Professional Advancement Program


NSHE Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 3, section 32

Eligibility for Professional Advancement

All Academic Faculty holding a .50 FTE or above and who have been placed on the Academic Faculty Salary Schedule are eligible for this plan.

Expense Encumbrance or Reimbursement Disclaimer

The College will not pay nor will a faculty member have caused any liability or encumbrance to accrue to the College for expenses the faculty member entered into during the course of the professional advancement program, except where otherwise allowed by the president, in writing, or by Board of Regents policy.

The professional grant-in-aid, allowed (under the provisions of Title 4, Chapter 18, Section 5) may be used to pay for course work taken with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).

Voluntary Program

Participating in the Professional Advancement Program is completely voluntary. No administrator may require any faculty member to participate in the Program.

Faculty Senate Review Committee for Professional Advancement Appeals

A Faculty Senate committee will be convened by and report to the Faculty Senate Chair when an appeal for denial of professional development is received. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make his/her case for professional advancement in the written application that this committee will review. The committee may call for additional assistance from program area faculty.

The Chancellor shall prescribe in procedures a program outline for professional advancement, program standards, and an appeals process.


NSHE BOR Procedures and Guidelines Manual, Chapter 3, Section 3

Program Outline

Professional Advancement Approval Process for Credit Courses/Programs

  • Courses/Program, etc. may be used for professional advancement only with prior written administrative approval as stated in Title 4, Chapter 3.
  • Any movement on the salary schedule can only occur consistent with the fiscal year contract. Exceptions must be approved by the President.

Degree Programs

See Also: Professional Advancement Application (Degree Programs) form

  • The Academic Faculty member wishing to advance across the columns on the salary schedule by completing a bachelor's, masters or doctorate degree (columns 2, 3, 4, and 5) must submit a written formal request.
  • Upon appropriate department chair/immediate supervisor, dean and Vice Presidential approval, a formal professional advancement agreement will be written. The program must identify the anticipated program and program completion date. The agreement is not valid unless the appropriate department chair/immediate supervisor, dean, Vice President and faculty member sign the agreement.
  • Upon successful completion of the degree program, the faculty member must submit official verification to his/her official personnel file. In the event that the degree program is not completed in the anticipated time frame, the faculty member will notify the Vice President and human resources in writing prior to the anticipated date of completion. A review of completed work will be made by the department chair/immediate supervisor, dean, Vice President for consideration of movement on the schedule. Column movement will not occur without the approval of the President.

Credit Course Work

See Also: Professional Advancement Application (Credit Course Work) form

  • The Academic Faculty member wishing to move across the columns by completing credit course work must comply with the provisions of the Board of Regents policy. That is, column 2 requires upper level/division undergraduate credit hours; columns 3 and 4 require graduate credits. The faculty member must submit a written formal request to his/her department chair/immediate supervisor. The department chair/immediate supervisor will forward the recommendation to the appropriate dean/Vice President. The appropriate Vice President will notify the faculty member of approval/non-approval within 20 working days from receipt of the application.
  • Upon successful completion of the agreed upon course work, the faculty member must submit official grade verification to the faculty member’s official personnel file. The faculty member will not be eligible for column movement until all requirements for advancement have been met. When the approved courses total the credits required for advancement, the faculty member must notify the dean, Vice President and the Human Resources Director in writing.

Professional Advancement Approval Process for Occupationally Related Courses

See Also: Professional Advancement Application (Occupational-Related Course Work) form

  • The Academic Faculty member wishing to take individual contact hour courses for advancement across the columns on the salary schedule must submit a written formal request to the department chair who will forward the recommendation to the appropriate dean/Vice President. These courses could include, but are not limited to, continuing education courses in a specific discipline and specialized workshops or institutes in which contact hours rather than credits are used to grant recognition for successful completion.
  • Due to the manner in which some occupationally related courses are offered, the faculty member may only have a few days or weeks between notification of offering and actual registration. Therefore, every effort must be made by all parties involved to complete this process prior to the due date for registration. When the approved courses reach the contact hours required for advancement, the faculty member must notify the dean, Vice President and the Human Resources Director in writing.
  • Upon successful completion of the courses, the faculty member must submit official verification to his/her official personnel file. The faculty member will not be eligible for column movement until all requirements for advancement have been met.

Program Standards/Definition of Terms

Education Standards

For degree programs and credit courses, the degree/credit must be awarded by regionally accredited institutions. Non-degree (non-credit or continuing education) courses will be awarded equivalency based upon accepted industrial and/or professional standards.

Relevance

The program or courses must either be relevant to the Academic Faculty member's discipline or enhance teaching/counseling/professional skills, or provide benefit or advancement.

Equivalency

For purposes of this document, all academic courses will be equated to a sixteen-week semester. Courses taken in quarter or trimester credits will be adjusted to this standard. Degree programs will stand on their own as approved by accrediting institutions. That is, a Masters degree will transfer as a Masters degree regardless of the institutional differences in semester vs. quarters.

Occupationally-Related Courses

Occupationally-related courses are those courses that relate to the faculty member's primary duties, e.g., courses taught, services provided, etc.

