Staff Development Course Approvals, Salary Advancement, Advanced Degree Program Approval
Pre-Approval of Graduate Courses
If you plan to take a graduate course and use the credits towards salary advancement, then you must fill out the Graduate Course Pre-Approval form, and submit the form PRIOR to the start of the class. A course approval form is required for each class you take. No courses listed as “TBD” will be approved; you must include the course number, title, and accredited school name for consideration.
Graduate Credit Pre-Approval Process
Each request for graduate coursework approval for salary schedule lane changes is considered separately and must be submitted for pre-approval to Human Resources. Some general guidelines follow for determining whether requests will receive approval. These guidelines are effective February 1, 2022, for courses taken this date and after. All courses prior to this date are subject to the old process requirements.
At times a course may be offered by the District to a large number of teachers. When this occurs the course may be submitted by the instructor and/or applicable Director for group approval. If a course is approved in this manner, individual requests will not be required by each teacher completing the course.
Unless otherwise approved no credit will be granted for courses taken during contract time.
- All credits must be graduate hours and taken from a regionally accredited institution.
- Relicensure credit is not eligible for movement on the schedule.
- Approval from HR must be obtained prior to the start of the course. Failure to get pre-approval will result in the course/credits not being eligible for movement on the salary schedule until the entire degree is conferred.
- With few exceptions, all credit must be in the grade/content area in which the teacher is teaching, part of an approved degree or licensing program, or to add an endorsement. Graduate courses for driver’s education/Behind the Wheel, or any other content area the District does not employ licensed professionals for will not be eligible for movement on the salary schedule, and will not be approved.
- PDI (Professional Development Inc.) courses may be approved with no limit provided all courses/credits are taken at the graduate level.
- Credit will not be granted for correspondence courses.
- Credit will not be granted for independent study unless it is part of an approved degree program.
- Teachers may be asked to submit official course descriptions from the university to receive approval.
- Written requests to pursue a graduate degree program must be submitted to HR for prior approval. Individual Staff Development Approval Request forms must be filed prior to each course taken for the program unless the entire program is pre-approved by submitting the course plan of study from the university.
- Up to fifteen (15) hours over the lifetime of the teacher’s career with MCSD may be professional development hours (aka “Muskie Credits”) when such classes/training hours are offered through the District and are pre-approved for group approval.
- Clock/credit hour activities must be supportive of District or building goals and of the instructional and curricular models.
- As a part of site-based decision-making, building staff may be able to determine activities for which clock hours may be granted. After the staff determines activities that support building goals, a proposal must be submitted for approval to HR. Upon approval, any building staff member taking the activity would receive clock hour credit.
- All pre-approvals must be made in one of the two following methods:
- Each individual graduate course submitted including the course number, course title, course description, credit hours, and start/end dates; or
- An entire program of study as prepared by the university and including each individual graduate course, course number, the course title, course description, credit hours, and start/end dates of the program.
- When semester credit hours are not utilized by the university a conversion formula to convert to semester hours will be used by the District. Example) 3 quarter credits equal 2-semester credits.
- If a course number, title, description, and/or start/end dates change after submission for pre-approval to HR the teacher is responsible for notifying HR in writing with documentation from the university of the change(s).
Advancing on the Salary Schedule
When you believe you will have the required amount of credits needed to move to a new salary lane, you will need to complete the Advancement on the Salary Schedule form. The strict deadline for filing this form is February 28th of the year prior to the anticipated move. This lets the district know that you are intending to move to a higher salary and allows the district to budget for this higher salary amount for the next school year. Office transcripts showing completion of the credits or degree must be provided to the district office designee by September 1. If official transcripts are unavailable by September 1 due to completion of summer classes, then unofficial transcripts will suffice; however, an official transcript must be received by October 1 or the salary advancement may be revoked.