MSU Human Resources >> Professional-development >> Faculty-academic-staff >> Academic Specialists Professional Development Support Program

Academic specialists professional development support programs

Program Description

The Professional Development Support Program provides eligible Academic Specialists with support to participate in MSU credit courses. The program is funded with an annual allocation of $225,000. Funding from this program is not available for seminars, workshops, conferences, etc.; support for these activities is the responsibility of the unit.

Applications are being accepted on a continuous basis (as long as funds are available) for MSU credit courses.

Applications will be processed by MSU Human Resources with consultation with the Office of the Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs as necessary.

Eligibility/Application Criteria

  • All academic specialists with fixed term, probationary, or continuing appointment status and who have a minimum of 24 FTE (full-time equivalent) university service months and are appointed 50% time or more are eligible to apply.

  • Part-time academic specialists (less than 100% time) are eligible for support on a proportional basis to employment percentage.

  • Academic Specialists must be admitted to MSU as a regular student and must achieve a grade of 2.0 or better.

  • Eligible academic specialists must have an active appointment when the course begins.

  • Applications must include the following:

    • Course information (see application form).

    • Statement of professional benefit that indicates importance/relevance of the course to the unit and to the specialist.

    • Unit approval, including arrangements for release time as appropriate.

Eligible Types of Courses

  • Job-related.

  • Degree-related.

  • Career/professional development related to professional growth.

  • Credit courses taken at Michigan State University

Selection Guidelines/Principles

Selection criteria will include (in priority order)

  1. Relevance of proposed professional development to the university, employing unit,and individual (as reflected in statement of benefit).

  2. Number of FTE service months at MSU.

Thresholds and limits

  • Applications are accepted on a continuous basis as long as funds remain available. They will be reviewed in the order received.

  • Coverage is limited to four (4) credits per semester with a maximum of twelve (12) credits per academic year at the rate corresponding to the student’s academic level. Only MSU credit courses are covered.

  • The benefit is administered as a tuition waiver. Lab fees, taxes and/or course/program fees, if any, are the responsibility of the student.

Application Review

Applications will be reviewed by MSU Human Resources, with consultation with the Office of the Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs as necessary.

Program Funding Evaluation

The level of program funding will be reviewed regularly.


Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information and program requirements. If your question is not addressed by the FAQs, please contact Julie Rorick at 517-884-0177 or