3.12 (printable version)
Policy/Operational Procedure Name:
July 1, 2015; July 1, 2019 (Revision)
Next Review Date:
Durham Technical Community College fosters educational and service excellence through continuous improvement of the College’s most valuable resource, its employees. All employees will participate in professional development annually as identified within the performance review and evaluation process.
Durham Technical Community College (Durham Tech) offers a variety of professional development opportunities to all employees (full-time, part-time, faculty, staff, permanent, and temporary) throughout each academic year. Offerings include those provided by the Teaching-Learning Center (TLC), Information Technology Services (ITS), Human Resources, Campus Police and Public Safety, and individual units and employees. Employees should consult the Employees section of the website and the employee training portal for specific opportunities.
The College extends responsibility for professional development and training to all levels of the organization as follows:
- The College is responsible for providing opportunities that enhance and build the capacity, skills, and professionalism of employees, enabling them to contribute effectively and creatively to the College’s mission.
- College leadership and administration are responsible for identifying and communicating priorities and goals, as well as relevant developments and trends affecting the College.
- Deans, department heads, chairs, and directors are responsible for adopting flexible strategies which promote participation in professional development activities. They are also responsible for working with their employees to identify needs and creating a professional development plan that will benefit the unit as well the individual employees.
- Supervisors are responsible for assessing and communicating the professional development needs of individual employees. Supervisors should plan for, and support participation in, appropriate professional development activities that occur during work hours. Supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that employees have completed legally mandated, compliance-related, and College-required professional development in a timely manner.
- Employees are responsible for participating in designated learning experiences; actively completing legally mandated, compliance-related, and College-required training; and developing professional development plans in partnership with their supervisors. Employees are also responsible for assessing their job-related skills and knowledge, maintaining a high level of performance throughout their employment, and seeking appropriate professional development opportunities in collaboration with their supervisors.
- Each academic year, full-time employees must complete a minimum of five (5) hours of professional development beyond that which is legally mandated or compliance-related. These activities should be identified within the employee’s performance review and evaluation (PR&E) documentation. Professional development activities identified in the PR&E should take priority, but employees are encouraged to consider additional development opportunities, as well.
- The executive director of Human Resources is responsible for implementing this policy.
- Professional development advisory committees (e.g., Professional Development Committee, Teaching-Learning Center (TLC) Advisory Committee) are responsible for identifying and prioritizing professional development opportunities in collaboration with the executive director of Human Resources to integrate efforts and optimize resources.
Professional Development Opportunities
Durham Tech’s mission includes championing learning and student success and delivering outstanding teaching and service. As such, the College actively promotes employee participation in activities designed to promote, maintain, and develop academic and professional expertise. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Training in academic research, teaching methods, and learning pedagogy;
- Participation in professional networks, associations, or accreditation opportunities related to employees’ job responsibilities, community colleges, or higher education;
- Conferences, seminars, workshops, classes, teleconferences, or webinars to support those who teach with content development, discipline acumen, and/or pedagogy expertise, or those who serve with program development, service professional expertise;
- Education to obtain professional licensures and maintain continuing education credits;
- Teaching-Learning Center (TLC) activities; and
- Instructional Technology activities (including Sakai workshops).
The College also actively promotes learning directly related to an employee’s optimal job performance, including activities focused on or involving the following:
- Business skills, including financial stewardship, human resource management, and strategic leadership;
- Knowledge of College policies, procedures, mission, and governance structures;
- Communication skills, including basic skills, conflict management and resolution, negotiation, team-building, and facilitation;
- Courses in administrative project management, supervision, human resources, and financial management;
- Organizational and professional development in strategic planning, change management, coaching, communication processes, group dynamics, performance management, systems integration, and strategic goal and continuous improvement alignment;
- Knowledge and skills related to acting as an inclusive and respectful member of an ethnically and culturally diverse College community and workforce;
- Knowledge and skills related to recognizing and effectively responding to discrimination and harassment;
- Knowledge and skills related to using technology to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the College’s business and/or educational practices; and
- Council, committee, task force, or association leadership.
Professional development opportunities may also include any other activities as agreed upon by employees and supervisors that support teaching, learning, service excellence, student success, the College’s mission, and the NC Community College System’s objectives.
Legally Mandated and Compliance-Related Professional Development
All employees (full-time, part-time, faculty, staff, permanent, and temporary) must participate in legally mandated and compliance-related professional development to ensure adherence to applicable local, state, and federal laws and/or to ensure job readiness. Legally mandated and compliance-related training will occur in the first months of employment for new hires and annually for existing employees.
