forms, under Human Resources.

Reimbursement of tuition:
– 50% of tuition costs to maximum of $5,000, in total program costs, upon proof of successful completionAssociated Costs (see explanation in box below):
– Coverage for textbooks in university degree programs of study over and above tuition reimbursement. This is covered up to 50% by the school/department; other associated costs determined on individual basis
Graduate Doctorate Degree (part-time)
– interdisciplinary and discipline-specific in nature
– individual study
– online*most universities require that this degree be completed within 7 years
Application-based; Funded centrally; such requests are reviewed by a Corporate Committee.

Application form is found in portal forms, under Human Resources.

Reimbursement of tuition:
-50% of tuition costs to maximum of $7,500, in total program costs, upon proof of successful completionAssociated Costs (see explanation in box below):-Coverage for textbooks in university degree programs of study over and above tuition reimbursement. This is covered up to 50% by the school/department; the associated costs determined on individual basis
Associated Costs (specific to University Degree Study Programs only):For employees enrolled in a formal university study program, applicable support is as follows:

Textbooks

  • Books in university degree programs of study up to 50% (over and above the tuition reimbursement amount)
  • Funding source: Dean/Director school/department fund

All other items are at the discretion of a School/Department through the Dean/Director’s fund.

University Degree Program of Study Combined with Short or Extended Paid Leave Request:It is recognized that an employee may submit a request that involves university degree studies combined with a short or extended paid leave of absence. In such situations, additional requirements and procedures apply.

PLEASE REFER TO SCHEDULE B, CATEGORY 3 or 4 FOR FURTHER DETAIL.

Schedule B

Educational Opportunities and Leaves 2013-2014

Below is a list of the different forms of leave recognized by the Human Resources Department, along with their procedural requirements and conditions. The Application Form being referenced is available on the Portal. If you are unable to find a form or document on the Portal, please contact Human Resource Services for assistance.

Category 1. Educational Leave On Employee’s Own Time:

i. Purpose: The purpose of this leave is to allow an employee to acquire knowledge of a general or professional nature, which may or may not be required for one’s job.

ii. Eligibility: Full-time employees who have completed their probationary period are eligible for this form of leave.

iii. Funding Model: Funding, if provided, is at the discretion of the division/department Dean or Director. Eligible employees are not guaranteed funding.

iv. Associated Costs: Depending on circumstances, associated costs are to be determined ahead of time by the department and the decision to support same (or not) is to be documented.

Category 2. Educational Leave with salary (during work hours) with or without Educational Assistance — less than 30 days:

i. Purpose: The purpose of this leave is to allow an employee to acquire knowledge or skills relevant to RRC.

ii. Eligibility: Full-time employees who have completed their probationary period are eligible for this form of leave.

iii. Funding Model: Funding, if provided, is at the discretion of the division/department Dean or Director. Eligible employees are not guaranteed funding.

iv. Associated Costs: Depending on circumstances, associated costs are to be determined ahead of time by the department and the decision to support same (or not) is to be documented.

Common Procedures:

The following procedure applies for Category #2:

  1. Employee first discusses his or her request for leave with his or her supervisor.
  2. If the supervisor supports in principle, the employee completes the Employee Educational Assistance Application Form, obtains the necessary signatures and the request/form is sent to the HR Review Committee (informing/advising only).
  3. Work or operational arrangements must be documented.
  4. All documentation to be filed with the Human Resources department and placed in the employee’s file.

Category 3. Extended Educational Leave – over 30 days but not exceeding 12 months:

i. Purpose: Extended Educational Leaves are granted to give employees an opportunity to complete a specific area of study, i.e., university education that is relevant to their area of employment and supports the quality of college programs or the teaching and learning process. For example, requests often are made to complete a thesis or dissertation work and allow staff to remain on a subsidized salary while enhancing their education related to job duties.

ii. Eligibility: Full-time employees (post-probationary) are eligible for this form of leave. Qualifying years of continuous service may or may not apply (subject to the discretion of the School/Department).

iii. Funding Model for Category #3:

Funding for Leave #3 shall be through a corporate fund. All applications will be considered subject to College priorities and availability of funds. Salary assistance under this policy is paid on the following formula unless a lesser arrangement is mutually agreed upon

  • 50% of normal salary after completion of six years of service, increasing by 5% per year of service to a maximum of 70% after ten years of service. In some situations, special circumstances may change in terms of qualifying years of service. Such decisions would be at the discretion of the President.
  • such payment to be subject to reduction if the College’s compensation to the employee from other sources is to exceed the amount of the employee’s regular salary at the time of leave.

iv. Associated Costs: Depending on circumstances, associated costs are to be determined ahead of time by the department and the decision to support same (or not) is to be documented. Refer to the appropriate Schedule.

v. Procedures for Category #3 are as follows:

  1. Please review the prioritization/decision-making criteria.
  2. Employee first discusses his or her request for leave with his or her supervisor.
  3. If leave is supported in principle by the employee’s supervisor, an Employee Educational Assistance Application Form must be completed and routed through the appropriate supervisor, Dean or Director.
  4. All Leave requests will be prioritized within the applicable division prior to submission to the Review Committee.
  5. Applications will be received by the Human Resources department.
  6. Applications will be evaluated by a Review Committee using the general guidelines outlined in Policy H1O and related Schedules. All applicants are notified of the final decision in writing by HR. All documentation is filed with the Human Resources department

vi. Return of Service Commitment: Educational Leave (maximum of 70% pay) for a course of study which totals 30 working days or more will require completion of a signed letter of agreement and a return of service commitment. This agreement must be drawn up between the employee and the College (through Human Resource Services) and will address matters related to financial assistance and applicable benefits.

