Employee tuition program gives USF Health state staff the benefit of education

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Here’s a friendly reminder: USF state employees can take classes at USF for free.

Once a benefit for all State of Florida employees the tuition program was cut from the State budget a few years ago. The USF System decided to continue this perk for its employees and even changed it to be a tuition payment program, rather than a simply reimbursement.

It’s a bonus that translates into real dollars for USF employees, said Joann Strobbe, CFO and AVP of Finance, Administration & Technology for USF Health.

“By committing to fund the program, USF provides a true cash commitment to its employees,” Strobbe said.

“This past fall, USF Health provided nearly $200,000 in tuition for USF Health staff. This is a great benefit and program for our staff and USF Health is committed to continuing to support the higher education of our team.”

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Kristen Steffen, who works in the Office of General Counsel for USF Health, is just one of many USF Health employees benefitting from this program.

“This is one of the best perks this university offers its staff and I’d be foolish not to use it,” she said. Steffen completed a Graduate Certificate in Health Management and Leadership and was accepted into the Masters in Public Health program Spring 2013.

“I couldn’t afford to get this degree without this program.”

And classes and degrees don’t have to relate to the employee’s current job. More than half of those currently taking classes are seeking degrees unrelated to their jobs, said Le’Danjeanette Frazier, benefits administrator for USF Human Resources.

Frazier said that a lot of employees are taking advantage of the program, but she’s still surprised that so many don’t know about it.

The Employee Tuition Program is available for full-time USF employees (excluding temporary employees) to take up to six credit hours each semester, taking classes toward a degree (undergraduate and graduate) or just to expand interests and knowledge. Employees must apply to and be accepted by USF and are responsible for certain fees and books.

Here’s a great overview of the program. More information and forms are available to you here. If you have questions, contact Le’Danjeanette Frazier in USF Human Resources (813-974-5387 or lfrazier@usf.edu).