Process at a Glance
Read through this guide for important information on criteria and details on the funds
Deadlines for review periods: The last business day of the month (October to April)
Submit an application through the Student Affairs Professional Development Funds Form
Supervisor approval requested
Student Affairs executive team review
Final approval by Professional Development Team (Compliance Review)
Notification to applicant
If approved, a Student Affairs Business Operations case/ticket will be created on behalf of the applicant for the appropriate transaction (i.e. conference registration, travel request, book purchase)
Be clear on how the opportunity you are selecting aligns with your career or professional development goal(s).
Check if your department has specific professional development guidelines that could impact your application(s).
If you don’t have career or professional goals already developed, use the Employee Guide to help you write them in partnership with your supervisor.
Before submitting your application, discuss with your supervisor and be sure they are approving the request, as this is part of the approval process.
Plan ahead! Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis but the process from submittal to notification can take 8 to 10 weeks.
If your request is for more than $1,000, be ready to tell the committee how the additional expenses will be covered.
- How do I request funds?
Staff will complete a robust online form that will ask for details, costs, and context for the request. The completed request form will be routed to the submitter’s direct supervisor who will review and approve requests in consultation with the department manager. Student Affairs executives will also review and approve. Finally, the form will be sent to the Pro Dev team for a final compliance check.
- Who approves requests?
Along with supervisor/manager approval, the requests are shared with the Student Affairs executive who oversees the unit for review. Once the supervisor/manager and executive have reviewed and approved, the Professional Development team will review for compliance and offer a final decision. Review of submissions by managers, executives and the team will occur on a rolling basis but it can take 8 to 10 weeks for final approval.
- Who is on the Student Affairs Professional Development Team?
The SA ProDev Team consists of representatives from Student Affairs Administration and Business Operations.
- How often will requests be reviewed?
Requests are reviewed on a rolling basis as they are submitted. Reviews typically take 2-3 weeks for review and notification. The goal is to distribute the funds between fall and spring semester to ensure funds are available for opportunities between October and June. In addition, to observe the fiscal cycle and financial reporting, requests must be made by April 30 and reimbursements and purchases must be submitted before June 1st.
- Is there a deadline to request funds?
To observe the fiscal cycle and financial reporting, requests must be made by April 1st of the fiscal year and reimbursements must be submitted before June 1st of the fiscal year.
- What is the fund limit for an individual request?
We are limiting requests to $1000 per individual per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) to provide the opportunity to as many staff as possible. Upon approval, funds are allocated on a rolling basis until the annual allocation is depleted.
- What if my request is more than $1000?
If a request exceeds the $1,000 limit, it is up to the employee and supervisor/manager to identify a plan to cover the additional cost. In the application form, you will be asked to provide information on how the remaining balance will be covered. We will also connect with your department's SA ProDev Liaison if we need to follow up with more information.
- Can I make multiple requests throughout the year?
Multiple requests will be considered if the cumulative total is less than $1,000 for the fiscal year. Requests that will be prioritized will demonstrate a well-considered plan and connection to the staff members’ professional development goals.
- If costs have changed from the time of my application, can my approved amount be increased?
Applicants are encouraged to submit their request with enough time for our teams to purchase items to take advantage of any early bird pricing. Expenses above your approved amount (max. $1,000) will not be covered by the professional development fund even if your estimated costs have changed. We advise applicants with requests nearing the $1,000 to develop a backup plan if pricing for items like hotels, flights, and registrations may increase by the time of request approval.
- Who is eligible for these funds?
Career, Career Part Time, Contract Full Time, Contract Part Time employees receiving benefits who are part of the Division of Student Affairs at UC Berkeley. Limited, Per Diem, Volunteers, and Interns who do not receive benefits are not eligible. Employees must have also cleared their probationary period.
- What should I consider before submitting a request?
It is highly recommended that you discuss your professional development goals with your supervisor. Student Affairs has set-up an Employee Guide (LINK) and Supervisor Guide (LINK) to support you and your supervisor in this process. Engaging with your supervisor is critical for two reasons: 1) they are your champion and supporter to achieve your goal(s) and 2) they will need to approve your request before and after you submit the request form. If applicable, the supervisor and the employee also need to consider if the employee has professional development hours to cover this opportunity.
- What is the criteria to request funds?
The review committee will consider the following criteria when evaluating requests, making a decision, and communicating a response to the requestor:
- How well does the request align with the individual’s professional development focus and plan?