Category 4. Return-to-Industry Leave:

i. Purpose: Instructors are eligible for Return to Industry Leave to provide instructors with an opportunity to become vocationally updated in their area of expertise. Such opportunities are equally beneficial to the college.

ii. Eligibility: Full-time employees (non-probationary) are eligible for this form of leave. Qualifying years of continuous service may or may not apply (subject to the discretion of the School/Department).

iii. Time Frame (to point of approval): Notice of this type of leave opportunity will be sent by HR. A deadline for annual submissions will be established for leaves considered in the current fiscal year and, where necessary, for the following fiscal year.

iv. Documentation: Applicants must submit a completed leave form (check Return to Industry category on the Employee Educational Assistance Application Form). Where the leave results in costs being incurred by the College (e.g., salary and/or benefits continue to be paid) documentation shall be drawn up between the employee and the College (through Human Resource Services) which addresses the particular financial assistance and applicable benefits. A Return of Service Commitment agreement will also be completed. Intent is that salary costs are covered by only one source, i.e., either the college or an external industry (employer).

v. Funding Model for Category #4:
Funding for Leave #4 shall be through a corporate fund. All applications will be considered subject to College priorities and availability of funds. Salary assistance under this policy is paid on the following formula unless a lesser arrangement is mutually agreed upon:

  • 50% of normal salary after completion of six years of service, increasing by 5% per year of service to a maximum of 70% after ten years of service.
  • such payment to be subject to reduction if the College’s compensation to the employee from other sources is to exceed the amount of the employee’s regular salary at the time of leave.

vii. Associated Costs: Depending on circumstances, associated costs are to be determined ahead of time by the department and the decision to support same (or not) is to be documented. Refer to the appropriate Schedule.

viii. Procedure for Category #4 are as follows:

  1. Review the prioritization/decision-making criteria.
  2. Employee first discusses his or her request for leave with his or her supervisor.
  3. If leave is supported in principle by the employee’s supervisor, an Employee Educational Assistance Application Form must be completed and routed through the appropriate supervisor, Dean or Director.
  4. All Leave requests will be prioritized within the applicable division prior to submission to a Review Committee.
  5. Applications will be received by the Human Resources.
  6. Applications will be evaluated by a Review Committee using the general guidelines outlined in Policy H1O and related Schedules. All applicants are notified of the final decision in writing by HR. All documentation is filed with the Human Resources department.

Schedule C

Tuition Fee Waivers 2013-2014

Preamble

Provided that certain conditions are met and that proper procedures are followed, College employees enroll in continuing education (CE), tuition-free. This includes course offerings at regional campuses.

Please note that for distance education (DE) courses, employees are required to pay for the course themselves, up front and upon proof of successful completion will request reimbursement from their own school/department.

Employer may pay other fees or costs, including but not limited to textbooks, material fees, supplies etc.

*On a case by case, exceptional basis, an employee may require a course being offered within the day program (during daytime hours) and as well, the course is not offered in the evening hours. Under certain conditions, and at the discretion of the manager, approval may be granted.

Preconditions

For a College employee to qualify for enrollment in a College course tuition-free, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The employee’s manager has approved that the employee take the course or program for job-related reasons; and
  2. the course or program for which the qualifying employee wishes to enroll has space available 24 hours (one business day) prior to the start of the course; and
  3. all fee payers have been accommodated in the course or program.

The College department responsible for the delivery of the course or program retains the right to exclude the particular course or program.

Procedures

  1. A staff development form must be completed by the employee for each course that he or she intends to take. Completed staff development forms must include:
    • Employee ID
    • Employee contact information
    • Department Budget Centre
    • Employee’s status, i.e., permanent, term (confirmed by Manager)
    • Department Chair/Manager signature
    • All course details

    Failure to provide all requested information may result in processing delays. For the purposes of paragraph 4, a registration request will not be deemed to have been “received” until all required information was submitted by the Employee.

  2. If the course is full, the employee will be notified by Continuing Education or a Regional Office.
  3. Course Requests and Tuition Fee Waivers will be subject to the following additional processes and requirements:
    1. Where a department requires that an employee take a course and will pay the associated tuition for the course, this must be indicated on the form in order to guarantee a spot. The department will be invoiced for the cost of the Course (charged to Dean/Directors’ Department Fund)
    2. Where a tuition waiver is being requested, this must be noted on the staff development form and forwarded to the Continuing Education Customer Relations Office or Regional Office for approval.
    3. When a staff development request is approved, the completed form will be held in the Continuing Education office until the space availability in the course(s) can be confirmed.
    4. Employees are responsible for paying all remaining fees when registration is confirmed. If the department is covering these costs, this should be noted on the staff development form, and the department will be invoiced.
    5. The Continuing Education or Regional Office will notify the employee to confirm registration and identify the location of the course. Confirmation will follow in writing.
  4. In cases where multiple employees wish to take the same course, priority for space will be as follows:
    1. First priority will be given to those employees who are paying full tuition (or having tuition paid by their department);
    2. Second priority will be given to those employees whose proposed course is considered by the Dean/Director to be a strategic priority;
    3. All others will be considered on a first come, first served basis. In cases where several employees are of the same priority level, the decision will be based on time of application, with the earlier application being given greater priority.
  5. All employees shall be bound by the College’s student policies and code of conduct with respect to their attendance and participation in any College Course.