Policy: Policy 4-5-3-5: Professional Advancement Program Date Adopted:  
Department: Human Resources Contact: Professional Advancement Committee
Statement: The goal of the Professional Advancement Committee is to encourage professional development among faculty in accordance with the Community College Professional Advancement Program adopted by the Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 32.

Table of Contents:

  1. Professional Advancement Committee
  2. Guidelines
  3. Application Review Procedures
  4. Application Review Process

Section 1: Professional Advancement Committee

  1. This committee is charged with reviewing applications by faculty seeking professional advancement and providing a recommendation on the application to the appropriate Dean/Director, and the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
  2. Duties
    1. The committee is responsible for developing procedures to ensure a fair and timely review of applications, as well as developing and using policies for determining which courses, programs, contact hour training/workshops and work experiences will be recommended or not recommended for approval.
    2. The committee will report to the Faculty Senate on the status of the Professional Advancement Program at least once each academic year.
  3. Committee Organization
    1. The committee shall be organized to represent a diverse cross-section of faculty disciplines, locations, and professional areas.
    2. The ex-officio members include a Human Resources representative for the College and a WNC representative to the System Compensation Committee.
    3. The length of service on the committee should be a minimum of two years.
    4. To ensure continuity, each year the composition should include at least two members who served on the committee the previous academic year.

Section 2: Definitions

  1. All professional advancement must be relevant to the individuals primary job duties and supportive of the colleges overall mission.
  2. The following contains the developed guiding principles of the Professional Advancement Committee used to determine whether or not courses, programs, workshops, etc., are recommended for approval. These guiding principles are meant to act as general guidelines for applicants to the professional advancement program to ensure that all applicants are treated equitably.
    1. If a course taken is offered by an accredited institution, is at the level appropriate to the column movement being requested, is relevant to the duties of the individual, the course will be awarded credit according to the ratio of hours or credits established by the Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 3.
    2. When a program includes training offered by private or professional organizations that do not meet the regionally accredited institution requirement specified in the Regents Handbook, the applicant will need to submit supporting materials.
      1. These materials must demonstrate that the organization and/or trainer meets the accepted professional standards or is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency appropriate to the field in which the training is provided.
      2. When the applicant is seeking to move on the salary schedule beyond range 2, the applicant must demonstrate that workshops and training meet the graduate level or equivalent requirement as stated in the Handbook.
    3. The verification process of attendance of workshops or training in nonacademic settings is subject to the same level of verification of grades from academic institutions. The verification document must include:
      1. The total number of contact hours, the content of the training, the signature of the trainer or the representative from appropriate agency, the date of the training, and a verification that the individual participated in the training.
      2. This verification process can be by certificate or by letter from the agency providing the training.
      3. Copies of the verification documents must be attached to the application. The applicant will need to show the original verification document to the personnel analyst prior to any movement on the salary schedule.
    4. Events (e.g., workshops, seminars, etc.,) offered by WNC or for WNC through another agency where the individual is required or urged to attend will generally not be counted for movement on the salary schedule. The committee reasons that such events are part of the persons job duties or assignments. However, exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    5. When a specific course, workshop, or training, is repeated, the total number of credits applicable to movement on the salary schedule shall be limited to six. The six-credit limit applies to specific topics within a discipline.
    6. On-the-job work experience is limited to work experience, which meets the requirements of the cooperative work experience program at WNC or meets the requirements of an internship program. Requirements for meeting these two categories typically include the establishment of goals in advance of the work experience, professional supervision, evaluation of performance in light of the goals, and a limit of the number of credits (six credits) that can be applied to the program.
    7. On-the-job work experience (with or without pay) will be 1:75.
      1. For every seventy-five (75) hours of on-the-job work experience, one unit of credit will be awarded.
      2. All hours of on-the-job work experience must be verified by the outside agency/employer.
    8. The internship experience for the faculty member must follow the same standards and requirements established for the on-the-job Work Experience Program.
    9. The Professional Advancement Program does allow occupational faculty to move to the fifth column.
      1. Requirements for such movement center on the faculty member demonstrating that he/she has attained the accomplishments common to most terminal academic degrees.
      2. These accomplishments should include a demonstrated mastery of the subject matter relevant to the discipline, and original contribution to his/her field, and appropriate activities that show that professionals in his/her field recommend the applicant as attaining the highest level of knowledge and skills recognized in his/her field.
      3. All faculty have equal access to the same professional development processes (including advancement) as allowed by WNC Policy 4-5-3-5 Professional Advancement Program. Increases for professional advancement made through this process are to recognize an individual faculty members academic achievement and thus do not factor into equity adjustments for faculty members.
  3. All faculty have equal access to the same professional development processess (including advancement) as allowed by WNC Policy      4-5-3-5 Professional Advancement Program. Increases for professional advancement made through this process are to recognize an individual faculty member's academic achievement and thus do not factor into equity adjustments for faculty members.

