Staff Professional Development/Tuition Benefits

Updated October 31, 2011.

Berklee's staff professional development programs and tuition assistance benefits can help you obtain, maintain, and improve job-related knowledge and skills and explore other areas of professional or personal interest. These programs and benefits are divided into four distinct categories:

Category Area of Study Example Must be job-related COST:
I Tuition Assistance
for non-Berklee and non-ProArts courses
Course at Harvard Extension School yes Eligible for 75 percent tuition reimbursement to annual maximum
II On-Campus Training
Berklee-provided programs, training, classes, and seminars
Berklee IT instructor-led training yes Generally, paid for by your department or Office of Human Resources
III Off-Campus Training
Berklee-sponsored or -sanctioned external training/development
Job-related conference yes Generally, paid for by your department
IV Tuition Waiver
Berklee, Berklee Online and ProArts courses
Berklee Online course no Berklee pays 75 percent of tuition cost for Berklee Online courses
Berklee pays 100 percent of tuition cost for Berklee and ProArts courses

Category I: Tuition Assistance

Berklee offers reimbursement for job-related, non-Berklee and non-ProArts courses from an accredited college or university or from an organization widely respected for the high quality of its instruction in a specific discipline. This includes distance learning.

Eligibility

After six months of full-time service, all full-time staff, including directors, chairs, and members of the President's Council, are eligible. Employees in probationary periods are not eligible.

Eligible Expenses

Only tuition expenses may be reimbursed up to the annual maximums outlined below. The following non-tuition expenses are not reimbursable: cost of books, lab fees, registration fees, taxes, late fees, exam fees, certificate/licensing courses, certification fees, dissertation fees, supplies, and travel. In addition, any tuition amounts paid for by grants and/or scholarships are not reimbursable. Coursework must be directly and specifically job-related. See the "Supervisor Approval" section below for more information.

For letter-graded courses, a grade of B- or higher is required. For Pass/Fail course, a grade of Pass is required. For ungraded courses, proof of satisfactory completion, such as a certificate, is required.

Reimbursement Maximum

Your maximum annual reimbursable amount is based on your years of continuous full-time staff service.

Length of Service Fiscal Year Reimbursement Maximum
Up to three years $2,500
Three years or more $4,000

Service is measured from the first day you are eligible for this benefit to the course start date.

The annual reimbursement maximum is administered on a calendar year basis. The course start date determines the calendar year against which reimbursement will be counted for purposes of tracking the annual reimbursement maximum. In no case will total reimbursement applied to a calendar year exceed the applicable limit in Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code for that year (currently $5,250).

How It Works

Step 1: Before your course begins, you will undergo a preliminary review of eligibility for reimbursement. Download and complete the "External Course - Staff Tuition Assistance Program Pre-Approval Request" form, obtain your supervisor's approval, and attach your course description. You must submit your completed Pre-Approval Request form and supporting documentation to Crosby Benefit Systems for review no later than 30 days before the course start date. See the form for detailed instructions. Note that pre-approval does not guarantee actual reimbursement.

Step 2: After your course ends, submit a request for reimbursement. Download and complete the "External Course - Staff Tuition Assistance Program Reimbursement Request" form, attach a copy of your final grade and an itemized/detailed paid Bursar's Office receipt, and then submit all of that to Crosby Benefit Systems no later than 90 days from the course end date. See the form for detailed submission instructions.

Allow four to five weeks for reimbursement processing. Reimbursement will be paid to you by check unless you contact Crosby Benefit Systems to request another payment method.

Supervisor Approval

Attending a course during work hours requires your supervisor's approval, even if you intend to use PTO for this purpose.

Job-Related Requirement

For your reimbursement request to be approved, one of the following conditions must be met:

1. Your supervisor certifies that the course content is directly related to your current job duties or duties to be associated with an imminent change in your job (for example, an accounting course for a budget analyst).

2. The course is a required element of a degree or certificate that is directly related to your current job. Your supervisor must certify the job-relatedness of the degree or certificate (for example, a required English composition course for a budget analyst's business management degree).

When Your Berklee Employment Ends

If you leave Berklee employment voluntarily, you must agree to repay the college any reimbursement you've received within six months of the end of your employment.

With both of your submissions (for pre-approval and actual tuition reimbursement), you certify that you:

  • 1. understand this repayment obligation,
  • 2. authorize Berklee to deduct any amount owed from your final salary payment, and
  • 3. agree that if such withholding is less than the amount due you will pay the balance directly to Berklee within 30 days of the end of your employment.

Category II: On-Campus Training

Berklee provides many programs, training sessions, classes, and seminars. A number of these programs are offered regularly by IT Training and Support, the Office of Cultural Diversity, and the Office of Human Resources. Employees can subscribe to these departments' announcements and keep an eye on Faculty/Staff News for more information and updates on opportunities of this type. Generally, your department or the sponsoring department will pay for you to attend relevant sessions.

Eligibility

All full-time staff, including directors, chairs, and members of the President's Council are eligible for on-campus training. Some opportunities may be limited to members of certain departments/divisions due to a session's content or special circumstances.

How It Works

If you are interested in attending a session, contact the sponsoring department and your supervisor for details. Supervisor approval is generally required.

Category III: Off-Campus Training

Berklee-sponsored or sanctioned external training/development opportunities are often available. Common examples include seminars, conferences, webinars, or special programs available to Berklee. Generally, your department will pay for you to attend relevant sessions.

Eligibility

Some opportunities may be limited to members of certain departments/divisions due to a session's content or special circumstances.

How It Works

If you are interested in attending a session, contact the sponsoring department and your supervisor for details. Supervisor approval is generally required.

Category IV: Tuition Waiver

Berklee allows eligible employees to attend Berklee academic courses (excluding ensembles and private lessons), Berklee Online courses, and academic courses offered by member institutions of the ProArts Consortium.

Eligibility and Limits

After six months of full-time service, all full-time staff, including directors, chairs, and members of the President's Council, are eligible. Employees in new-hire probationary periods are not eligible. You may take one course per term under this program. Your enrollment in a course is subject to availability. Berklee and ProArts member institutions reserve the right to give preference to their regular, degree-candidate students.

Amount of Tuition Benefit

Eligible employees may take advantage of:

  • Berklee Online classes: 75 percent tuition discount for one course per term with additional courses available at a 50 percent tuition discount
  • Berklee academic classes: 100 percent tuition waiver for one course per term
  • ProArts classes: 100 percent tuition waiver for one course per term

How It Works

Supervisor approval is required for those seeking to take advantage of the tuition benefit since most courses meet during work hours. Below, you will find the steps involved in taking a course while using your tuition benefit.

  • Berklee Academic Courses
    • 1. Identify your desired course;
    • 2. Complete the Internal/ProArts Course Request form, obtaining signatures from the department chair, your supervisor, and the director of employee benefits in the Office of Human Resources; and then
    • 3. Expect the Berklee Office of the Registrar to contact you if your registration is approved.
  • Berklee Online Courses
    • 1. Identify your desired course;
    • 2. Complete the Internal Online Course Request form, obtaining signatures from your supervisor and the director of employee benefits in the Office of Human Resources; and then
    • 3. Expect Berklee Online to contact you if your registration is approved
  • ProArts Consortium Courses
    • 1. Identify your desired course;
    • 2. Complete the Internal/ProArts Course Request form, obtaining signatures from your supervisor and the director of employee benefits in the Office of Human Relations; and then
    • 3. Expect the Berklee Office of the Registrar to contact you concerning additional registration steps.

Taxes and Your Professional Development/Tuition Benefits

The value of benefits described above is not subject to tax.