Professional Growth

Professional Growth Program
Guidelines & Procedures

Pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement (Article 25), the District has established a Professional Growth Program for permanent classified bargaining unit employees. The following guidelines provide information concerning this program. Also included in this packet is a Professional Growth Request Form. Questions concerning these guidelines and/or request form may be directed to either the Human Resources office or the CSEA Office.
The intent of this program is to provide permanent unit employees the means to:

  1. Gain new skills and broaden their opportunity for promotion as well as assist in the development of their skills and talents in relationship to their job duties through coursework taken at an accredited community college, college or university, or adult education program.
  2. Develop their skills and talents in relationship to their current job duties or within their job family through participation in conferences, seminars, workshops, institutes and conventions.


Eligibility for the program requires:

  1. An average of twenty (20) hours or more per week; and
  2. A minimum of 195 workdays each fiscal year (time worked includes holidays, sick leave, vacation and other paid leaves of absence).
  3. All unit employees who work an average of twenty (20) hours or more per week and a minimum of 195 working days between July 1st and June 30th, including holidays, sick leave, vacation, and other paid leaves of absence, irrespective of the number of hours worked per day, shall be eligible for the maximum District contribution of $1300 on a pro rata basis. The proration shall be a function of the average hours worked per week of twenty (20) or more as it relates to forty (40) hours per week.


  1. Full-time employees are eligible for a maximum District contribution of $1300 per fiscal year for expenses incurred in that fiscal year.
  2. Part-time employees (who meet above eligibility) are eligible to receive a prorated amount based on hours worked per week: (e.g., if an employee works 28 hours per week, then he/she is eligible to apply for 28/40 x $1300 = $910).
  3. Reimbursement for tuition for credit classes taken at Cerritos College shall not be counted toward the $1300 limit.


  1. Complete the Professional Growth request form, available in the Human Resources office, on the Human Resources webpage or on the CSEA webpage.
  2. Submit completed forms to the Human Resources office by the third Friday of the month.
  3. Requests will be considered on a monthly basis. Late requests will be delayed until a future meeting.


  1. The Professional Growth Committee will meet on the first Wednesday of each month. The Committee may schedule additional meetings as needed.
  2. The Professional Growth Committee may request additional information from an employee in order to make a determination of eligibility.
  3. The Committee Chair or Designee will notify the classified employees in writing of Committee determinations concerning eligibility for Professional Growth benefits.
  4. The Professional Growth Committee does not make determinations concerning “release” time for Professional Growth activities. Each classified employee must make arrangements with his/her immediate manager concerning “release” time.
  5. Classified employees may submit a request for reconsideration if not approved by the Professional Growth Committee prior to the next scheduled Committee meeting.
  6. Committee members will abstain from any Professional Growth vote of their own requests or immediate family members or employees whom they supervise.


  1. Allowable expenses for prepayment are specific verified costs per fiscal year for:
     Travel
     Lodging
     Registration fees for appropriate conferences, seminars, workshops, institutes, conventions that result in professional growth for permanent classified employees.
  2. Allowable expenses for reimbursement are specific verified costs per fiscal year for:
     Registration fees
     Tuition
     Books/materials
     Parking
     Meals in accordance with Cerritos College travel and conference procedures
     Other related expenses for Professional Growth activities which are approved by the Professional Growth Committee


Effective July 2, 1992, the college is required to report educational reimbursements to employees as taxable benefits.

  1. Pre-payment:
    a. The employee must submit a request at least 45 working days before the beginning of the activity to allow time for Committee to review and process for repayment. Payment will be submitted to Fiscal services within 15 working days after committee approval. If the Committee cannot approve the request prior to the beginning of the activity, the employee’s request will be considered a request for reimbursement.
    b. The employee must submit proof of completion and/or original receipts to the Human Resources office within 30 days of the end of the activity or coursework. An employee who receives a Professional Growth pre-payment and does not successfully complete the activity may be required to pay back the pre-payment.
    c. If the Professional Growth request is not approved, the employee will be notified with the reason for the denial. The employee may submit a written request to Human Resources for reconsideration of the request within ten (10) working days. Such requests for reconsideration may require additional supporting materials or information for the request.
  2. Reimbursement:
    a. Employees should submit a request before completing the activity and receive approval by the Professional Growth Committee for reimbursement. First consideration will be given to employees who submit their request before beginning their activity. If funds remain, requests submitted after the beginning of the activity will be considered.
    b. Original receipts and verification of completion of the activity (such as a registration receipt, certificate of participation, transcript showing course taken, etc.) must be submitted to Human Resources before any reimbursement will be made. Original receipts will not be returned. These items should be turned in within 30 days of the activity being completed; no reimbursements will be made if receipts are not submitted.


The following information is provided as a guideline to the materials that will ensure that your Professional Growth request is considered.

  1. Include a copy of the brochure, agenda, or program of the conference, workshop, seminar, etc., or specific title and description of each course.
  2. In detail, describe how this activity is related to your current job responsibilities and/or the manner in which the proposed course work will broaden your opportunity for promotion within the service of the District.

Revised April 2016
Revisions effective July 2015