H10 Educational Assistance FAQs

I am interested in a learning development opportunity that I don’t see covered in the H10 policy. Whom should I contact about questions I might have?

Any opportunity should be first discussed with your supervisor. Your supervisor, in consultation with your Dean or Director, will consider your request in accordance with departmental goals, budgets and priorities. Final approval comes from your Dean/Director.

Requests for degree programs and leaves are forwarded to the Employee Educational Assistance Committee for approval from a central fund. The Educational Assistance Application Form must be completed for such requests.

All other requests are decided at the level of your Dean or Director through their department/school fund.

Are there approval/funding deadlines that I need to be aware of if I want to pursue a university degree (Bachelor’s Master’s or Doctoral) or a Leave?

Degree programs and Leave arrangements are funded centrally and reviewed by the Employee Educational Assistance Committee. Applications are accepted year-round but employees are strongly encouraged to submit their application prior to the end of the fiscal year, and prior to start of their program, wherever possible. This allows the Committee to make funding decisions based on the total expected costs of the program.

Can I receive reimbursement for my books or materials required for my course/program?

Schedule A of the H10 policy provides guidelines for tuition and associated costs.

Is there a lifetime limit as to how many times one can obtain assistance, e.g., received prior assistance for a Bachelor’s degree and now wanting to pursue a Masters?

Yes, the maximum is $7,500 (equivalent to the maximum available for either a Doctoral Program or both a Bachelor’s and Masters program  combined).

I am hesitant about discussing my future goals with my supervisor, since it might mean a potential career opportunity outside of my current department. Is there someone else that I can speak with in regards to this?

You can contact a Human Resources Consultant to discuss your professional development goals. Call Human Resources at 632-2319 to find out the name of the consultant assigned to your area.

How does the approval process work when my program runs longer than the college’s budget year (i.e., a two-year program of study, or longer)?

Educational approvals are intended to be honoured to the maximum funding amount available for that program per policy H10, regardless of the length of the program. However, the College reserves the right to consider each year separately due to budget availability. Should there be any issue with College’s ability to continue funding assistance into an employee’s second/third etc year of the program, the committee will communicate with the employee directly, as soon as possible.

If I am approved to take a course that requires tuition payment, do I have to pay for the course, or does RRC pay upfront?

For funding that falls within the H10 Policy (Bachelor’s, Graduate and Doctoral programs), once you are approved for funding by the Employee Educational Assistance Committee you then register and pay for each of your courses directly. Once you complete your course, you will be partially reimbursed. For more information on this process, click here.

For other types of educational activities, it depends on the type of course you are taking. For example, RRC makes a distinction between courses offered through RRC Continuing Education and those offered through RRC Distance Education. It is important to familiarize yourself with Policy H10 to clarify the details for the course you are taking.

Internal Courses
If you are approved for a course through Continuing Education (classroom-based), the fee is waived by submitting a Staff Development Form for that course. No funds are paid and no invoices are required, but your space in the course is subject to availability after all fee payers are enrolled first.

Sometimes, a Dean/Director requires that your space be guaranteed in a Continuing Education (classroom-based) course, due to a requirement of your job. In this case, you and your Dean/Director will need to arrange payment upfront. In this case, tuition is not waived – rather, the Dean/Director’s budget area will be responsible for the cost. Either you will pay personally, or your department/school will arrange to pay on your behalf. Discuss this with your supervisor. If you pay personally, you will be reimbursed from your Dean/Director’s budget area upon proof of completion.

Distance Education courses through RRC are not eligible for tuition-waiver. Payment is required upfront by you personally. If you have received advance approval to have your Distance Education course covered by your Dean/Director, you can be reimbursed following the course.

Sometimes, a Dean/Director requires that you take a Distance Education course as a mandatory training for your position. In this type of situation only, your Dean/Director’s area is permitted to pay for you upfront.

I am enrolled in a course, but didn’t ask for approval or tuition support. Is it too late to make this request?

The H10 policy stipulates that all employees will require prior written approval from their Dean/Director prior to attending courses during work hours, whether or not the employee will be reimbursed.

In addition, any course for which an employee seeks reimbursement, whether the course takes place during or outside of work hours, requires advance approval from the Dean/Director.

If you are going to make a request after-the-fact for reimbursement, this is contrary to policy, and your department would only consider approval in exceptional circumstances as per the prioritization and decision-making criteria as indicated in Schedule A. Please note there is maximum funding assistance in some instances.

If my employer requests that I attend training outside of the college, or in addition to my regular working hours, is there compensation available?

Yes, if you are requested to attend training in addition to your regular work hours, compensation for costs and time would be considered. This would be part of your discussion with your supervisor, Dean or Director.

Do all the training and development courses I wish to take from RRC Continuing Education require approval from my supervisor? What if it is for a course that is purely for interest sake, i.e., photography, and does not pertain to my job?

If you are requesting a fee waiver for any RRC Continuing Education (classroom-based) course, even if solely for personal interest, your supervisor must approve your Staff Development Form. Normally, this shouldn’t be an approval problem. Note that acceptance into the course takes place 1-2 business days before the course start date as fee payers receive priority registration. If you wish to take the course without your supervisor’s approval, then you would be expected to pay the tuition.

What is the fee waiver all about?

As an RRC employee, one of the benefits is tuition-free courses provided by RRC Continuing Education. If you are approved and registered to take a course (not including Distance Education Courses) the fee is waived and your name will be put on a wait list. All fee-paying students get priority. Any leftover seats are then offered to employees on the wait list on a first come first serve basis, 1-2 days before the course starts.

On a case-by-case exceptional basis, an employee may require a tuition-waived course offered in the day program and under certain conditions, a guaranteed space may be granted.

What is the College’s position on fees for Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) for staff development?

If an employee is seeking RPL for credit toward a credential that has value to RRC, and there is a cost for assessment, RRC may pay up to 50% of the RPL assessment cost. You must gain approval for this request from your supervisor and Dean/Director, and funding support for these costs is through the Dean/Director’s budget area.

I need to go back to work within my industry in order to upgrade certain knowledge and skills that are not available elsewhere. Is there any consideration for this type of on-the-job training?

Yes, Return to Industry leaves are covered in Schedule B of the H10 Policy. Please refer to this schedule for further information on various types of leaves.

Do I have to complete an Employee Development Plan (EDP) in order to get approval to take training or request reimbursement?

If you wish to take learning and development programs on your own time, at your own expense, no plan is required. However, having an EDP is recommended. It demonstrates initiative and a learning commitment on the part of the employee. It is also a good tool to use when discussing and documenting your goals with your current or future supervisors. The EDP is required as part of the application package for funding assistance towards a Bachelor’s, Masters or PhD.

I am a new, regular part-time employee to the College. Am I eligible for training and tuition support?

All non-probationary employees are eligible for assistance. Your Dean/Director will consider your request within policy prioritization and decision-making criteria.

I want to take a course offered by another institution. Red River also offers this course, but I want to complete my certificate/degree at the external institution. Is this a problem?

The preference is for staff to first enroll in similar courses offered by the College. However, in some cases where this is not feasible, please discuss further with your supervisor.

Do I have to complete a Staff Development form?

Yes, for all courses, workshops, seminars, conferences or a program of study, whether there is a cost or not.. The Staff Development Form  provides documentation of approval for the activity from your supervisor, and it contributes to your record of learning activity as an RRC employee.