Back See this section in context: Criterion 2 Core Component 2B
2B.8: Professional Development
Professional development is available to all classifications, with a major goal being the benefit to the institution of equipping employees with current information and skills (4A.2). In the 2009 employee survey, 93% of administration, 96% of faculty, 92% of support staff, and 88% of professional/technical staff indicated that Sauk is moderately to highly supportive of professional development.
Participation in professional development is typically voluntary. In most cases, the employee determines his or her own development needs, chooses an appropriate activity from available options and formats, and obtains approval for it. However, policies and practices of the college testify to the importance of providing employees the opportunity to participate in development activities:
- Planning: Administrators plan professional development for themselves and their respective non-faculty staff and request funds as a part of their annual budget requests. While it is recognized that professional development may occur in many different formats, most employees indicated that they attend conferences or workshops fairly regularly, once every two to three years, or every year (93% of administrators, 82% of faculty, 79% of professional/technical, and 76% of support staff).
- Program review: In an effort to encourage participation, the 2009 revision of the Program Review Guidelines asks whether all full-time staff in the area have participated in professional development during the last five years.
- Tuition support: SVCC provides tuition waivers for employees, as well as their families, to take classes at Sauk. In addition, Sauk reimburses an average of nearly $6,500 annually to employees who complete pre-approved classes at other institutions. Ten employees received a tuition reimbursement in FY10.
- Faculty Development Committee: Faculty participate in their own development system, which monitors the disbursement of the $20,000 annually budgeted for faculty development. After obtaining supervisory approval, the faculty member requests funding from the Faculty Development Committee. The committee, comprised exclusively of faculty, determines whether the request meets the development guidelines.
- In-house training: Training on-site by Sauk staff provides a cost-effective and efficient delivery method for many types of professional development:
- The Instructional Technology staff conducts free technology workshops for staff and has several online tutorials available as well.
- Human Resources has conducted supervisor training sessions for administrators and non-administrative supervisors pertaining to supervisory practices and employment law.
- The staff development committee, which is comprised of employees from the support and professional/technical job classifications, conduct a variety of development activities including an annual spring retreat, bi-monthly staff information meetings, occasional teleconferences, and participation in the Northern Illinois Network of Staff Developers meetings and events.
- Webinars: Student Services and Instructional Technology have both accessed webinars and made them available to all interested staff. The FY11 employee survey indicated an average of 78% of Sauk employees have attended at least one webinar on a work-related topic (Administration, 100%; Professional/Technical, 86%; Faculty, 70%; Support, 68%).
- Faculty promotion policies: As an encouragement to faculty, promotion is linked to the amount of graduate education a faculty member has attained.
- Membership in professional organizations: The college emphasizes the value of professional development through its expectation that faculty will hold memberships in relevant organizations. An annual review of faculty involvement is included on full-time faculty self-evaluations. According to the fall 2009 survey, 88% of faculty hold memberships in at least one professional organization relevant to their work at Sauk.
- Provisional promotions: In an effort to keep and develop excellent employees, Sauk offered provisional promotions to two support staff employees who lacked the requisite degree qualifications. These employees accepted the responsibilities of the new position and agreed to complete the appropriate degree within a specified time period.