Educational Release Time Program

The Educational Release Time Program enables eligible employees who are registered as students to attend classes, with appropriate approval, during their regularly scheduled workday. This program provides employees with more flexibility to further their growth and advancement, enhance their involvement in the life of the University, and to further their education to become a more productive and knowledgeable workforce.

General Provisions

Among other items, employees attending classes must follow the requirements of System Regulation 31.99.01: Employees Registering as Students. Additionally:

  • employees using release time must be full-time and budgeted;
  • release time is limited to three hours per week; and
  • course(s) must be part of the employee's approved graduate or undergraduate degree program.

Recordkeeping Requirements

  • Release time will not count as hours worked for purposes of FLSA overtime.
  • Management reserves the right to require extra hours for employees to work regardless of whether or not release time is being used; overtime rules would apply to all adjusted schedules.
  • An employee who takes leave on a day he or she is to receive Educational Release Time (ERT) must actively work during a portion of that day to be paid for ERT.  Otherwise, the whole day will be designated with the appropriate leave.
  • Approval for release time should be made for one semester at a time using this approval form.

General Information

  • Release time is not an entitlement; employees must receive approval from their immediate supervisor and department head.
  • Employees may enroll at another college or university and use educational release time as long as the employee is in pursuit of an approved graduate or undergraduate degree program.
  • Educational Release Time may be used for online courses only when the course requires online class time during the employee's normal work schedule.
  • Except in extreme situations, educational release time should not be revoked once approved. Supervisors are encouraged to contact HR Benefit Services before revoking previously approved release time.

Additional Information