Staff HR Policy D-753.01
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Professional Development Procedure

There are a variety of ways NMC faculty and staff can achieve their professional development goals:

    In order to ensure that all faculty and staff have plans for their continued development and are engaging in meaningful professional development opportunities which support the strategic directions of the College, each member of the regular faculty and staff will have a written individual development plan.
    For faculty, this is considered the "annual plan" which is described in the faculty evaluation plan.
    For staff, an individual development plan describing short- and long-range objectives and the resources required shall be completed at the beginning of the annual performance feedback planning process. The performance feedback form has been revised for this purpose. Performance feedback forms are located on the shared drive S:\Human Resources\Public\Forms\NMC Performance Feedback System.
    Faculty and Staff:
    1. Sabbatical Leave. Sabbatical leave allows a faculty or administrative staff member to take up to a full year of academic leave in order to undertake additional study in academic areas related to his/her field of teaching or profession; to work toward an advanced degree; to do organized research; to engage in scholarly, creative, or artistic production; to undertake pertinent travel and foreign residence; or to seek retraining and updating in his/her area of knowledge or skill. Details are described in policy D-753.02 Sabbatical Leave Executive, Administrative, and Professional Staff Procedure.
    2. Professional Development Activities. Professional development activities funds are open to all faculty, administrative/managerial, professional, technical/paraprofessional and support staff. A variety of job-related projects can come under the heading of professional development activities, and judgments about the appropriateness of projects are made by the relevant executive officers. Projects supporting the strategic directions of the College, department, or academic area will receive priority consideration. Professional development activities may only be approved as funds are available and budgeted for this purpose.
      Ordinarily approved professional development activities will include those projects that are of a short-term or special nature, are a part of the faculty or staff member's annual development plan, and support the strategic directions of the College or department, or academic area. These can include (but are not limited to) the following:
      1. Professional certifications, summer programs, conferences and workshops, pertinent travel and foreign residence.
      2. In-service programs for faculty and/or staff.
      3. Special projects for the analysis of teaching methods, to develop new or different approaches to course structure or content, or to develop new approaches to teaching.
      4. Engagement in scholarly, creative, or artistic production.
      5. The study of innovative projects and programs at other institutions.
      6. Serving as an officer in a professional organization.
      7. The costs of substitute faculty when a faculty member must be absent more than three days from the classroom in order to attend a short-term conference or workshop.
      8. Tuition at a post-secondary college or university when furthering educational attainment is part of the faculty/staff member's approved development plan.
      9. Retraining or updating faculty member's area of knowledge or skill.
        The application timeline for Professional Development Activities follows the Sabbatical Leave Faculty Procedure timeline beginning with the February 15 deadline. See Click on Policies
    Faculty and Staff:
    Professional Development Funds. Academic area or departmental professional development funds are available for use by all members of the department, or academic area to fund appropriate professional development activities. Individual practices concerning the allocation of travel funds will vary from division to division. Academic area or department travel funds may be utilized for any of the activities outlined in the list above of professional activities which are ordinarily approved.
    The budget for sabbatical leaves, and professional development activities will be established each fiscal year through the planning and budgeting process.
    Faculty Only:
    Sabbatical Pay. Using the current standards of eligibility and application procedures, sabbatical leaves granted to faculty members will be at the rate of 100 percent of base pay for one semester of leave to be taken during the faculty member's regular academic year, and 50 percent of base pay for two semesters of leave to be taken during the faculty member's regular academic year.
    Faculty and Staff:
    Professional Development Activities Funding. Costs of professional development activities will be reimbursed up to the total of reasonable costs for the project. Estimated costs must be provided and approved according to the normal approval process prior to the project. Documentation of expenses and a summary of the project must be provided within 30 days of the end of the project.
    The individual will normally be expected to pay for textbooks, course materials, and applicable fees when taking college courses. Evidence of successful course completion must be submitted to the executive officer within 30 days of the end of the course.
    Faculty Only:
    Written application for professional development activity funding shall be submitted to the Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE) well in advance of the proposed activity.
    Staff Only:
    Written application for professional development activity funding shall be submitted to the appropriate executive officer well in advance of the proposed activity.
    NMC Four-Year College and University Scholarship Program for Regular Staff at Northwestern Michigan College. The purpose of this is to provide tuition and fee assistance annually to regular staff at Northwestern Michigan College who attend the NMC University Center or another accredited four-year college or university. To be eligible, an applicant must be a regular staff member at Northwestern Michigan College and pursuing courses or an advanced degree/certificate. Letters of support from colleagues and/or supervisors are encouraged. Eligibility does not guarantee that assistance will be awarded. To obtain the form, contact Human Resources.
    Staff Only:
    Staff may request flex time (a revision in work hours) or release time (a release from work equivalent to the time spent) for professional development activities. Release time may be granted for those activities which are directly applicable to the needs of the job, the department, and/or the College.
    Staff members engaging in professional development activities as part of their own professional development initiative may occasionally need to attend such courses during normal working hours. Where possible, supervisors are encouraged to facilitate flexible scheduling in order to accommodate those needs. It is recognized that these arrangements should not compromise service and availability to students. Details are described in the Flexible Work Options policy D-757.00 and procedure D-757.01 on the Human Resources website at and click on Policies.
    By November 1 of each year, the president of the College will make a statement detailing the institutional needs and priorities of the college for professional development.
    The Director of Human Resources or designee has the authority to make an exception to this procedure, in consultation with the appropriate executive staff member.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Revised on 3/30/07; 11/20/09

Authorized on 2/27/01