Section 3: Application Review Procedures

  1. Each applicant should obtain a copy of the appropriate WNC Professional Advancement Program application(s), goals, policies, procedures, and the guidelines available in the Board of Regents Handbook (Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 3), before preparing his/her application.
  2. All WNC Professional Advancement Program materials should be available on the WNC Web page. Applicants should read all materials carefully before applying for this program.
  3. Type of Application:
    1. It is recommended that approval is sought prior to the under taking of the activities.
    2. To request approval, faculty must complete the Professional Advancement Application for Credit.
  4. Deadlines
    1. It is the responsibility of the applicant to anticipate training/educational opportunities and to submit the application to the committee at least 15 B contract working days prior to the activity to allow the committee adequate time to review it.
    2. Applications will not be considered during the summer.
    3. For summer and semester break activities, applicants are encouraged to submit applications at least 15 B contract working days prior to the end of the previous semester. Otherwise applications for summer and semester break activities will be considered the following semester.
  5. FACULTY NEED TO APPLY TO MOVE ON THE SALARY SCHEDULE BY FEBRUARY 1, TO BE CONSIDERED FOR MOVEMENT FOR THE FOLLOWING ACADEMIC YEAR. It will aid the college if you can give a full years notice of when you anticipate completing your program.
  6. Location of Application Packets:
    1. Application packets (including program information) can be obtained on the WNC web page.
  7. Supporting Documents
    1. Applicants are to include materials to support their proposal for professional development.
    2. Each person should remember that the committee may include faculty who are unfamiliar with the applicants discipline and should include necessary supporting documentation-especially in cases where the application includes review of workshops, training by private industry, etc.
    3. Supporting documents include, but are not limited to, catalogs to explain the level and department of the course, documents demonstrating that the workshop or training meets accepted professional standards, and rationale for the course/program being relevant to the individual.

Section 4: Application Review Process

  1. Each applicant needs to submit the original application to the chair of the Professional Advancement Committee.
    1. The Chair will review the application for completion.
    2. If there seems to be obvious lack of information, the Chair will request, in writing, that the applicant submit the needed material.
  2. The Chair will send a copy of the application to each committee member or will contact committee members about the application.
    1. Committee members need to treat the material as confidential. It should not be shown or discussed with anyone who is not a member of the committee.
  3. The committees review form will include the reasoning for the committee for all instances where the recommendation is for no approval.
  4. The Chair of the committee will notify the applicant, in writing, of the committees decision. An applicant may appeal the decision within 15 B contract working days and request to meet with the committee.
  5. When the Committee approves an individual course, this application will be forwarded to the appropriate administrators for signature (see application forms).
  6. When the committee makes its final recommendation for range movement, the complete application file (along with documentation) will be forwarded to the appropriate administrators (see movement application form) for final approval.
    1. Upon final approval, the administration will authorize the appropriate salary adjustments based on the fiscal year.
    2. Faculty need to apply for movement on the salary schedule by February 1, to be considered for movement for the following academic year.
  7. The Faculty member (applicant) and Human Resources Office should each maintain a file, which includes every application, and all records pertaining to the Committees decisions.

Date(s) Revised December 10, 2021; September 2, 2008; May 11, 2004; March 28, 2001; April 26, 1995; Date(s) Reviewed