How To Sponsor Your Employee

“For corporations, the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program is an effective means of retaining highly motivated individuals, rewarding them for their achievement by providing a significant opportunity for personal and professional growth. At the same time, the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program produces immediate benefits for employers. Participants return from each weekend session with new skills and insights that they can apply to their work.”

Michael Condon
Partner, Accenture Incorporated

Lunch and Learn

If you are interested in having an AMP information event at your place of work, please contact us at accmp@virginia.edu. We often work with managers and professional development staff to organize short on-site sessions to make it easy for employees to learn more about the AMP during the work day.

Sponsorship

Sponsoring an employee in the UVa Accelerated Master’s Program in Systems Engineering represents an investment in your employee’s future and their contributions to your company’s success. As a sponsoring organization, your role includes recognizing the time commitment required for the student’s participation, providing financial support, and having a career development plan for the employee. Your sponsorship demonstrates your belief in the employee’s high potential and in the benefit of adding the skills and perspectives he or she will gain through the Accelerated Master’s Program to your company’s assets.

Time Commitment

The Accelerated Master’s Program in Systems Engineering is designed for working professionals, and the format allows them to maintain their professional responsibilities and complete the degree without interrupting their careers. Highly-motivated individuals are drawn to this program. It takes a strong commitment on their part and an acknowledgement by the company of the level of effort the AMP requires. As part of the approval process for your employee’s participation in the program, there should be discussions of the time required for the student to be successful in the program and accommodations that can be made to enable the student, and your company, to receive the maximum benefit from their studies.

AMP students complete a full-fledged master’s degree in one year. The program of studies is rigorous, and it is crucial that the student attend all class sessions. The schedule of classes includes two weeks in residence, one at the beginning of the program in May and another at the conclusion the following April. In between those two “bookend weeks” there are a total of twenty alternate Friday/Saturday class weekends on Grounds at the University over a ten-month period. Some companies grant the student the time away from the office as professional development/job training days. Other organizations may opt for an alternate work schedule, such as a 9 days/80 hours arrangement, allowing the student to attend class every other Friday. In addition to class time, students will be studying, doing homework and projects, and participating in group study sessions in the evenings and on weekends between class meetings. Successful completion of the degree program requires a strong commitment by the student, their employer, and their family, recognizing that the program is of limited duration and that the benefits are worth the effort!

Financial Support

Most Accelerated Master’s Program students receive some level of financial support from their employers. Some companies provide full support for all tuition and required fees. Others have an annual cap, or cover only certain expenses. Many companies choose to reimburse the student at the end of each semester upon successful completion of the courses. Some organizations arrange for the company to be billed and pay the student’s tuition directly to the University. Others may give the student a pre-loaded credit card that can be used for education expenses.

Career Development Path

Choosing to support your employee’s professional development by sponsoring her or his participation in the Accelerated Master’s Program is a strong statement of your belief in the employee’s current and future contributions to the company and his or her potential for growth. Part of the discussions preceding the student’s enrollment in the program should focus on how the student’s increase in knowledge and skill can lead to increased responsibilities, new challenges, and opportunities for advancement. Establishing a career development plan can deepen the understanding between the supervisor and the employee and help fulfill the aims of retaining highly competent individuals and integrating their newly gained knowledge into the organization.