How HR Must Navigate Prerequisites and Transfer Credit for Education Benefits
Now more than ever employees are taking advantage of employer-provided education benefits and heading back to school. These employees are making a huge leap out of both personal interest and the interests of their employer – as an educated worker is a more effective worker and supplementing education serves both parties.
However, for the average employee, finishing a degree or starting one isn’t as simple as registering for classes. When navigating this tricky sector, employees have the potential to save both parties a heap of time and money, transfer credits, and the necessary prerequisites that must be met prior to enrolling in specific programs.
Transfer credits, whether they pertain specifically to what the employee is studying or if they satisfy prerequisites, could save an employee from having to spend unnecessary time in the classroom which equates to dollars saved. However, the burden of responsibility doesn’t have to fall on the employee alone. As a company-subsidized educational benefit program, HR could play a significant role in assisting the employees in transitioning to the degree program and act as the go-between with universities and employees, having to facilitate the transfer credit and prerequisite process. The truth is this is rarely the case – HR simply has too much on their plate, and HR professionals are not experts in education!
That being said, from a “value” standpoint the cost of navigating transfer credits and course prerequisites is likely better in the hands of the company. Depending on the nature of your education benefits program employees have diminished incentive to spend time navigating the confusing world of credit transfer policies and could potentially be repeating courses and spending corporate funds unnecessarily. It makes sense for HR to be heavily involved in the process– even if the process could be labor intensive and time consuming and simply not in the HR wheelhouse.
There is a more economical and streamlined way to approach to handling the issues of transfer credits and prerequisites. A single “go-to” expert in higher ed that partners with your HR department can save time and energy by guiding employees through the process of entering into new educational opportunities.
Take the medical field as an example: few other industries see such constant transformation in technology, understanding, and standard practices. The need for employee training, retraining, and educational augmentation is paramount. But, in the case for nursing, making the time to get to class is a massive challenge in and of itself. For many in a career track, degree attainment has to be managed across years and—with nurses moving to new locations in hospital networks—institutions. It is fundamental to aid these individuals to transfer completed coursework that may count towards a degree goal.
At the end of the day, the burden falls on HR to have all the answers, process the paperwork, and be the go-between – a responsibility that is compounded by an already overtasked position. An education concierge can help alleviate the headaches of tuition assistance and give your HR team valuable hours back to concentrate on more mission-critical tasks. The switch to such a partnership is seamless and efficient, and provides a dedicated resource to your employees when embarking on a new degree, or finishing a degree.
ClearDegree, works with companies and their employees to tailor tuition assistance programs (TAP) programs and increase the likelihood of completion of higher degrees. We represent a smarter way to invest in education benefits. Our education concierge services are an asset to both HR and the individual employee. Contact us for more information about ClearDegree and start to realize the ROI from tuition assistance programs.