University of Houston-Victoria
Policies

Employee Training and Development

Section: Human Resources Index: C-18

The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) is committed to fostering an environment that encourages individuals to seek opportunities for professional growth and enrichment and encourages supervisors, managers, and employees to identify educational, training, and development opportunities that will improve job performance and develop employee potential in current or prospective positions.

This policy establishes processes for implementation of training and development programs including the College Release Program, in accordance with the State Employees Training Act (SETA), Texas Government Code, Chapter 656.041 and UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.A.26.

It is the policy of the University to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law. Additionally, UHV prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Training – Instruction, teaching, or other education received by a state employee that is not normally received by other state employees and that is designed to enhance the ability of the employee to perform the employee’s job. The term includes a course of study at an institution of higher education.

College Release Program – An educational benefit that allows full-time, benefits eligible staff to attend face-to-face graduate and undergraduate college courses of up to three (3) hours per week, per semester (fall, spring, and summer) at UHV or another accredited institution of higher education.

Full-time Benefits-Eligible Staff – University employee who is employed for 40 hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half (4 ½) continuous months, excluding students employed in positions for which student status is required as a condition of employment and employees holding a teaching and/or research position and classified as faculty.

PROCEDURE

The State Employees Training Act allows the University to use public funds for development programs related to current or prospective duty assignments. Funds may be expended from department accounts for employees to participate in development programs upon supervisor and departmental approval. Appropriate expenses may include salary, registration fees, travel expenses, and training materials. Any reimbursement for travel expenses associated with seminars, workshops, or similar training events must comply with all applicable travel policies, rules and statutory provisions.

Goals

The goal of training and development is to increase the knowledge, proficiency, ability and skills of university employees by providing opportunities to gain:

  • knowledge about higher education and an understanding of the institution's mission and goals and how each part of the organization affects and is affected by these goals;
  • an appreciation for academic values, concerns, and needs;
  • a better understanding of the goals and problems of other areas of the UH System;
  • training in technical, general and leadership skills;
  • information about skills and knowledge needed for the future; and
  • quality customer service skills to improve services and support recruitment and retention initiatives.

Eligibility
All university employees may participate in training and development opportunities, subject to:

  1. Supervisor’s approval
  2. Any eligibility restrictions for the individual courses or programs
  3. Availability of funds (where costs are involved)

To be eligible to participate in the College Release Program, an employee must meet university admission requirements and meet the definition of a full-time UHV employee.
Supervisors may require attendance at certain training programs as part of the employee’s assignment.

Normally training and development programs are offered during an employee’s regularly scheduled work hours. Employees are encouraged to take courses during times that accommodate the department work schedule. To the extent that it is possible and practical, supervisors and managers are encouraged to allow their employees to participate in training and development programs. Employees who attend training and development programs with their supervisor’s approval are not required to make up time spent in these programs.

In-House Training Programs

The University has established the Office of Training and Development to provide quality training and professional development opportunities to all UHV faculty and staff.

Other UHV departments also offer training programs on an on-going basis, including Human Resources/Affirmative Action, Technology Services, Finance and Business Services.

Departments may request training that is specific to the department.

All employees may participate in in-house training and development opportunities offered subject to their supervisor’s approval.

College Release Program

This program provides full-time, benefits eligible employees the opportunity to be granted up to three hours per week of release time from normal duties to take courses toward a degree plan at an institution of higher education. General guidelines:

  • Release time is for face-to-face courses that meet during employee work hours.
  • Prior to registering for a class, the employee must apply for and obtain the approval of the immediate supervisor and the cabinet-level supervisor.   The application for the College Release Program is available in the Forms section of the Human Resources intranet site. 
  • Classroom time including travel to and from class may not exceed three hours per week.
  • Release time from regular duties may not be granted for study time.
  • The employee is required to go through the regular admission processes and meet relevant admission requirements of the institution.
  • The costs of tuition, fees, and books are the responsibility of the employee.

The classroom time required to complete the course will not be charged against vacation or sick leave, nor will salary deductions be made. These hours shall be reported as release time on bi-weekly and monthly timesheets. The employee is obligated to job responsibilities when the class is not in session. For purposes of determining overtime, College Release hours are considered regular work hours and counted towards the 40-hour workweek. Employees are encouraged to take classes at times that accommodate the departmental work schedule.

Supervisors are encouraged to make a good faith effort to accommodate requests for participation. Disapproval of a request will be so noted on the application form, together with the reason for the disapproval.

Mandatory Training Program

UH System mandated training is considered a minimum job expectation of all employees. It is the responsibility of each employee to complete annual mandatory training. This includes all full-time and part-time staff and faculty, part-time and temporary employees including adjuncts and student employees. Employees who do not complete annual mandatory training by the published deadline will not have met their job expectations and will not be eligible for merit increases. Failure to complete the required training may subject the employee to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Role based mandatory training may also be assigned to an employee and must be completed within 30 days of the initial notice.

