Professional Development: Questions & Answers

Q: What are the requirements for ADA and SHP?
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: "I teach/work at another institution, Can I use my Employment Discrimination and Harassment certificate from my institution?"
No. An employee of the College must complete the mandatory requirements provided by ACC. The information provided in the modules pertains to the College's policy, procedure, as well as demonstrates to the employee what resources are available to them at the College. 

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 in accordance to the course 'type', including but not limited to, the actual time spent receiving instruction, excluding time for breaks and meals.

Q: How many clock hours must employees complete?
A: All Employees must complete the Mandatory Compliance training (Hourly and Work-study employees included)

    1. All (Full-time) Staffing/Faculty table employees will complete (12) twelve clock hours per fiscal year
    2. All Adjunct faculty will complete (4) four clock hours
    3. All Part-time (50% and 75%) staff employee requirements are addressed in the Procedures and Guidelines portion of formerly Administrative Rule 6.07.002. (Refer to Board Policy DK for Professional Development)
    4. ALL EMPLOYEES must completed mandatory compliance training requirements

    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.

    1. Go to the Workshop & Event Registration web site here
    2. Log in using your ACC eID username and password
    3. Click on the Completed link at the top of the screen to see the hours you have completed
    4. Calculate your total before 2016 by adding up your current FY hours and those from previous years to see a historical amount of PD hours earned. 
    • + NOTE: Should you have questions about your total amount of hours, please contact your Supervisor.
    • + Supervisors: Viewing "My Employees" shows a comprehensive view of All Employees currently reporting.

    Q: SUPERVISORS: How can I view Employees banked hours totals?
    Supervisors can view comprehensive listing of all professional development credit by doing the following:

    1. Go to the Workshop & Event Registration web site here
    2. Log in using your ACC eID username and password
    3. Navigate to "My Employees" menu for comprehensive reporting of All Employees reporting to you
    4. **Only current FY totals and most recent FY banked are shown, due to system complications. However verify comprehensive report by viewing "Completed" menu. 
      • + NOTE: Notice something irregular about your direct reports? Contact HR Records to update. 

    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?
    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. 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 31 of 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 1st, the Workshops and Event Registration application calculates total hours for current FY indicated. A Grand Total for the current FY reveals those hours. Past banking or comprehensive PD credit can be calculated using "Completed" menu manually. Additionally, All Supervisors have access to "My Employee" comprehensive report. 
    Supervisors have the option of denying the banked hours through the My Employees feature of the Workshops and Events Registration database.**

    Q. I completed a credit course this year. How does that apply to my professional development?
    A. Your Supervisor needs to approve if the class is relevant to your position. PD hours are awarded based on the credit hours assigned to the class.

    Q. Are all ACC supervisors and employees required to complete HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) training?
    A. Yes. Check with your supervisor as some departments are required to complete specific trainings. For precaution, All Employees should complete the training within the first year of employment.

    Q: Who staffs your office?
    A: The Staff Directory for Staff Professional Development and Evaluation Programs is provided here.

    **Please contact Staff Development and Evaluations to verify most up to date information regarding Board Policy on Professional Development.