Educational Assistance


I am enrolled at Regis University, working toward my undergraduate degree.
In the past, I have taken classes at Front Range Community College during
the day so that I could take advantage of the time- allowance part of the
educational benefits. It makes a big difference in having adequate time to
study and complete assignments. I have asked before if the time allowance
can be used for homework/study time and have been told no (although there
is no such specification in the guideline itself).

I think the time allowance should be extended to include homework/study
time and not just class time for people like me who take classes at night
to complete their degree program. Please let me know if the time allowance
can be used for this purpose.

Answered on March 19, 2001


The intent of the educational assistance time allowance of 5 hours per week
(not to exceed 156 hours per year) is solely for attending a class during
work hours. As the policy indicates, any hours in excess of the 5-hour
allowance are subject to your supervisor's approval, and must be made up
either before or after regular working hours. Though the policy does not
specifically address the issue of evening classes or homework/study time,
any after-hours time for attending class and/or studying is the employee's
responsibility and the 5-hour per week allowance does not apply.

As an additional clarification, please note that taking a class during work
hours (whether it's 1, 5, or 10 hours a week) is part of the approval
process between the supervisor and the employee. Oftentimes, the classes
are only offered during the day. There should be a valid business reason
for not allowing an employee to take advantage of this benefit especially
if the employee is willing to arrange with the supervisor to make up the time.

-Laurie Carr, Benefits/Compensation Manager, Human Resources

[Note: Information on UCAR educational benefits can be found on the
web. -Ed.]