(a) Assistance is awarded to permanent classified or unclassified employees based upon supervisory recommendation and selection by the Education Assistance Program Committee. Education assistance is provided:
- (1) to employees with a minimum of two years of DHS employment by the date of receipt of the assistance application by the Education Assistance Program Committee;
- (2) for study in accredited public and private universities, colleges and vocational-technical schools. Accreditation is verified by the Office of Personnel Management;
- (3) for study to obtain a general equivalency diploma (GED) certification, vocational-technical certification, associate degree, undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or post-graduate degree;
- (4) for a one-year period. Unless decided differently by the Education Assistance Program Committee, there will be one application period each academic year for education assistance. Assistance will cover the fall semester and the successive spring and summer semesters. Employees must apply annually for successive assistance;
- (5) in an amount not to exceed $750 per person per academic semester; and
- (6) to employees who have been approved for educational leave as necessary.
(b) Costs for tuition, mandatory fees, and books are reimbursed at the end of each semester or academic period for which reimbursement is to be awarded. Within 30 calendar days of the end of the semester or period, the employee awarded assistance submits to the Education Assistance Program Committee acceptable receipts for qualified expenses, as well as a certified copy of the recipient's grades, from the university, college, or vocational-technical school, before reimbursement will be made. Expenses such as school supplies, parking, event tickets, mileage, or per diem are not reimbursed.
(c) Within 30 calendar days of the end of each semester, the assistance recipient submits a certified copy of his or her grades to the immediate supervisor.
(d) If the recipient does not successfully complete the semester classes, he or she will not receive reimbursement. Successful completion requires a grade of C, satisfactory, passing, or other indication of successful completion.
(e) If a recipient withdraws from a class, he or she must resubmit an application to be considered for subsequent semesters.
(f) The assistance recipient signs a contractual agreement with the Department. The contract specifies the obligations of the assistance recipient.
- (1) For each semester in which funds are provided, the assistance recipient agrees in writing to remain a Department employee for one year beyond the end of the semester for which assistance is received.
- (2) Employees who receive assistance and who fail to remain a Department employee for the required time are liable for reimbursement to the Department of funds received pursuant to this program.