Professional Development for Staff

The Staff Senate is committed to advocating for and making a difference in the work lives of WCU staff members. It is important for staff to have access to professional development opportunities and we understand that funding isn’t always available to support these activities. This is why we developed the Staff Senate Professional Development fund. The fund is designed to provide financial assistance to eligible staff members to pursue professional development activities. We hope that this fund allows staff to take advantage of professional development opportunities that they may not have had access to otherwise.

Professional Development Fund

  • To address a need for funding to allow WCU staff to participate in professional development opportunities. 
  • To encourage WCU staff to become highly trained and demonstrate a commitment to excellence as related to the WCU Strategic Plan. 
  • To encourage and facilitate opportunities for all WCU staff to engage in professional development. 
Eligible Professional Development Activities

The following categories are considered eligible expenses under the Staff Senate Professional Development (SSPD) fund: 

  • Professional Development Skills and Enhancement certifications, workshops, seminars, memberships, conferences, certificates, training and related travel expenses that align with your current job responsibilities or future goals. (Please note that travel expenses will be considered in accordance with WCU Travel Guidelines.) 
  • Career-advancing college admission tests (e.g., SAT, GRE, etc.).  
  • Tuition, fees, books, and supplies are not eligible for SSPD funding. Staff members seeking to further their education are encouraged to use the WCU Tuition Waiver and Staff and Family Scholarship and other resources available to them. 
Award Conditions and Benefits
  • All permanent WCU staff members who have been employed by WCU for at least one (1) year in a staff capacity at the time of the application may apply.   
  • SSPD funds are meant to complement departmental funding. Therefore, you will need request departmental funding prior to applying for the SSPD scholarship. Scholarship funds will be used to cover professional development costs where a department does not have available funds to cover the professional development in part or in whole. 
  • When applying for an SSPD award, clear evidence of how the opportunity ties into an employee’s current position or career advancement and how it will benefit (a) their department, and (b) the University, must be provided. 
  • Upon completion of the specified professional development activity, the SSPD Committee reserves the right to request feedback on your professional development activity.  
  • If you withdraw or are unable to attend the professional development opportunity, repayment of any funds that have been reimbursed (i.e., registration fees, airfare, travel advances) is required, in accordance with WCU Travel Guidelines 
  • Maximum award benefit is $750 per year. 
    Who Can Apply?

    All permanent WCU staff members may apply.

    Staff members must have been employed by WCU for at least one (1) year in a full time, permanent staff capacity by the time of the application.

    How To Apply

    Step 1:    Seek departmental and/or unit funding.

    Step 2:    If departmental (full or partial) funding is unavailable, COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION. Make sure it is completed in full, as incomplete applications may not be considered for the award.

    Please Note:

    • One employee per request needs to be submitted, unless the request is for a group rate registration.
    • Depending on the type of professional activity requested, the application may request detailed information regarding the professional development activity, agenda, travel itinerary, itemized budget, and other information as necessary.

    Questions? Please contact Kathy Boland:

    Phone: 828-227-3337

    Selection Process
    • Eligible applicants can apply for multiple awards throughout the fiscal year, but the total amount awarded shall not exceed $750.00 in the same fiscal year 
    • An applicant applying for the first time during the fiscal year will receive priority.  
    • Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and all requests are subject to available funds. 
    • Decisions will be based on the information provided. 
    • The decisions of the committee are final. 
    Notification of Award

    The selection committee will review applications and send notifications to applicants by the 15th of each month.

    Applications submitted between the first and last calendar days of the month will be reviewed and notified the following month. For instance, if you apply on 08/31, your application will be reviewed and you will receive a notification by 09/15. However, if you application is submitted on 09/01, it will not be reviewed until October and you will be notified by 10/15.

    If the application is approved, the applicant will receive further instruction on how to process the payment or reimbursement.