Career Training Program
The Career Training Program provides eligible United Federation of Teachers (UFT) paraprofessionals career advancement and the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree. This program provides tuition assistance, up to 6 credits per semester (fall, spring, and summer) until the completion of a bachelor’s degree. The program provides undergraduate tuition payments for students at the current CUNY rate. All applications for the Career Training program must be completed electronically. Each semester you will be required to update your application.
The filing periods are as follows:
- Fall Semester ~ May 1st through June 30th
- Spring Semester ~ September 1st through October 31st
- Summer Semester ~ February 1st through March 31st
A tuition payment letter of certification (voucher) will be sent to each eligible participant via email to your NYCDOE email address. The paraprofessional must sign the letter before submitting it to the attending college or university bursar's office. A tuition payment letter of certification is used only for the specific college and semester indicated on the application form; any changes should be reported to the office immediately. Tuition is paid directly to the colleges and universities. If you are eligible to benefit from the PELL and TAP federal grants, revisions to your financial aid will be made by the Bursar’s office.
The NYCDOE will grant release time of 2.5 hours (per week), each college semester (fall, spring, and the 1st summer session only, not later than June 30th) to eligible paraprofessionals who are attending or taking online coursework at an accredited college or university. Release time during the summer session may be taken but must be completed by June 30th. Release time will not be granted during July and August. The paraprofessional must be registered for and completes a minimum of 5 credits/5 semester hours of undergraduate study. This release time cannot be used to attend classes during the scheduled workday unless agreed upon by the school principal or the principal’s designee. However, we do encourage paraprofessionals to take courses during the late afternoon, evenings, and weekends to avoid conflict with their work schedules. Paraprofessionals may not take classes during their regularly scheduled school day.
- Must take a minimum of 3 credits up to a maximum of 6 credits per semester.
- The NYCDOE is entitled to recover the amount of tuition and fees incurred by the NYCDOE from a paraprofessional who fails to complete the course in which they are enrolled the amount of tuition and fees incurred by the Department.
- Paraprofessionals who are on an approved leave of absence, resign, or are terminated before their first day of college classes are not eligible to participate in the program.
Many education courses taken at most two-year community colleges cannot be used toward a four-year degree at a senior college, nor will these courses be accepted by the New York State Education Department for teacher certification. It is recommended that paraprofessionals who wish to become teachers enroll in four-year colleges or carefully select those liberal arts courses at community colleges that will transfer to four-year institutions. Education courses taken at the undergraduate level at Empire State College are not accepted by the New York State Education for teacher certification.