The Tuition Assistance program was put in place by the NCMA Boston Chapter’s Board of Directors as a pilot program nearly 20 years ago, and made a part of the chapter’s annual program a few years thereafter. One of the reasons that it was piloted first is that there were many questions about it, both in terms of top-level policy and details regarding qualifications and process, that needed illumination. The most interesting question was whether it would be too focused, rewarding just a few people, and should be abandoned (or de-emphasized) in deference in favor of more broadly targeted programs. The Board’s answer to that has been “no” – for one basic reason – we want to underscore the importance of education and continuing education, and the importance of individual initiative in that regard. Contracts professionals need to participate in training programs that help them improve specific job-related skills—and they do that, in part, by participating in programs such as the Chapter’s March Workshop. But they also need to find educational opportunities from time to time, to more broadly stimulate their knowledge and keep them on the path of life-long learning, a hallmark of a true professional.
The actual details of the program can change from time to time, but essentially we’ve settled on keeping it simple for applicants and for Chapter leaders. We created a simple application with simple criteria for qualification and simple process to select those applicants who will be awarded funds. A half-page application, requiring minimal information, is made available, usually in the fall and spring (and on occasion at other times in the year) through The Boston Newsletter, handed out at meetings (such as the March Workshop), and now, with our improved website, always posted on this site. The criteria to qualify are typically that the applicant is already a chapter member, that she/he took a contracts-related course that is not fully reimbursed by a third-party source (e.g., the employer), and that they postmark the application before a specified date. The selection process has been simplified to a random drawing, as we didn’t want to put the chapter leaders in a position of trying to determine financial need. And that’s it – simple. Or course, we try to present the check for reimbursement at a Chapter event for maximum visibility; because, remember, the program is to underscore the importance of education and continuing education, and the importance of individual initiative in that regard.
The Tuition Assistance program is designed to provide some financial help to several NCMA Boston Chapter members who are taking (or have recently taken) a course (or courses) to improve their skills in the contracts (or related) field and whose expenses are not otherwise reimbursed (or not fully reimbursed). The application process is stream- lined — you must complete a simple application and successfully complete the course to receive the assistance funds from the Chapter. The guidelines and particulars for this program are detailed as follows:
Any additional questions? Any comments? Contact us.