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4.43     Policy on Board Office Educational Assistance  

Educational assistance includes reimbursement for tuition, fees, books, or other expenses incurred by a Board Office employee in taking coursework for credit at an educational institution. The employee is expected to maintain everyday job responsibilities while taking this coursework.

1.                  Eligibility/Criteria  

Any regular employee of the Board Office who has completed the equivalent of one year of full-time continuous service is entitled to consideration for the benefits provided under this program.  (For example, an employee budgeted one-half time would be required to have been employed for at least two years in order to be eligible for the program.)  

An employee receiving other financial assistance, such as scholarship aid, GI funds, etc., will be eligible to receive educational assistance to the extent that the sum total of all methods of reimbursement does not exceed 100 percent of tuition and fees.  

Employees are required to first seek enrollment into evening and Saturday classes; tuition reimbursement may be granted for a maximum of four credit hours at one time.  

If the necessary courses are not available during evenings and Saturdays, flex time and tuition reimbursement may be granted for a maximum of four credit hours at any one time.  

When flex time is granted, the individual's work schedule will be modified to the extent feasible to accommodate class hours.  However, merit staff employees may be expected to make up the time missed from work, and professional employees are expected to meet project deadlines.  

2.                   Acceptable Courses of Study  

This program is exclusively designed for school-related courses of study.  Any course of study must be in an area that has a relationship to the tasks accomplished within the office, the requirements of the position the individual currently holds and/or requirements for the learning of skills for which the office has need.  

The course must be taken from an accredited institution approved by the U.S. Department of Education.  Short courses, workshops, CEU courses, etc., will not qualify unless they carry credit toward a degree or certificate.  

3.                  Educational Institutions  

A staff member may, under this program, attend any institution of higher learning within the state that is accredited by an organization approved by the United States Department of Education.   In the statement, “accreditation” refers to a specific program of study that is approved or accredited by the profession, if any.  

4.                  Reimbursement  

An employee will be reimbursed for tuition and fees upon submission of an original paid receipt from the academic institution to the designated agency representative.  

Prior to reimbursement, the employee must provide proof of successful completion of the course.  

Successful completion of undergraduate course shall require attainment of at least a "C" grade, a “complete” or a “pass”.  

Successful completion of a graduate course shall require attainment of at least a "B" grade or “pass”.  

Successful completion of a vocational or correspondence course shall be recorded by submittal of an official certificate.  

5.                  Termination of Employment  

Any staff member who receives reimbursement for tuition shall agree to remain in the active employment of the Board Office after the receipt of such benefit for a period of one month for every unit of credit earned or to repay to the state of Iowa such compensation as the staff member shall have received.  Months shall be counted beginning with the first full month of active employment following the official semester closing date of the institution wherein the employee is enrolled.