- Mission & Goals
- Administrative Rules
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Professional Development Committee
Professional Development is the continuous process of acquiring new knowledge and skills that relate to one’s profession, job responsibilities, or work environment. It plays a key role in maintaining trained, informed, and motivated employees, regardless of job classification.
Austin Community College encourages its employees to participate in professional development activities and provides a number of resources through which these activities may be completed. The objectives of professional development are to help employees enhance their job skills, obtain job-related knowledge and information, increase productivity and efficiency, and/or prepare for higher-level positions. In the case of faculty members, it also provides an opportunity for classroom skill enhancement and increased knowledge in their specific academic discipline.
Professional development activities may include, but are not limited to, credit and non-credit courses (classroom or online), workshops, seminars, teleconferences, and audio-visual materials, as long as the activity is pre-approved by the individual’s supervisor.
Procedures and Guidelines:
The following are intended to answer questions supervisors and employees may have concerning Administrative Rule # 6.07.002.
- An employee should meet with his or her supervisor to develop a plan of training topics needed for the academic year.
- New employees hired after the beginning of the fiscal year must complete one (1) clock hour of professional development per month of service.
- Employees may use their tuition vouchers to fulfill professional development activities; supervisors may not, however, mandate the the use of vouchers for this purpose.
- Professional development activities may include, but are not limited to, credit and non-credit courses, workshops, seminars, teleconferences, audio-visual materials, grant writing projects, and reading or publishing in journals, as long as the activity is approved by the individual’s supervisor.
- Participation in any professional development activity should not result in overtime pay for staffing table employees.
- Employees, with the approval of their supervisors, may undertake professional development activities during work time. If an educational activity for a professional technical employee is only available after work hours, he or she should meet with his or her supervisor to arrange a schedule adjustment according to the college compensatory time policy for exempt employees (AR#6.10.012).
- Those employed by the College in more than one position should coordinate their professional development requirement with their supervisors.
- If an employee is required to participate in a non-ACC sponsored professional development activity, the department must underwrite the cost of the activity.
- Supervisors will maintain a record of the professional development hours completed by their employees. The Professional Development and Evaluations Programs Office will maintain records for all employees in the Workshop and Event Registration database. In addition, all employees should maintain records of their own professional development activities.
- It is recommended that employees seek prior approval from their supervisor for their activities, because prior approval is required for an activity to count as professional development. After the activity has been completed, employees should submit to their supervisor completion documentation which the supervisor deems appropriate.
- Under no circumstances should an employee with an evaluation of “Good” or better (for faculty) or overall “Meets/Exceeds Requirements” (for staff) be penalized for not following his or her initial professional development plan. The purpose of the professional development plan is for the employee and supervisor to identify areas needing improvement or growth. New opportunities may present themselves, the availability of workshops may change, and/or other events may arise which result in the original plan no longer being the best course of action. Whether or not the professional development plan changes, an individual must still complete the requisite number of hours of professional development.
- It is expected that the supervisor will approve of any reasonable professional development activity that the employee undertakes. Should a situation arise in which the employee and his or her supervisor are unable to agree on what constitutes a reasonable professional development activity, the matter should be taken to the next-level supervisor. The decision of the next-level supervisor is final.
- Failure to meet these requirements will typically be reflected in the employee’s annual evaluation.
Q: What are the requirements for ADA and SHP?
A: Austin Community College requires its employees to participate in professional development opportunities that will enhance their abilities, provide job-related knowledge, improve their productivity and efficiency, and prepare them for higher-level positions. This commitment to growth is demonstrated by the fact that professional development is incorporated into the Performance Excellence Program (PEP), the performance review system developed and used by ACC for non-faculty positions.
Austin Community College follows the guidelines outlined in Chapter 21, Section 21.010 (Employment Discrimination Training for State Employees) of the Texas Labor Code with regard to training about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Sexual Harassment Prevention. In accordance with these guidelines all ACC employees shall receive employment discrimination prevention training that includes information about ACC’s policies and procedures relating to employment discrimination and sexual harassment. New employees shall be required to attend the training program no later than the 30th day after the date of employment and employees shall attend supplemental training every two years.
Q: How is Professional Development defined at ACC?
A: Professional Development is the continuous process of acquiring new knowledge and skills that relate to one’s profession, job responsibilities, or work environment, and plays a key role in maintaining trained, informed and motivated employees regardless of job classification.
Q: How is it measured?
A: Professional Development activities are measured in clock hours, the actual time spent receiving instruction, excluding time for breaks and meals.
Q: How many clock hours must employees complete?