The Office of Training and Development coordinates the mandatory training for UHV, however, department heads are responsible for monitoring their employees’ training completion in a timely manner.

Additional information on the University’s Mandatory Training program including a detailed mandatory training schedule is available in the Training and Development section on the home page of UHV's intranet site.

Outside Training Opportunities

Employees as well as supervisors and managers are responsible for identifying training opportunities outside of UHV that will enhance the employee’s job performance. Reimbursement for any expenses for outside training is subject to availability of funding in the department. Funding exceptions must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee.

Staff Tuition Scholarship Program

The Staff Tuition Scholarship Program is designed to encourage employee development through formal education by providing financial assistance for the payment of tuition and fee expenses of eligible employees.

Definitions

Program participant - an eligible employee receiving scholarship aid through the Staff Tuition Scholarship Program.

Eligible employee -

  • any regular, full-time, benefits eligible employee (100% FTE), including new employees under a probationary period.
  • is in good financial standing with the university with no outstanding debt;
  • has met all requirements for admission and is in good academic standing;
  • meets other criteria described below.

Course - any regular course offered either at the UHV Campus in Victoria or at UHV-Katy for which academic credit is awarded upon successful completion of the course. Courses taken under this program should be either related to the employee’s job, related to a degree program in which the employee is enrolled, or provide for career development at the University. Requests to take courses at other universities, including other system components are not eligible.

Tuition and fees - is defined as tuition and required fees and is subject to the IRS definition of qualified tuition and fees. Optional fees and charges such as installment plan fees, institutional loan service charges, late fees, reinstatement fees, books and/or supplies are not included in this definition.

Eligibility
  1. An employee must meet the eligibility requirements above.
  2. Program participants must meet current admission standards. This program does not in any way modify or waive any university entrance, other academic requirement or course pre-requisites. If the program participant is a returning or transfer student, the program participant must be in academic good standing (currently 2.0 GPA for undergraduate courses and 3.0 for graduate courses) in order to be eligible to participate in the Program. Applicants are not eligible to participate in the Program if they are on academic probation or disciplinary suspension.
  3. Applicants who owe any outstanding balances to the University are not eligible to participate in the Program.
Scholarship Awards
  1. Scholarships will be awarded to employees for undergraduate or graduate courses for up to three (3) SCH each semester or summer session but not to exceed nine (9) SCH per academic year (September 1, through August 31).
  2. Scholarships may be used for payment of tuition and required fees associated with eligible courses for which program participants enroll under the Program.
  3. Program participants who are eligible for other scholarships or grants will be eligible for a Staff Scholarship award for any tuition or required fees for the selected course which remain unpaid after application of the other scholarships or grants.
  4. This scholarship may not be used in payment for individual course after a second enrollment in same course unless the first course was not successfully completed.
  5. After an application is submitted, Scholarship funds will only be applied to the course that the program participant listed on the application form.
Availability of Funds for the Program

This Program has limited funds. Scholarships under the Program are subject to the availability of specific funds in the University budget and will be awarded based on program eligibility criteria on a first come/first serve basis. The University is not required to make funds available in any given fiscal year. Participant awards cannot be carried forward from one academic year to the next.

Scholarship Application

The application deadline is five business days prior to the start of the semester or summer term. The employee must submit a Staff Tuition Scholarship Application,  available in the Forms section of the Human Resources intranet site, to his/her supervisor for approval. The application shall then be submitted by the employee to the Office of Human Resources for confirmation of employee eligibility. The application will then be returned to Financial Aid by the applicant for additional confirmation of eligibility and processing.   At the end of the semester, the Financial Aid Office will conduct a review to insure that program eligibility requirements were met and that the participant successfully completed the course with a minimum 2.0 GPA (undergrad) or 3.0 GPA (grad).   Staff Scholarship benefits will be applied to student accounts at the beginning of the semester and the scholarship amount will be reduced by other federal or state grants or scholarships.  If the participant does not complete the course with the required grade, or drops or withdraws from the course at any time during the semester, the scholarship will be withdrawn and the participant will be responsible for the cost of the course.   (References)

Guidelines for Staff Enrolled as UHV Students

Since the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) is a public institution providing instruction in higher education, UHV allows its employees and other UH System employees to enroll in UHV courses. To ensure that all students including UHV and UH System employees receive the same level of access and treatment, it is expected that employees who enroll in classes offered by UHV abide by the following guidelines:

  • Employees will not use their positions at the University to try to gain faculty/student privileged information.
  • Employees realize that when they are enrolled in a University course, their rights and responsibilities become no different from other students.
  • Employees will respect the authority of faculty and not use the employee's position within the university to gain preferential treatment.

Employees with administrative access to the university’s course delivery system agree not to use their administrative privileges to access any online courses within their degree program.

Approved by:

Signature Obtained  

Robert K. Glenn, Ph.D.      
President

Date
8/29/18

Origination: Human Resources Department
Next review date: September, 2023 (5 years)