What is Covered

Education and professional development opportunities are eligible under the Education Benefits Program when the courses or degree programs meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Job related

  • Support the developmental plan of an employee’s Lead@ performance management process

  • Career growth related

  • Required for a job-related degree program (all undergraduate degree programs and courses are considered job-related)

  • Required for job related professional certification or license

ESL, GED, Literacy and related classes are eligible for the Education Benefits Program. Academic coursework for undergraduate or graduate degrees, certification, licenses or professional academic credit must be taken from regionally accredited higher education institutions.

Classes in support of vocational studies, such as technical or technology studies are eligible when they support career development or preparation for a career. Classes that support professional development directly and indirectly, i.e., support the employee’s job, or career development are eligible.

Employees may take up to two UVA courses per semester through the School of Continuing & Professional Studies.

What is Not Covered

The Education Benefits Program is not intended to cover workshops or professional conferences, which are more appropriately funded at the School and Department level. However, if certification or credits can be obtained, then only the instructional portion of the conference or workshop will be eligible for reimbursement with central funding. Meals, transportation, lodging, and materials will not be covered.

Courses involving sports, games, or hobbies will not be covered unless they:

1) Have a reasonable relationship to the business of your employer or 2) Are required as part of a degree program.

Payment will be made for tuition, registration, exams and laboratory fees. Fees normally required at registration are considered part of registration and will be paid. Generally tuition will be paid at the in-state rate when applicable. Other fees, including but not limited to drop fees, application fees, and special course fees, and expenditures for books or study materials are not eligible for reimbursement. Room and board are also ineligible fees.

Academic coursework must be taken for a grade or credit. Auditing is not permitted.

Attendance during Work Hours

The University encourages supervisors and managers to support employee utilization of education benefits and adjust work schedules to facilitate eligible employee attendance to the extent possible.

  • Full-time, salaried, classified and university staff and professional research staff - If a course is job-related and offered during working hours, supervisors are encouraged to release full-time salaried classified and university staff and professional research staff from work duties to attend a course, up to “three semester credit hours” (i.e., actual class time for a three credit course) during a standard semester (fall, spring, summer). In such cases, class time is recorded as “Educational leave”.

  • Adjunct faculty, part-time, salaried, classified and university staff, professional research staff, temporary and wage employees - must take non job-related courses during non-working hours, or adjust work schedules to attend courses during non-working hours. Supervisors are encouraged to adjust work schedules as far as practical to permit attendance.

  • Full-time and part-time salaried faculty - There are no restrictions on attendance during working hours.

It may not be practical to grant time off to all employees who request it for classes because of pressing workloads or other legitimate business reasons. In these cases, the needs of the business shall prevail. Supervisors may request an employee to adjust his/her work hours or not permit attendance during work hours for work-related reasons.

If an employee disagrees with a supervisor’s denial of time off, the employee may appeal the decision to the dean, director, or department head, with the final appeal level being the relevant vice president.

Academic Restrictions

The total number of academic credits for coursework per standard semester, (fall, spring, and summer) whether centrally or departmentally funded, may not exceed 7 undergraduate credits, or 6 graduate credits. Exceptions to the maximum credit limit may be considered with approval by the relevant Vice President and University Human Resources.

Academic coursework must be taken for a grade or credit; auditing is not permitted.

Employees who use the Education Benefits Program in a degree-granting program must apply and be admitted to an accredited Institution. Employees who wish to take courses for academic credit must follow registration requirements and related procedures.