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5.1 Training and Development Opportunities

In a spirit of learning and growth, Macalester College will assist employees by providing opportunities and encouragement for continuing training and development. Staff training involves the acquiring and improving of job-related skills and knowledge. Staff development involves personal growth, preparation for promotion and expansion of job duties. Promotion represents recognition of a person’s ability to assume greater responsibilities. The College is convinced of the value of promotion from within and makes every attempt to fill vacancies by the promotion of qualified staff members. See the College’s Internal Promotion Policy, Section 3.3.1.

Among the greatest assets of the College is the potential of its staff members. Recognition and development of staff members benefits the College, as well as the individual. The College encourages training and development in order to facilitate the achievement of the institution’s objectives and to help staff members to realize their potential. Department heads and supervisors are encouraged, with the advice and assistance of the Employment Services Department, to formulate procedures and practices that create and foster a climate in which staff members are challenged and encouraged to learn.

The supervisor and the staff member share responsibility for the staff member’s success in acquiring additional skills, taking on a new and more responsible duties, and clearly identifying goals and new interests. Supervisors, in consultation with the Employment Services Department, will provide helpful on-the-job training and identify procedures that can develop a person’s skills and talents. When possible, the Employment Services Department will provide assistance with additional training or restructuring of jobs. In addition, full-time and part-time employees are encouraged to broaden their educational background and training through learning activities inside or outside the institution.


Before implementing any employee training and development effort, it is important to assess the needs of the individual and the institution. The employee performance evaluation procedure should include discussion about employees’ needs, interests and motivations. The supervisor and employee should identify any training deficiencies that may be inhibiting the employee’s productivity, or areas in which appropriate additional training would make possible significant additional productivity. Such training might take the form of additional coaching from the supervisor, self-study, a course in the college curriculum, a professional association workshop or one of the training opportunities offered through the Employment Services Department. Training and development goals should be a part of a staff member’s annual performance evaluation.


Benefit eligible employees may enroll free of charge in courses offered as part of the College curriculum, one course per semester with approval from their supervisor. Summer credit/courses and private music lessons are excluded. Time must be made up if the course is offered during working hours and is not job-related, or if the staff member is not full-time.

The College may also sponsor training activities on campus. In addition the College is a sponsor of the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) Training and Development program with courses at Macalester or one of the affiliated college campuses. Tuition for these job related training opportunities will usually be paid by the Employment Services department.

An employee may also receive financial assistance for a course, seminar, or workshop that relates directly to his or her job not available within the College curriculum frequently off campus. A job-related learning activity is one in which the content would directly enhance the employee’s productivity and achievement in performing his or her normally assigned duties and responsibilities.

Arrangements for attendance at a course, seminar, or workshop inside or outside the College must meet registration deadlines and be approved 30 days in advance by the staff member’s supervisor and the Employment Services Department. The Employment Services Department administers a training and development budget to assist in defraying outside training costs. Applications for Staff Development and Training are available from the Employment Services Department.

Getting away from one’s office or work station can be difficult and can affect the work of others or the level of service provided by the office or department where one is employed. Therefore, a reasonable, flexible arrangement must be arranged to balance the interests of all parties.


Staff members have an opportunity to apply for a professional leave that allows them to take paid, partially paid, or unpaid leaves for professional development. A professional leave assumes time away from the job and therefore is different from those very short-term training/development opportunities described above.

The purpose of the Staff Professional Leave is to allow staff members to upgrade their job-related skills, learn new ones, and/or acquire new information and knowledge. The expectation is that the individual will return to the College with fresh ideas and increased professional expertise, allowing them to better perform their tasks, which will benefit the staff member’s department and the College.

Applications and instructions are available from the Employment Services Department. Staff members must submit their application to their supervisor by November 1st of any year for a leave in the next fiscal year.

Exempt and non-exempt staff members are eligible for a Professional Leave if they work full-time (.75 FTE) and have been employed at the College for a least five years at the beginning of the leave. Typically no more than one Leave will be approved for the same individual in a five year period.

Upon return to the College, recipients of the Leave are guaranteed their old jobs or a comparable one at an identical salary including normal salary increases. No limit is set for the number of leaves the College will grant each year. Each proposal will be evaluated on its merits according to the above mentioned criteria.

Expenses involved in funding Professional Leaves may include full or partial salary to the staff member, personnel replacement, and possible travel costs. Although leaves may be up to one year in length, salary reimbursement will not exceed the equivalent of four months’ salary. Costs of Professional Leaves will be funded by the College although applicants are encouraged to seek outside funding to help offset the costs of the Leave.

Application for Staff Professional Leave