- How does the requested activity give the employee a unique/substantial opportunity to meet their professional development goals?
- What is the estimated return on the investment to the individual for the total cost of the opportunity?
- Can I apply again if I applied last year and was approved?
Yes, you can apply again for this new fiscal year. Priority will be given for an opportunity that is different from the previous year unless the applicant can describe how the same opportunity will meet the goal(s) in a different way.
- Can I submit a request for an opportunity that is a requirement for my current role?
The intent of the divisional funds is to support or supplement professional development efforts by departments and not substitute funds. Mandatory trainings, certifications, licensing, and professional association membership fees are the responsibility of the home department and must be considered in the budget planning process; these costs are unlikely to be approved for Divisional funding support.
- Can I submit a request for an opportunity for the next fiscal year (for instance, a conference or training in August 2020)?
Requests for an opportunity in the next fiscal year will be considered on a case by case basis and depend on fund availability. A follow-up with the staff member may be added to the process to gather more information.
- Can a department submit a request for their whole team?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options, opportunities, and budget prior to submitting a team request. Requests that will benefit multiple people or a team, such as contracting an external trainer, consultant, or speaker, will be considered.
- Can I submit a request for something that I already paid for?
Staff are highly encouraged to plan ahead and submit the request before the purchase is made. While extenuating circumstances will be considered, our team will review requests for opportunities that have already been paid by the department or out of pocket by the employee on a monthly basis.
Staff will also be asked to provide contact information for a Department Contact if this is the case so we can make appropriate arrangements to reimburse the staff member or department with the awarded funds.
- What can I request funds for?
Funds can be requested for opportunities that align with your professional development goals, can vary depending on your needs, and should supplement (not substitute) departmental funds. Examples include:
- Webinar or online classes
- Training course or series
- Workshop or seminar
- Books that specifically relate to your career goals
- Industry conference - registration fees, travel expenses (hotel, flight, per diem)
- Subscription to vocational magazine or professional journal (on a case by case basis if it’s a recurring cost)
- College or vocational school application fees
- Expenses related to the pursuit of an advanced degree, such as GRE prep courses, books, and test fees
- Once approved, how will the expenses be made?
If you were approved for professional development funds, a Student Affairs Business Operations ticket will be created on your behalf for the appropriate next steps (i.e. travel, conference registration, book purchase, etc). At that time, SA BusOps staff will reach out to you directly if additional information is required. The goal is to minimize out-of-pocket expenses for staff.
- Once approved, how long do I have to spend the funds?
You have sixty (60) days from the date of approval to utilize the funds or inform the committee on reasonable delays (i.e. a portion of funds will be to pay for ground transportation or meals while traveling, registration doesn’t open until a certain date, etc…) or the funds will be reallocated. Reminder messages will be sent at 40 and 60 days from the date of approval to make sure you’re on track to use funds or notify us of any delays.
- What is the reimbursement process if I paid for an expense during my travel?
While we highly encourage all expenses be made through the format above, there is an understanding that certain expenses cannot be covered up front or anticipated for travel (i.e. per diem, taxi/Uber/Lyft, etc.). For travel related reimbursements you can submit a reimbursement in the following way:
- Direct Entry Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Reimbursement System
- Once you enter site, click on “Go”
- Under “Travel System,” click “Create New”
- The next page will tell you what you will need to successfully submit your reimbursement request (i.e. travel date, itineraries, receipts)
- You will need to know who your “Approver” is. Your approval email will state who you should list as your approver.
- Fill out and submit
- The chartstring was provided in your approval email
- Direct Entry Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Reimbursement System
- What is the reimbursement process for non-travel expenses?
If you had to pay for expenses out of pocket expenses, in most cases a Business Operations case has been opened for you. If not, you can submit a reimbursement through the following process:
- Go to the Reimbursement Website
- Once you enter the site, click on "Create New Expense Report" under the "Other" Category.
- Prepare to upload receipts or documentation for every expense referenced in your report.
- You will need to select your 'Approver'. Your approval email will include the name of the approver you should select.
- Fill out and Submit.
- Include the chartstring that was provided in your approval email.
NOTE ON TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
Per California State Law, (AB 1887), state funded travel is restricted to various states due to discriminatory laws. While ProDev funds are not state funds, the SA ProDev Committee is highly discouraging travel to the states listed to align with the spirit of the law. We encourage staff to look for other opportunities that could meet their goal(s). If this is not possible, please provide as much information and context as possible within the application. You can get more information and list of states on the State of California page on AB 1887.