A: All staffing table employees will complete twelve clock hours per fiscal year; adjunct faculty will complete four clock hours. Part-time employee requirements are addressed in the Procedures and Guidelines portion of Administrative Rule 6.07.002.
Q: How can I find out how many Professional Development hours I have completed?
A: To view your completed hours visit the Workshop and Event registration database.
- Go to the Workshop & Event Registration web site here
- Log in using your ACC eID username and password
- Click on the Completed link at the top of the screen to see the hours you have completed
Q: What types of activities count toward the professional development requirement?
A: Professional development activities may include, but are not limited to, credit and non-credit courses, workshops, seminars, teleconferences, audio-visual materials, grant writing projects, and reading or publishing in journals, as long as the activity is approved by the individual’s supervisor.
Q: Who is responsible for determining what counts?
A: The employee and his or her supervisor determine appropriate professional development activities. The supervisor has final approval authority.
Q: If our department has an idea for a professional development activity, must we have the topic approved by the Professional Development Office?
A: No, we need not approve the activity since it is up to each supervisor to determine which activities count toward each individual's professional development requirement.
Q: How is the completion of professional development activities recorded?
A: Prior to completing an activity, the employee should receive pre-approval from his or her supervisor. After the activity has been completed, the employee should submit to the supervisor documentation of completion which the supervisor deems appropriate. If the activity was an ACC-sponsored event, the employee’s attendance will automatically be entered into the database by the ACC event facilitator. An exception would be the ACC General Assembly; you may submit the agenda from the event to your supervisor as documentation of activity completion. If the activity was a non-ACC related event, the supervisor will enter the faculty member’s completion into the Workshop and Event Registration database through the Add an Activity feature.
Q. As a staff member, how do I receive professional development credit for activities I participate in outside of ACC? For example, what if I attend a conference or read books related to my position?
A. You may submit those activities to your supervisor for approval, using the form located at http://www.austincc.edu/hr/profdev/documents/PDReport.pdf if you choose. Be sure to include how much time was spent doing each activity.
Q: Is the completion of the requirement tied to salary?
A: Completion of the professional development requirement is no longer tied to step increases or stipends; rather, it is tied to evaluation.
Q: Is the completion of the requirement tied to my annual performance evaluation?
A: Yes, completion is tied to annual performance evaluations. However, under no circumstances should an employee with an evaluation of “Good” or better (for faculty) or overall “Meets/Exceeds Requirements” (for staff) be penalized for not following his or her initial professional development plan. The purpose of the professional development plan is for the employee and supervisor to identify areas needing improvement or growth. New opportunities may present themselves, the scheduling of workshops may change, and other events may arise which result in the original plan no longer being the best course of action. Whether or not the professional development plan changes, an individual must still complete the requisite number of hours of professional development activities.
Q: What are the deadlines for completion?
A: The required hours must be completed between September 1 and August 31of each year. All hours for the previous fiscal year must be recorded by September 15.
Q: I understand that some of my professional development hours may be banked. How does that work?
A: 100% percent of the hours above the minimum requirement may be “banked” toward the following fiscal year's requirement. Each year, beginning in September, the database will calculate the hours available for banking purposes and an entry showing those hours will automatically be added to each individual's account. Supervisors will have the option of denying the banked hours through the My Employees feature of the Workshops and Events Registration database if they deem it appropriate.
Q. I completed a credit course this year. How does that apply to my professional development?
A. Your supervisor may choose what portion of that amount is relevant to the professional development needs of your position.
Q. I am an adjunct faculty member and completed ADA Awareness and Sexual Harassment Prevention training through my full-time job. Can those courses meet my requirement at ACC?
A. Yes. With your department chair's approval and appropriate documentation, the administrative assistant in your area can add those two courses to your account, using the same titles and number of clock hours used for ACC courses and choosing the appropriate requirement designation from the dropdown menu in the Add an Activity feature. The training should be comparable in content and length to the training offered at ACC.
Q. Are all ACC supervisors required to complete HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) training?
A. Yes. Supervisors should complete the training within their first year of employment in a supervisory position
.Q: Do administrators as well as professional-technical and classified employees still need to submit a Professional Development Report Form to Human Resources each year? What about the Professional Development Final Report Form?
A: No. An employee’s supervisor is responsible for assuring that the hours are completed (hours may be viewed in the My Employees feature of the Workshop and Event Registration database) and for addressing deficiencies in the evaluation process if they are not. Supervisors no longer need to submit the final report form verifying that the employees who report to them have completed the requirement.
Q: Where is the Professional Development Office located at ACC?
A: It is housed at HBC, room 604. The phone number is 223-7997.
Q: Who staffs that office?
A: The Staff Directory for Professional Development and Evaluation Programs is provided here.