Tag Archives: tuition assistance program

Study while you work: Colleagues who can do it all

Fifteen Michigan State University Extension academic staff members have made use of the tuition assistance program initiated in 2007 to help them complete a master’s degree while working for MSU Extension. In October 2006, MSUE changed the criteria for employment as an MSUE academic staff member (educator, specialist or program leader) to include a minimum educational requirement of a master’s degree. Staff members already employed by MSUE who did not have a master’s degree were not required to complete a degree, but MSUE initiated a tuition benefit program for those who decided they did want to complete a master’s degree while working full time for MSUE. Staff members are free to choose any accredited institution and graduate program that aligns with their role with MSUE, and many have found online or hybrid online and face-to-face programs that adapted to their work and family responsibilities. The first graduates completed their degrees in 2009, and we still have colleagues making use of the program. Listed below are those taking part in the program, grouped by the year in which they have or will complete degrees:

2009: Lisa Bottomley, Kendra Moyses, Jodi Schulz

2010: Beth Clawson, Diane Smith, Donna Turner, Janice Zerbe

2011: Laura Anderson, Eileen Haraminac, Rebecca Henne, Gail Innis, Stephanie Marino, Jackelyn Martin

2012: Janis Brinn, Kendra Wills

For more information on the tuition benefit program, please contact MSUE HR manager Nancy Axtell. You can find more information on the program in our administrative handbook at http://www.msue.msu.edu/objects/content_revision/download.cfm/revision_id.595847/workspace_id.282708/Tuition%20Asst%20Procedures_01_2011.doc/

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Thinking it’s time to complete that master’s degree? We can help!

The Organizational Development team delivered their newsletter by email last week and among the many valuable resources it describes, I wanted to particularly call attention to the Tuition Assistance Program for academic employees who are pursuing their first master’s degree. Since October 2006, all academic staff hired in Michigan State University Extension were required to have completed a master’s degree prior to employment. The reason for the requirement was simply to recognize the advanced level of expertise that Extension professionals need to have in their areas of expertise and the advanced level of experience with research they need to be able to effectively translate research findings into practice for the audiences we serve. MSUE academic staff members who had not completed a master’s degree at the time the new policy was implemented are not required to complete a degree. However, we have encouraged staff to complete a master’s degree, and we have tried to provide support for individuals who are pursuing a degree while employed by MSUE. One support mechanism is the Extension Tuition Assistance Program, whereby qualified academic staff members can receive support for up to half of their tuition costs while pursuing their first master’s degree. An application process is open twice each year, and one of those times is now. If you are interested in pursuing a master’s degree and would like to learn more about the program, please go to this link. If you are ready to apply for the program, you can find instructions here. The deadline for the current application process is March 1.

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