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Staff Professional Development

Interim President Stephen C. Osborne relaunched the Staff Professional Development Incentive Program in October 2018. The program is operated by the Staff Advisory Committee to the President (SAC) with final approval decisions residing with the Office of the President.  

The Staff Professional Development Incentive Program funding application form is available here. It is a PDF form that can be completed electronically.

Please see below for information about the program. Questions about the program should be directed to the Staff Advisory Committee, at sac@cofc.edu.

Purpose and Scope of the Program

The Staff Professional Development Incentive Program provides staff1 with the opportunity to improve skills or knowledge and/or share information with peers relevant to staff job performance. Examples of possible activities that could be funded under the Program include, but are not limited to, travel to or organization of on- and off-campus conferences, workshops, and seminars; or training directly related to the staff member's position. Grants funded under the Program must be specifically linked to enhancing academic quality or service to the College community.

Applications for the Staff Professional Development Program funding may be submitted for opportunities that cannot be funded by the department/division. It is expected that the staff member will share the information obtained with others in the department or college who would also benefit.

Staff Eligibility

Applicants must be permanent staff who have completed at least 6 months of service at the College of Charleston before applying. Applications from temporary staff will be considered only if the supervisor writes a detailed letter of support for the application.

Priority will be given to staff who will be presenting at a conference or event.

A staff member may receive only one individual award per academic year and no more than two individual awards in three consecutive academic years. An academic year begins on July 1 and concludes on June 30.

Any professional development activity that begins in one academic year and concludes in another will typically receive funding only during one academic year.

Maximum Award

Awards under this program will not exceed $1,200 per staff member. Cost sharing of at least 50% is required. The program is not designed to relieve individual departments/divisions of their obligation to support professional development for staff. However, if your area is unable to provide funds for your professional development opportuntity, please still apply and explain in detail why funds cannot be provided. The Program Committee will consdier all complete applications. 

The Program Committee will try to fund as many grant proposals as possible, as long as those grant proposals provide all the required information and are within the scope of the program. Partial awards are possible, at the discretion of the Program Committee. 

The Program Committee will make every effort to distribute available funds equally between the scheduled grant dates.

Program Exclusions

The Professional Development Incentive Program may not be used to cover staff meal expenses for one-day conferences. In addition, journal subscriptions, professional organization memberships, book purchases, computer hardware, computer software, office supplies, and certification exams are not covered by the terms of the Program.

Recurring annual conferences should be funded by the department/division and will not be considered for funding through the Staff Professional Development Program.

Retroactive requests for funding will not be considered. Once awarded, grant recipient is responsible for following the Instructions for Staff Development Incentive Program Funding Reimbursement.

Application and Decision Deadlines

Applications may be submitted quarterly (two weeks before the submission date deadlines of - November 15. January 15, and March 15). 

On a separate page, a detailed budget also must be included as part of the application. The budget should list any sources of funds for cost sharing (see below). 

Applications must be signed by the applicant, the applicant’s supervisor and the division head. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Questions about the application may be addressed to the Staff Advisory Committee.

Applications for the 2018-19 academic year will be considered at three times during the year:

Application Deadline   Decision Notification

November 15               November 30

January 15                  January 31

March 15                     April 1

Cost Sharing

The Program is not intended to relieve individual departments of their obligation to support professional development for staff. If a grant proposal and budget show little or no financial support from the home department or division of the applicant, the applicant must explain why the department was unable to provide such support. 

Any other actual or potential source of funding for the proposed professional development activity must be described on the grant application. 

Post-Grant Report

For all employees who receive funding under the Program, a grant expenditure report must be provided to the Program Committee in writing within 30 days of completion of the grant activity.  The report must include a brief narrative explanation of the benefit received by the applicant and the College, and an explanation of the method the information was shared and who it was shared with as a result of funding the grant.  Grant recipients who fail to file a post-grant report will not be eligible for future program funding and distributed monies will be returned to the Staff Development Budget Index.

If appropriate, grant recipients are strongly encouraged to make a presentation to other employees in their departments on the results of their professional development experience.


1 The Professional Development Incentive Program is intended for staff, as opposed to roster or adjunct faculty.  An individual who has both faculty and staff status should apply for funding from this program based solely on her or his work as staff.