Career Development / Tuition Reimbursement Program
The Career Development and Job Enhancement Programs are established to create career options and to enhance upward mobility within Pinellas County Government.
Get started with the brief Tuition Reimbursement Program video (Two-Minute Tuesday video series)
Tuition Reimbursement Program Eligibility:
Unified Personnel System classified service employees who have completed at least one year of permanent employment or exempt service employees are eligible.
Participants in the Career Development Program must also pursue a career path applicable to County government.
Career Development Program:
This program provides employees with counseling and information about the content of jobs, as well as how one must prepare to become a competitive applicant in the selection process. This is accomplished by skills assessment, personal counseling, and financial support for education.
The program provides increased career opportunities by helping employees qualify for promotion within their department or to advance across departmental lines. Employees may obtain financial support from the County, as long as they have identified a career path that is beneficial to County Government and there is a reasonable opportunity for transfer or promotion into the career field.
However, Career Development participants may be required to complete a career plan interview (in person or on the phone) with the Human Resources Department's Training & Development Division to establish a career path before undertaking reimbursable course work. Course work taken must be on the employee's own time. If necessary, this can be accomplished by taking approved Annual Leave or working with management to adjust work schedules.
Job Enhancement Program:
This program limits participants to course work directly related to their current job responsibilities. Course work taken must be on the employee's own time. If necessary, this can be accomplished by taking approved Annual Leave or working with management to adjust work schedules.
Procedure To Enroll in Tuition Reimbursement:
- Obtain a Career Development/Job Enhancement Program Enrollment Request Form from your department or the Human Resources Department or select the online Tuition Reimbursement Enrollment Request Form .
- Complete the Enrollment Request form and obtain your immediate supervisor's and your division or department head's signature.
- Forward the approved form to the Training & Development Division. This should be done at least ten (10) days prior to the starting date of the course to allow enough time for approval. This lead time is necessary to verify your eligibility and ensure there are enough funds. You may, however, at your own risk, submit the request as late as 30 days after the course completion date. You will be sent reimbursement forms with your notification of approval.
- If course work is taken during normal working hours, you must take approved Annual Leave or obtain management agreement to adjust your work hours.
- For Career Development Program requests, explain how this course meets your career development objective. The Training & Development Division may contact you for a counseling interview if your career goals are not clearly stated or understood.
- For Job Enhancement Program requests, explain how the course will provide skills or information that can be used on your current job.
Procedure For Tuition Reimbursement:
- When you pay for the course, save all receipts for expenses incurred, e.g., registration, tuition and books.
- To obtain reimbursement, you must complete the course with a passing grade of "C" or better for undergraduate courses, or "B" or better for graduate courses (or a certified record of satisfactory completion if the course is not graded).
- Log into OPUS and complete the iExpense template for Tuition Reimbursement, after the course is completed. Completely fill out the Reimbursement form, sent with your approval memo (see Procedure To Enroll). Sign form, scan it and the original receipts for tuition and books, and a copy of the official grade report (or a dated certificate of completion) then add as attachment to your iExpense request.
- If you do not have access to iExpense in OPUS, submit the reimbursement request and documents to Human Resources, Training & Development for processing. Contact the Training & Development Division at 464-3796 if assistance is needed.
Tuition Reimbursement Limits:
- The financial assistance available is the same for both the Career Development and Job Enhancement programs.
- Employees may participate in either or both programs provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
- Employees approved for tuition reimbursement will be reimbursed at the full amount for eligible expenses as long as the employee has not exceeded $2,800 per full-time employee per fiscal year. Part-time employees are limited to $1,400 per fiscal year. Fiscal year limits are based on the date of course completion.
For additional information, please contact Training & Development via email or at 464-3796.
Tuition Reimbursement Program Notes:
- If you fail to submit your Tuition Reimbursement Enrollment Request Form at least ten (10) days prior to the starting date of the course, you risk bearing the full cost of the program if the request is not approved. It is best to wait for confirmation of approval from Training & Development before enrolling for a class.
- A separate Enrollment Request Form must be submitted for each course.
- Be sure to attach a copy of the course description to each Enrollment Request to aid in evaluating whether or not a course meets Career Development or Job Enhancement program requirements.
- Remember that the course must be taken on your own time. While Annual Leave may be taken or work schedules adjusted, Administrative Leave may not be used for tuition reimbursement. Any course that is required for a job or for which your organization grants Administrative Leave must be funded from your organization's budget.
- Supplies covered for reimbursement will be strictly limited to supplies that are required exclusively for the course. This may include items such as a ledger for an Accounting course, but does not include regular supplies such as notebooks, pencils or calculators that can be used for other general purposes.
- Any other form of financial assistance received from other sources (e.g., grants, scholarships, G.I. Bill, etc.) must be disclosed and used before claiming reimbursement. You may get reimbursed for any eligible expenses not covered by these programs.
For more information, please contact Training & Development by email or at 464-3796.
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