1. Get prepared:
If your company offers tuition assistance or reimbursement, does your employer make it clear where that money goes?
Many employers allocate a certain amount of funding toward professional development. But even if there isn’t a publicized policy, don’t lose hope – many managers are willing to support employees’ efforts to grow professionally.
Check with your human resources department to see what types of programs they fund and whether those benefits extend to continuing education courses. Ask around to find out if anyone else has received reimbursement for taking a class and what type of classes they took.
Once you know if there’s precedent, you’ll be able to approach your manager with confidence.
2. Develop your strategy:
The best way to approach asking for tuition assistance is to treat it like a formal negotiation. If you want to do a good job, start off by preparing yourself with clear messages about what you hope for and how it will benefit both you and the organization. Be sure to anticipate objections and prepare responses to those objections ahead of time. You might even consider approaching your manager well before requesting membership assistance. This gives you the opportunity to practice your pitch and make sure you’ve thought through everything.
3. Calculate the ROI for your employer:
Your organization probably already invests heavily in membership and training programs. They do this because those efforts are almost always worthwhile.
- Why joining The Child Life Circle Community will enhance your skills
- What benefits The Child Life Circle Community has and why it will help you in your current job
- Outline why The Child Life Circle Community can help you be more effective in your role.
4. Ask at an appropriate time:
Timing is everything. So consider the best time of the day to talk about tuition assistance. Be prepared to provide proof that you are actively looking for ways to improve processes in your hospital. You might show that you’ve recently been working on a committee or want to revamp your practicum student process as an example of how you’re actively engaged.
If your employer approves the request, it is important to know what happens next. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions and conditions of the membership. Some employers require employees to repay the money out of pocket. Others reimburse the cost over several months. Still, others allow reimbursement upfront.
The timing of your request is critical. Most companies do not want to hear about it during flu/RSV season. They don’t want to hear about it while they’re understaffed. And they definitely don’t want to hear it when they’ve just laid off hundreds of people.
Keep in mind that most requests won’t happen during annual performance reviews. Instead, try asking for tuition assistance during midyear reviews or quarterly meetings. These conversations tend to be less stressful for everyone involved.
Download a sample letter below, and please feel free to use this template and change whatever works for you: