1.23 Education Leave Policy

I. Definitions

A. Education Leave

A specified period of more than three weeks during which an employee is released from all College duties and responsibilities and undertakes an activity designed to enhance the job performance of the employee upon return to the College.

B. Education Leave Agreement

A specification of the obligation assumed by an employee to resume employment with the College after the leave or, failing that, to repay the College for the salary and fringe benefit compensation received while on leave.

II. Policy

Each Unit Vice President, under advisement by Human Resources, may authorize education leave for a full-time employee, provided the activities planned for the leave are directly related to improving the regular duties assigned to the employee and satisfy any specific criteria established by the College. Furthermore, as stipulated in State Board of Community Colleges Code 1C SBCCC 400.96, the employee must sign an Education Leave Agreement certifying that if he/she fails to resume employment and work for a stated period at the end of the leave, he/she will repay any salary and benefits received during the leave (or a prorated portion if the agreement is honored in part). College funds may be used to pay the employee's full salary and benefits for a leave of no more than one semester.

III. Education Leave

A. An education leave without pay and benefits for a period of up to one year or with pay and benefits for a period of up to 18 weeks may be approved for the purpose of improving the job performance of the employee through study, research, or holding a temporary position directly related to the employee's College duties.

B. Those eligible for such leave are employees who have worked full-time for the College for three consecutive years immediately prior to the term during which the education leave is taken, and, for paid leave, the employee has not received paid education leave during the 36 months immediately preceding the leave.

C. The employee must sign an Education Leave Agreement (PDF) stating the employee's intent to resume employment at the end of the leave period. For paid education leave, this Agreement shall include either an agreement to resume employment with the College following the leave for a return period of three weeks for every week of leave or to repay the salary and benefits received during the leave (or a pro-rata portion if the agreement is honored in part).

D. For unpaid education leave, upon the employee's return from the leave, the employee's salary will be determined by adding to the employee's last received monthly salary all across-the-board pay increases that the employee would have received had he/she not taken the leave. However, accrual of service credit for longevity pay and retirement will not continue during an unpaid leave of absence. Health, dental, and vision insurance may be continued during the leave if the employee pays the full cost of coverage. All other benefits will be terminated and re-enrollment will be necessary upon the employee's return to employment at the end of the leave period. The leave may be extended beyond one year by each Unit Vice President, but the aforementioned benefits and salary increase will not be awarded for the extended leave.

E. During a paid education leave, vacation leave and sick leave will continue to accrue, and the employer's share of fringe benefits will continue to be paid by the College.

F. Upon an employee's return after an education leave, the College may assign the employee to the position that he/she vacated or may reassign the employee by transfer to any other position for which the employee is qualified. A position may not be available if the President has authorized a job class reduction for the employee's job classification or if the employee's position has been discontinued as the result of a reduction or financial exigency. In instances where the employee does not return to work because of job class reduction, program reduction, or financial exigency, the costs incurred in maintaining salary or benefits do not have to be repaid.

G. Leaves for Less Than Three Weeks: activities requiring the staff member to be absent from the job for three weeks or less for professional development may be authorized without requesting an education leave.

Related Procedures

Education Leave


Changes approved by the Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020

Changes approved by Cabinet on October 21, 2005; February 18, 2013