Legally mandated and/or compliance-related professional development hours are separate and distinct from the minimum professional development expectations for full-time employees set forth in this policy. The College currently mandates the following compliance-related training:
- Campus SaVE Act;
- Hazard Communication: Right to Understand;
- Durham Tech General Safety Update;
- Campus Security Authorities: Roles and Responsibilities;
- Title IX and Sexual Misconduct;
- Drug-Free Workplace; and
- Clery Act Overview.
College-Required Professional Development
Durham Tech reserves the right to require employees to participate in College-required professional development to address needs as they arise or to ensure professional competency for specific positions. College-required professional development may include training in supervisory and leadership development, employee relations, fair hiring practices, implicit bias, digital accessibility, disability accommodations, campus safety, Sakai training, and College policies and procedures. College-required professional development hours may be counted toward the minimum (5) five-hour requirement for full-time employees.
Professional Development Days
Durham Tech has designated three (3) work days on its academic calendar as Professional Development Days. Dates are chosen to allow for full employee participation.
- Employee Professional Development Day – The first professional development day is intended for all employees and is designed to address initiatives that are strategic and involve all personnel. The Office of the President designs and coordinates the learning activities for this day. Employee Professional Development Day will occur on the first work day of employment for nine-month employees, which typically falls in early August, one (1) week before the first day of Fall Semester curriculum courses. On this date, the College reserves the right to close to the public to allow all employees to participate. No classes (curriculum, continuing education, or adult education) will be scheduled on this date. Exceptions to class scheduling on this date must be approved by the Executive Vice President.
- Teaching and Learning Professional Development Day – The second professional development day is intended for all employees who teach and is designed to give faculty the opportunity to reflect on teaching practices, refine pedagogy, and ensure learning excellence. The Teaching-Learning Center (TLC) Advisory Committee, with the support of the Office of the President, designs and coordinates the learning activities for this day. The Teaching and Learning Professional Development Day will occur the day after grades are due for the Spring Semester. Although the College may remain open to the public, no classes (curriculum, continuing education, or adult education) will be scheduled on this date. Exceptions to class scheduling on this date must be approved by the Executive Vice President.
- Service Professional Development Day – The third professional development day is intended for all employees who provide support services and is designed to give staff the opportunity to reflect on customer-service practices, refine and enhance student engagement, and ensure service excellence. The Professional Development Committee, with the support of the Office of the President, designs and coordinates the learning activities for this day. Service Professional Development Day will occur on the third Friday of the Summer Term. On this date, the College reserves the right to close to the public to allow all employees to participate. No classes (curriculum, continuing education, or adult education) will be scheduled on this date. Exceptions to class scheduling on this date must be approved by the Executive Vice President.
Funding sources for professional development opportunities vary depending on the activity. College-sponsored professional development is offered at no cost, when possible. For fee-based professional development activities, the following funding resources are available for consideration:
- Financial Support for Employee Tuition and Fees – Full-time employees may take one tuition and fee-waived Durham Tech curriculum or continuing education course per term, with the cost limited to the amount of tuition and fees for a five-credit-hour course (exception: self-supporting courses). Employees should refer to the Employee Handbook for additional information.
- Tuition Reimbursement – Full-time employees who have been employed for at least one (1) year are eligible to apply for tuition reimbursement (subject to fund availability). Additional requirements for continued service at the College after reimbursement may apply. Employees should refer to the Tuition Reimbursement Application (available via the Employees shared folder) and contact the Business Office for additional information.
- Departmental Funding – Departmental funding may be used to cover the cost of learning experiences if the activities will benefit operational efficiency or effectiveness or are otherwise in line with the guidelines in this policy. Funding is at the supervisor’s discretion and is based on departmental budget capacity. Employees should consult their supervisors for additional information.
- Durham Tech Foundation – Foundation donors may designate the Faculty/Staff Professional Development Fund as their donation recipient. Employees should contact Foundation staff for additional information.
Compliance-Related Professional Development – Compliance is either a state of being in accordance with established guidelines or specifications, or the process of becoming so. Compliance-related professional development opportunities at Durham Tech are learning experiences are intended to ensure that the College and its employees are abiding by regulations set forth by legislation and governmental and educational entities.
Employees – Individuals of any status (full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary) who are employed by Durham Technical Community College. Students employed under the Federal Work Study Program are considered College employees if the work performed is for the College. For work performed for a federal, state, local public agency, a private nonprofit or a private for profit agency, students are also considered College employees unless the agreement between the College and the organization specifies that the organization is considered the employer.
Full-Time Employees – College employees who work at least thirty (30) hours per week. Full-time employees who work thirty (30) to thirty-nine (39) hours per week earn leave on a prorated basis; all other benefits are the same for all full-time employees regardless of time worked each week.
Legally Mandated – That which is required by law
Mandates – Officially requires or makes mandatory