Tuition Assistance Program Application Information
Conestoga College encourages the upgrading of its employees through its professional development and training practices.
Progressive professional development and training practices support, reflect and are specifically aligned with both the College’s Mission, Vision and Values statements and the goals of the Strategic Plan.
Conestoga College will consider reimbursement to any full-time employee as follows: 50 per cent of the tuition expenses for any approved post-secondary credit course up to a maximum of $850 per course and $1,700 per fiscal year to the lifetime maximum. Lifetime maxima are established as: $6,000 concluding in an undergraduate degree, $9,500 concluding in a master’s level degree, and $11,500 concluding in a doctoral degree.
- The applicant must be a full-time employee of Conestoga College both at the time of application and at the time the reimbursement would normally be processed.
- The goals and outcomes of any course or program must specifically align with the college’s strategic plan or with the objectives of the employees department or school. Courses and programs must be directly related to the current work of the employee, to the courses, programs or services delivered by the college, or in preparation for potential positions or programs outlined in specific college plans and to which the college has expressed the intention of assigning the employee.
- Reimbursement is given for pre-approved courses. In exceptional cases, courses completed prior to receiving initial approval from the Tuition Assistance Committee may be considered for reimbursement if:
- There are sufficient funds
- The application meets all other tuition assistance approval conditions
- The courses were completed within a maximum of six months prior to submission
- Reimbursement is for tuition only (unless books are included in the tuition fee) and not for travel, conferences, seminars or professional memberships. Reimbursement is given on a per course basis and upon submission of evidence of successful completion of the course (normally a grade report and a tuition receipt).
- Funds are granted only for courses that are offered as part of a certificate, diploma, or degree program at an accredited post-secondary institution as recognized by the college.*
- Courses offered as part of the Faculty Collective Agreement “In Service Teacher Training Program” are explicitly excluded from the Tuition Assistance Program.
- Courses requirements must be completed outside the regular work schedule of the employee.
Employees may not access these funds while on a college supported Professional Development Leave.
- Calculation of the yearly maximum reimbursement is based on the fiscal year of the payouts, not on the year that courses were taken.
- Courses eligible for tuition assistance are those taken at an ‘acceptable’ institution. For purposes of this program, ‘acceptable’ is defined as follows:
- Any accredited university or college that is an ordinary member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
- Any accredited university or college recognized by the Ontario College of Teachers Act, Ontario Regulation 184/97, amended to 373/01
While courses or programs at other institutions may be eligible, those institutions will be assessed on an individual basis at the time of application. International institutions must meet approval of a credential evaluation by World Education Services (WES).
The Tuition Assistance Fund is a limited fund. The college identifies an annual amount for the Tuition Assistance Program and this amount is maintained in the budget of the Director, Organizational Development. From year to year, the amount of money may be adjusted depending on the number of applications, the college’s available resources, and the college’s plans for expansion/development.
In order for there to be funds available throughout the year, there will be a distribution of money three times each year. Applications received but not approved for support in one trimester may be forwarded for consideration to a subsequent trimester. Moneys not awarded in one trimester may also be forwarded to the next trimester.
- The employee completes the Application for Tuition Assistance Form requesting approval for tuition reimbursement and forwards it to the supervisor with a copy of the calendar information which details a summary of the program, its courses, and the title of the certificate, diploma or degree expected.
- The supervisor may discuss the application with the applicant and with the Director, Organizational Development if required.
- The supervisor signs approval of the application and forwards it to the Director, Organizational Development with a letter of recommendation describing how completion of the proposed course or program specifically aligns with the college’s strategic plan or the department’s goals and/or with the applicant’s current position or program.
- The supervisor also submit to the Director, Organizational Development any applications that are not recommended together with the reason why recommendation is withheld.
- The Director, Organizational Development calls the standing Committee for Tuition Assistance to meet at regular intervals throughout the academic year to consider applications which have been received.
- The committee reviews and recommends those applications which meet the criteria listed above and for which there are sufficient funds in the college’s Tuition Assistance account.
- The Director, Organizational Development provides confirmation (or not) to the individual applicant with a copy to the supervisor.
- The application provides for the approval of the program. The final page of the application identifies the first course to be taken in the program. This page only is to be used for requests for approval of subsequent courses through the duration of the program and must be submitted in advance of registering for those courses.
- Upon successful completion of the each course, and within six months of the completion date of the course, the employee submits the tuition receipt and the grade report to the Director, Organizational Development for reimbursement. (The applicant must be employed full time at Conestoga College at the time the reimbursement would normally be processed.) Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 6 months of the completion date of the course.
Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered and will be returned to the applicants.
Criteria for Decisions
- The proposal must be consistent with the college's and the department/School's strategic direction. Preference will be given to activities which enhance college programs and services on a long term basis.
- The proposed course of study is directly related to the employee's current position, program, department, or to a related position or program to which the college has indicated its intentions to assign the employee.
- The proposed relevant course is part of a program or part of a written, approved professional development plan as opposed to a 'one-off' course.
- Preference will be given to applications of more critical need to the objectives of the college as opposed to long range future plans.
- Funds are normally reserved for those applicants who do not receive financial support from other funds.