Training Handbook

Section 2.D.
College Training
Taking College Courses

College Training

Section II.   D    Staff Taking College Courses

I.    General Policies applying to any staff member taking a college course, including CDA courses.

A.

Any staff member taking a college course on Head Start time or through Head Start funds must complete the course with a passing grade within the time of the semester taken.  Failure to do so could result in the complete withdrawal of HSGD assistance until the employee has successfully completed the course with their own funds and on their own time. 

B.

All employees enrolled in a college program toward a degree other than the Child Development or Early Childhood Education AA degrees through DCCCD, and are requesting funds from HSGD, must have a degree plan on file in the Training Department. 

C.

Any staff who would request funds for the CDA courses or an AA degree through DCCCD must submit to Training proof of application for financial aid through the college.  Financial aid through the college is not required, but this must be sought prior to requesting HSGD funding.  Also, the employee must submit the Education Agreement form and send a signed copy to Training.

D.

Any employee taking a college course on Head Start time or through Head Start funds must complete a College Course Request Form  (This form can be found in HSeIS) prior to taking any course.

E.

Any employee taking a college course on Head Start time or through Head Start funds is a representative of our agency to the college, and exemplary behavior is expected.  The employee will attend classes as scheduled and be on time for class.  HSGD has an excellent rapport with the local colleges, and it is the responsibility of every employee to reinforce this relationship.

F.

Head Start will not pay late fees for registration, additional fees for a person registering for a course more than twice, or any additional fees other than tuition, books and required lab fees.

G.

Online degree programs are included in HSGD funding of college training.  HSGD will cover the cost of courses up to the current tuition cost of an equivalent DCCCD course for the AA degree.  At the end of each course the staff member must provide to Training a copy of their grade report before requesting more funds for another course.  Also, the staff member must submit a degree plan to Training prior to submitting a College Course Request form.
   

II.    CDA Courses

A.

Teachers who are required to have a CDA within their first two years of employment must be allowed to take one course per semester and be given work time to take this course or be compensated with work time. If a Teacher wants to complete the CDA course requirements early, HSGD will cover the cost of college tuition, books and fees, but is not required to give work time for more than one course at a time.

B.

The semesters that the Teacher will be allowed to take the CDA classes is up to the Site Manager or their representative, however the Site Manager is required to adhere to the timetables of the CDA Policy.

C.

For Teachers taking CDA classes during working hours are required to be given a lunch break in addition to the class time if the lunch hour fall during the class time or immediately prior to class time.

D.

If a Teacher does not successfully complete the CDA evaluation, it is up to the Site Manager to determine the next step.  However, the CDA or degree is required of all Head Start Teachers.  The Site Manager is requested to counsel with Training and Human Resources as to the employee's options.

E.

CDA renewal will follow the same policies as the CDA. 

III.    College Degree Coursework

A.

Since these courses are not required by HSGD, lunch break time is not given in addition to class time for those courses taken during work time.

B.

For Teachers working on their Associate Degree in Child Development or Early Childhood Education, HSGD can allow the employee to take one out of four courses on Head Start time, but supervisors are not required to do this.

C.

HSGD will pay tuition and books  for all Teachers working on their Associate Degree as long as funds are available to do this.  This applies to courses taken on work time or the employees time.  An exception to this would be if staff member withdrew, failed, or got an incomplete in a course for which HSGD has paid that staff member will not be granted further education funds until that person makes up that course on their own time and with their own money.

 

HSGD will typically not pay for other material other than books and tuition for a staff member to take a course.  If there are other expenses required the staff member must consult with Training prior to the course to determine if HSGD will assist with additional funding.

D.

For Teachers who want to take courses from another college other than Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), HSGD will not pay tuition and fees to the college, but can reimburse the employee for these costs up to amount the course would cost at DCCCD.

IV.    Bachelors Degree HSGD Assistance

A.

All staff are welcome and encouraged to apply for an educational stipend to assist them with their college education.  The stipend funds do not fall under the obligation to  work for Head Start after completing the degree or paying back the money given by the agency.

B.

Due to directives in the new Head Start Act all teachers receiving funding from HSGD for their Bachelors Degree will be required to:

 

bullet Work for Head Start for three years after they obtain their Bachelors Degree,
bullet Pay back the money to HSGD if they do not work the three years or pay the portion of the money if they only work part of the three years after receiving their degree,
bullet Work for three years from the time they decide to withdrawn from their degree program without completing it, if HSGD has funded Bachelors Degree courses,  or
bullet Pay back the money to Head Start for the Bachelors Degree courses paid for by HSGD if the employee leaves their job prior to finishing their Bachelors Degree (this applies to voluntary or involuntary dismissal).

 

C.

This directive does not apply to Associate Degree courses in Child Development or CDA courses even though these courses would be accepted by a four year school and applied toward a Bachelors Degree.  It would apply to Community College courses applied to a Bachelors Degree taken after the Associate Degree has been obtained.

 

“When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”
            
Yogi Berra

 

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