Beach 2030’s Reimagine Staff team launches professional development fund program
A centralized fund dedicated to supporting staff professional development at Cal State Long Beach launched campus-wide this month, part of a program created by the Beach 2030 leaders behind efforts to Reimagine Staff.
At the core of the funding effort is a mission to enhance pathways for personal and professional achievement, a fundamental objective of Beach 2030’s Reimagine Staff action zone. The program — available to temporary, probationary or permanent state-side staff and management personnel plan employees, including part-time workers — aims to expand access for staff to gain new skills and achieve professional growth.
“One of the challenges that our campus experiences is differing levels of discretionary funds for staff development,” said Stacey Schack, associate director of CSULB’s Learning, Development & Recognition Programs.
“The program implementation begins to level the playing field, to allow greater access to professional development dollars and more equitable opportunity,” she said.
Through an online application, requests can be made for up to $1,500 per person to support attendance at such events like conferences, specialized training, professional networking, collaboration opportunities and participation in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Anti-Bias experiences and trainings. Eligible staff members can apply once per fiscal year, and priority will be given to requests that support workplace skills.
Applications are being accepted now, and will continue through the year while funds last.
Goals around improving staff culture, opportunities for development and policies and infrastructure at CSULB were generated through meaningful staff input as the university embarked on the Beach 2030 planning process nearly five years ago. A desire for enhanced focus on staff well-being, retention, professional development and community culture were emerging themes of the feedback collected, and became core to identifying projects that would aim to improve the staff experience on campus.
The Reimagine Staff action zone represents one piece of the Beach 2030 vision, while goals surrounding equity, student success, faculty achievement, growth and community relationships were also forged as part of CSULB’s strategic planning.
Many Beach 2030 projects have been in the works since the turn of the decade, with the COVID crisis illuminating the pressing need to complete some on a more rapid timeline, including a telecommute program devised by the Reimagine Staff team at the height of the pandemic. Efforts behind the Staff Professional Development Fund have been at a steady build-up over the past few years, as the action team worked to devise the process and criteria behind the program.
Working often behind the scenes to ensure the daily success of our campus operations and student experiences, staff play an indispensable role in The Beach community. This initiative aims to make clear CSULB’s commitment to supporting their growth.
The process for requesting the funds, which are distributed as a reimbursement, and additional information on program criteria can be found through MyBeach.
3a. Explore physical and digital spaces where staff and faculty subject matter experts can share best practices and trainings.
3b. Reevaluate the efficacy of performance evaluations as a tool for professional development and advancement.
3c. Explore additional merit-based incentives and cross-union skill sharing (SSP and ASC training).
|Supporting intellectual achievement, career advancement, and professional development will allay concerns of inversion and improve morale, institutional knowledge, and retention. Sustained intellectual growth will also bring innovation and success to the campus as an increasingly competitive environment.
|Advancement and compensation for new skills will require substantial investment. Revamping Performance Evaluations will also encounter complications with union contracts and parity/equity across classifications and positions.
|Having a repository for best practices and implementations that can be referenced will make future crises even more manageable. Because the Office of Human Resources undertakes many responsibilities during such events, allocating additional resources would be instrumental to prepare for and respond to future crises.