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Division Policy 12.12

SUBJECT

Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

EFFECTIVE DATE

September 1, 2007

REVIEW DATE

April 15, 2013

UPDATED

Policy updated to reflect federal mandates related to educational sponsorship.  

EXPIRATION DATE

This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.

PURPOSE

Ensure an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation personnel for the designated state unit.

AUTHORITY  

34 CFR 361.18

CRC POLICY

The minimum standard for a qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is noted in this policy.  This policy affects all DBS associates in the positions of:  District Administrator, Supervisor and Senior Rehabilitation Specialist (Vocational Rehabilitation program).  

The minimum academic requirement is a Masters’ degree in any discipline with at least 18 credit hours as specified below:

One graduate course with a primary focus on the Theories and Techniques of Counseling. (This is a basic requirement for future consideration of relatedness of degree)

AND:
Three graduate courses, each with a primary focus on one of the following areas:
Occupational Information
Job Development and Placement
Medical Aspects of Disabilities
Foundations of Rehabilitation
Psychological Aspects of Disabilities
Personal and Vocational Adjustment

AND:
Two graduate courses, each with a primary focus on one of the follow areas:
Assessment
Research Methodology
Vocational and Career Development
Community Resources
Case Management
Delivery of Rehabilitation Services

Vision Rehabilitation Therapist and Orientation & Mobility Specialist Policy

Qualified vision rehabilitation personnel responsible for teaching adaptive skills are critical to the provision of comprehensive services to adults with blindness or low vision seeking employment.  This policy applies to all DBS associates in the position of Bureau Chief, Program Administrator, Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor, Senior Human Services Manager, and Senior Rehabilitation Specialists employed at the Florida Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  The minimum academic requirement for support of educational expenses is in the pursuit of a Masters’ degree in the field of Vision Rehabilitation leading to national certification by a certifying body approved by DBS. 

Payment of Education Expenses

DBS will cover the following expenses related to seeking further education in order to meet the minimum standard as defined above:

Tuition

All individuals seeking further education will be required to use the Department of Education Tuition Waiver, if available.  Note that prior approval of payment must be obtained from the Bureau Chief in instances where a course must be repeated.

Textbooks and course Materials – these expenses include textbooks and other materials required for course enrollment.  Paper, notebooks, computer disks, etc., are not items for which the Division will pay.

Graduate Record Examination Fees and University application fees will not be sponsored by the Division.

Class Attendance

Attendance of mandatory graduate courses will be considered work time and, therefore, an adjusted work schedule will not be required.  This includes travel time to and from campus.  For those individuals participating in internet based courses, class time on the internet will also be considered work time when performed during normal work schedule.  

A written schedule of class and travel time must be submitted and approved by the individual’s supervisor each semester.

Individual Education Plans

All individuals affected by this mandate will be required to sign an Individual Education Plan to be included in their annual Performance Standards/Expectations.  The plans will be updated on an annual basis and must include the following:

  • A description of current educational status;
  • The courses to be taken;
  • The timeframe in which the required education will be completed;
  • The institution that the individual will attend; and
  • Annual progress reports on course completion.

*Class Assignments and Homework

Class assignments which can be incorporated into required work duties, (i.e. practicum activities, internships) may be completed during working hours.  Completion of other homework assignments (i.e. reading, writing and research) is not permitted during regular work hours.

*Use of DBS Computer Equipment

Individuals are permitted to use office computer equipment for participating in internet based courses and completing homework assignments outside of working hours.  Internet use must be limited strictly to coursework, related activities and research. 

Certification

For those individuals who obtain their CRC, DBS can, subject to available funding, offer   a one-time award of $2000.  DBS will not sponsor exam fees for the CRC or the re-certification exam, as it is prohibited by law. 

Additional Training

Staff may be provided additional training in job related areas, as needed and recommended by the District Administrator.  This type of required training will be sponsored by the Division, and staff may participate in agreed upon training during work hours. 

Signed by Aleisa McKinlay (Interim Director) on April 15, 2013.