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AP 3-44 Faculty Professional Development Award

Arapahoe Community College
Series 3 – College Personnel
AP 3-44 Faculty Professional Development Award

Originated: January 1998

Revised: June 2006; August 2008; July 2016

Effective: January 1998; June 2006; August 2008; July 2016

References: BP 3-65; AP 3-55; AP 3-80


Diana M. Doyle, Ph.D.
President, Arapahoe Community College


Arapahoe Community College recognizes that it is in the best interest of its students for faculty to continuously update and advance their knowledge and skill in the areas of teaching, learning, technology and subject matter. The purpose of this procedure is to create a system that recognizes faculty for learning activities that go beyond the ACC’s required professional development expectations, but which are not course work applicable to the next higher degree. The Professional Development Award is an alternative to an Education Award earned through completing course work applicable to the next higher degree.

This Procedure contains pertinent information affecting faculty members, current through the date of its issuance. To the extent that any provision of this Procedure is inconsistent with State or Federal law, State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education Policies (BPs) or Colorado Community College System President’s Procedures (SPs), the law, BPs and SPs shall supersede and control. BPs and SPs are subject to change throughout the year and are effective immediately upon adoption by the Board or System President, respectively. Faculty members are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the BPs, SPs as well as College directives, including but not limited to this Procedure.

Nothing in this Procedure is intended to create (nor shall be construed as creating) an express or implied contract or to guarantee employment for any term. The College reserves the right to modify, change, delete or add to this Procedure as it deems appropriate.


This procedure applies to faculty.


Continuing Education Unit (CEU) – defined by the International Association of Continuing Education & Training (IACET) as “any professional development activity that increases a person’s knowledge in a subject area. Usually used for those who already have college degrees.

Contact hour – Standard identification of one (1) clock hour of instruction/training.

Semester credit hour – Fifteen (15) contact hours of instruction or the equivalent as recognized by the conducting agency.


  1. This procedure establishes guidelines for faculty members to follow in earning awards for Professional Advancement in the Faculty Salary Plan (AP 3-55). A Professional Development award recognizes the faculty member's accomplishments; it is not reimbursement for activities.
  2. Although there are many worthwhile and valuable professional development activities faculty members can pursue, activities that count toward a Professional Development Award are restricted to activities that challenge the faculty member and produce verifiable results. Any learning activity that will make an individual more effective in any aspect of his/her assigned responsibilities at Arapahoe Community College (see AP 3-80) may be considered for a Professional Development Award. Professional Development activities must be approved by the supervising Dean/Director. The intent of this policy is to be flexible rather than restrictive to allow creativity in development of professional advancement options. AP3- 44 will be reviewed periodically to ensure consistent standards and practices.
  3. Guidelines
    1. ACC recognizes the difference in rigor between a “contact hour” for a college credit related activity and a CEU related activity. A Professional Development activity must be consistent with the following guidelines:
      1. A Professional Development activity will be validated by earned credit hours or some other measurable result. Credit hours or continuing education units (CEUs) for course work that has been approved as a Professional Development activity will be converted to semester-hour equivalents and will apply directly to hours required for a professional development award.
      2. Formulas for conversion to semester credit hours:
        1. For semester credit related courses:
          One (1) semester credit hour = 15 contact hours (or equivalent)
        2. For college quarter credit related courses:
          One (1) quarter credit hour = 2/3 semester credit hour
        3. For non-semester credit related courses or activities: One (1) CEU = 10 contact hours
          Three (3) CEUs (30 contact hours) = One (1) semester credit hour
      3. There is a recognized difference between one (1) semester credit hour (requiring 15 contact hours) and one (1) CEU (requiring 10 contact hours) therefore, three (3) CEUs will equal one (1) semester credit hour. The difference is due to the different levels of rigor and work required for a semester credit hour vs. a CEU hour.
    2. Each professional development award consists of the equivalent of eight semester credit hours; faculty may receive only one professional development award annually.
    3. The method for verification of completion of non-credit professional development activities will be included in the individual's proposal for and documentation of a professional development activity.
    4. Participants in the Master Teacher Certificate program at Arapahoe Community College will receive one (1) Professional Development Award for each level successfully completed. Activities applied toward the Master Teacher Certification may not be applied towards another Professional Development Award.
    5. Standard professional development expectations which would generally not qualify as professional development activities include reading job-related journals, attending job-related meetings, and participation in professional organizations.
    6. A professional development activity MUST be pre- approved by the supervising Director or Dean.
    7. Accumulation of credits toward a professional development award may span any length of time with the exception of the Master Teacher Certificate. Each level of the Master Teacher Certificate must be completed within 3 years of the initial approval.
    8. To be considered for possible award for the upcoming contract year, Professional Development activities must be submitted to Human Resources by March 1st. Faculty will have until June 30th to finish any activity already submitted for a Professional Development Award. Activities completed after that date will be considered in the next contract year.
    9. Professional Development activities submitted to Human Resources by March 1st and are not funded during the current year due to fiscal constraints will be funded during the next fiscal year contingent upon fiscal resources.
    10. Professional Activities completed prior to employment at ACC will not be considered for a Professional Development award.
    11. The Faculty Salary Committee will meet periodically with the Deans, Directors, and Vice Presidents to review professional development awards to maintain consistent standards for professional development.
    12. See Appendix A for examples of related Professional Development activities.
  4. Appeals
    1. A faculty member who disputes 1) non-approval of his/her professional development activity or 2) credit-hour equivalent for non-credit activities may appeal to the Vice President of Instruction.
    2. The employee must submit an appeal in writing to the Vice President of Instruction. The written appeal must contain appropriate documentation and a requested course of action. The Vice President of Instruction will respond within 30 calendar days and the decision shall be final.


AP 3-44 Professional Development Award, Appendix A

  1. Examples of semester credit related activities include, but are not limited to:
    1. Completing course work that does not apply toward the next higher degree in your field of study (i.e., faculty may not use courses that apply to an Education Award for a Professional Development award (see AP 3-55).
  2. Examples of non-semester credit related professional development activities that will be converted using the CEU ratio (10 contact hours = one (1) CEU; three (3) CEUs = 1 semester credit hour) include but are not limited to:
    1. Participate in or lead an ACC or other professional organization Professional Development workshops, such as ACC Teaching Community, ACC Book Club, etc.
    2. Participate in a formal mentor/mentee activity/relationship for one (1) academic year.
    3. Prepare and facilitate a Professional Development seminar/workshop.
    4. Mentor a new Faculty or Instructor for one (1) academic year.
    5. Complete an internship/externship with The Center for Professional Development, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program, P-20 Initiative, or similar program.
    6. Participate in ACC, state, regional, or national leadership program.
    7. Teach an EDU course at ACC (EDU 250, EDU 260, EDU 261, EDU 262, EDU 263, EDU 265, EDU 266 or similar course).
    8. Participate in any professional development activity through ACC’s Center for Professional Development.
    9. Present at a state, regional, or national conference.
    10. Publish scholarly or education work.
    11. Write an article which is accepted for publication in a professional journal.
    12. Develop and display or present a body of artistic work at a professional show.
    13. Prepare a new body of professionally recognized work.
    14. Hold a position as an Officer in a professional organization.
    15. Other activities as approved by the Dean.