The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Compensation for Additional Degrees, Certifications, and Licensures Policy

Unit:  Human Resources
Contact: Susan Norton
Title:  Senior Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer
Effective Date: 09/24/2012
Revision Date: 01/11/2022


 
 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance regarding additional compensation to eligible staff employees at The University of Alabama who (after their employment date and completion of their Introductory Period) attain additional job-related or job-enhancing degrees from regionally accredited colleges and universities and/or job-related or job-enhancing professional certifications and licensures from appropriate agencies.

The University encourages and rewards continuing education among its employees. Therefore, University budget permitting, all regular staff who have satisfactory job performance may be considered for a salary increase upon completion of additional job-related or job-enhancing degrees from regionally accredited colleges and universities and/or upon receiving select job-related or job-enhancing certifications or licensures. These certifications/licensures are frequently from nationally recognized certifying or licensing organizations. Regular part-time staff should receive a prorated amount based upon their full-time equivalency (FTE). For example: an eligible part-time employee of 0.50 FTE may be eligible for an amount equal to 50% of the $3000 for a Masters’ degree.

Policy

Prior to enrolling in a degree, certification, or licensure program, the employee must receive appropriate approval by using the Request for Compensation for Additional Degrees, Certifications, and Licensures form.  Failure to do so in advance may result in the denial of the salary increase. 

Once the degree, certification, or licensure has been obtained, the employee should provide documentation of such accomplishment to the department.  At that time, a Personnel Action form should be submitted, along with a copy of the fully-approved Compensation for Additional Degrees, Certifications, and Licensures form, and the appropriate documentation from the employee to increase the employee's base salary. The Personnel Action form should only include the increase as it pertains to this policy and should not include other raise and/or merit increases.  An increase to an employee's base salary should not be included using the budget process.

If an employee has a fully-approved Compensation for Additional Degrees, Certifications, and Licensures form and transfers to another department, the employee must seek full approval from the new department in order for the salary increase to be paid.  The new department is not required to approve the form and/or the salary increase.

Increases, to the extent permitted under the University budget, will be effective October 1 following the completion of the degree, certification, or licensure.

Approved salary increases will be as follows: 

Degree

  • Associate: $1,000
  • Bachelor: $2,000
  • Masters/EDS/JDS: $3,000
  • Doctorate: $4,000

Certification/Licensure

  • Certification: $1,000
  • Licensure: $1,000
Regional accreditation ensures that an institution’s academic programs meet acceptable levels of quality. There are six regional accreditation bodies in the United States. Regional accreditation is considered the highest form of institutional accreditation and offers a broader level of approval. Regionally accredited colleges and universities are defined as postsecondary institutions that are fully accredited by the regional accrediting associations as identified in The University of Alabama’s Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policy and include:
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Nationally accredited institutions are not recognized for the purposes and application of this policy unless they are also regionally accredited by one of the agencies identified in The University of Alabama’s Undergraduate Transfer Policy.

The types of certifications and licensures that may be rewarded are typically those that are nationally recognized across a wide variety of industries.  These require continuing education to maintain the certification or licensure, or have an expiration date. Although it is not possible to list all the designations, examples include Certified Public Accountant, Professional Engineer and Professional Architect. Pay increases will be centrally funded for those employees who are paid from state funds. For employees who are paid from non-state funds, increases will be paid from their salary source(s).  

All increases are subject to the availability of funds and the approval of the appropriate Vice President, Athletic Director or President.

Note: Only one approved degree may be compensated under this policy at each level.  As an example, if an individual earned a Bachelor’s degree prior to applying for a position at UA, and if the employee is hired and later obtains a second Bachelor’s degree that is relevant to their position, the employee is eligible to apply for additional compensation consideration.  An employee may not be barred from consideration if they have not been compensated under the policy for the level of degree being sought.  In addition, if an employee is enrolled in a degree-seeking program and is granted a lower-level degree in the process, compensation will not be awarded for each degree individually unless prior approval has been granted through this process.

The attainment of only one certification/licensure will be compensated under this policy.
 

References

Compensation for Additional Degrees, Certifications and Licensures form

Certification vs. Certificate Matrix 

Scope

This policy applies to eligible staff employees at The University of Alabama who after their employment date and completion of their initial Introductory Period, attain additional job-related or job-enhancing degrees from regionally accredited colleges or universities and/or job-related or job-enhancing professional certifications or licensures from appropriate agencies. This policy does not apply to employees holding faculty rank.
 
 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 01/11/2022