When a program includes training offered by private or professional organizations that do not meet the regionally accredited institution requirement, the applicant will need to submit supporting materials that 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.

Official Verification

Official verification shall include, but not be limited to: diplomas, transcripts, certificates, or letters from sponsoring agencies.

The verification process for occupationally related courses can be by certificate, or by letter from the agency providing the training. The verification must include 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 verification that the individual participated in the training.

Professional Licensure

Licensure itself does not apply toward movement on the salary schedule. It is recognized that some occupational areas have additional licensure that may be equivalent to degree qualifications. This list includes, but is not limited to, the following: MD, DDS and JD. The number of graduate hours in the curriculum will be equated to the standard master, etc. degrees.

For example, a MD, DDS and JD would be the equivalent of three to four years of graduate school, and should therefore be considered as the fifth column of professional advancement. Two masters degrees, however, would not be the equivalent of a fifth column movement, but would qualify for a fourth column movement, if approved.

This explanation does not mean automatic approval of such licensure, only an explanation of the existence of these categories.


Program Category Standards

The Professional Advancement Program may be, except where otherwise noted, any combination of the following categories or programs.

1. Degree Program/Credit Courses

The credit awarded for completion of a degree program will be limited to only the degree awarded to the individual. All programs/courses must be offered by regionally accredited institutions. Movement from one column to another beyond column two must be accomplished in blocks of thirty or sixty credits as appropriate.

Movement to:

Column 2 Bachelors or Associates plus 60 upper level
undergraduate credits
Column 3 Masters or Bachelors plus 30 graduate credits
Column 4 Masters plus 30 graduate credits or equivalent or
Bachelor's plus 60 graduate credits or equivalent
Column 5 Earned Doctorate

2. Non-Credit/Contact Hours Course Training

Continuing Education

The equivalency for continuing education 1:15. For every fifteen hours of continuing education, one unit of credit will be awarded. Continuing education can be in the form of workshops, institutes of other recognized education programs. All courses/workshops must meet national standards for occupational areas. Movement from one column to another beyond column two must be accomplished in blocks of 450 or 900 contact hours. Column movement for occupational-related courses will be limited to one column. Additional column movement will need to be accomplished taking degree credit classes. Column 5 placement is restricted to earned doctorates.

Movement to:

Column 2 Associates plus 900 contact hours
Column 3 Bachelors plus 450 contact hours
Column 4 Bachelors plus 900 contact hours
  Masters plus 450 contact hours
Column 5 Special Permission of President

On-the-Job Work Experience

On-the-job work experience with pay will be 1:75. For every seventy-five (75) hours of internship, one unit of credit will be awarded. Faculty entering into such experience must follow the same requirements and program as established by the College with students with the college's cooperative education program. All hours of on-the-job work experience must be certified by an outside agency/employer.

Internships

On-the-job work experience without pay will be 1:75. For every seventy-five (75) hours of internship, one unit of credit will be awarded. All hours of internship experience must be certified by the outside agency/employer. The internship experience for the faculty member must follow the same standards and requirements established for the On-the-Job Work Experience Program. Movement from one column to another beyond column two must be accomplished in blocks of 2250 or 4500 contact hours as appropriate.

Movement to:

Column 2 Associates plus 4500 contact hours
Column 3 Bachelors plus 2250 contact hours
Column 4 Bachelors plus 4500 contact hours.
  Masters plus 2250 contact hours.
Column 5 Special permission of President

Definitions

Certifications: First time passage of a certification may qualify for column movement on the salary schedule. For example:

  • Industry Certification Tests "ASE," "CWI".
  • Master Electrician License requires eight (8) years experience and passage of a written exam. License must be renewed each year.
  • Registered Professional Engineer for any discipline. Requires a B.S. in engineering, five years industrial work experience and passage of written exam.

Appeals Process

In the event that the faculty member's application for professional advancement is denied, the decision can be appealed.

  • The appeal will be submitted to the Faculty Senate chair, who will forward the appeal to the appropriate committee.
  • The Faculty Senate committee will review and recommend to the Faculty Senate Chair its approval or non-approval of the appeal.
  • The Faculty Senate chair will carry the committee recommendation to the appropriate dean/Vice President.
  • If the appeal is denied by the dean/Vice President, the College grievance procedures can be utilized.

Committee Organization

The committee shall be organized in such a way as to represent a diverse cross-section of faculty disciplines and professional areas. Each academic division will nominate one (1) faculty member from its division to serve a two-year term on the committee. In addition, the committee membership must contain two (2) members from technical or vocational disciplines. The chair of the committee shall be selected from within the committee membership. The chair will have voting rights on the committee.

Timeline

An applicant must submit his or her appeal to the Faculty Senate chair within ten (10) working days of being denied approval of the professional advancement program by the appropriate dean/Vice President.

The Faculty Senate chair will forward the appeal to the appropriate Faculty Senate committee for consideration. The committee will call a hearing within five (5) working days and render a decision within ten (10) working days of the hearing.