FAQs for Professional Leave 

Finalized on May 20, 2019 

Who is eligible for sabbatical leave?

Tenured faculty with three (3) or more years of full-time employment with the District are eligible for a sabbatical. Faculty who have not been awarded professional leave in seven years receive preference for sabbatical awards.

How long can I be on sabbatical leave?

Faculty can apply for up to three (3) consecutive quarters of Professional Leave.  After a sabbatical, faculty must return to serve in their faculty appointments. 

How much am I compensated during my sabbatical?

Faculty on one (1) quarter of sabbatical receive 100% of their salary; faculty on two (2) quarters receive 80%, and faculty on three (3) quarters of sabbatical receive 60%.

How do I apply for a sabbatical?  

Faculty can apply online through the Faculty Development website. The website includes examples of successful sabbatical proposals.

When are proposals due?

Sabbatical proposals must be submitted online by the first Friday of December. However, it is important that faculty discuss their proposal with their unit administrator earlier in the quarter. Your unit administrator will need to approve your proposed project.

Who approves the proposals?

Sabbatical proposals are first read and approved by your dean or unit administrator, VP of Instruction, and campus president. The proposals are then reviewed and evaluated by the Professional Leave Committee, which is composed of faculty and administrators. The evaluation is on a point system (see the point distribution rubric at the bottom of this FAQ). The committee makes sabbatical award recommendations to the chancellor, who makes the final decision on awarding sabbatical leaves. By contract, faculty awarded a sabbatical will be notified fourteen calendar days prior to the end of Winter Quarter. 

How should I write my proposal?   

Sabbatical proposals should be written in clear, easy-to-understand prose that is specific but not overly technical.  Recommended length of proposals is 5 – 7 pages. Answer every prompt, even if you have to be repetitive. Remember, as your proposal goes through the system, readers of your proposal will include colleagues who may not be familiar with your discipline or with the particular focus of your study. Remember to consult with your Dean before and as you write the proposal, and also share drafts with colleagues. 

What makes a successful sabbatical proposal?

Proposals should represent new work. The committee looks for projects that both enhance the professional knowledge of the faculty and will contribute to the academic atmosphere of our colleges.  Successful proposals have clearly defined and measurable goals. Some proposals may be more appropriate for curriculum development grants. Please talk to your unit administrator.

What is the difference between a sabbatical project and a curriculum development grant? Curriculum development is fine for a sabbatical, but your proposal should demonstrate significant participation in professional development activities in order to support the creation of new or revised curriculum. Successful sabbaticals result in a product that represents new work and can be shared across the department, college, and district. If your proposal is to create or revise a class primarily using your current knowledge and skills, a curriculum development grant is a better option. 

Does my proposal have to address all criteria of the Sabbatical Leave Request?

Yes. Make sure you consider the scores relegated to each of the four sections required by the application. 

Does the scope of my project have to fit the time commitment of my sabbatical?   Yes.  The difficulty and scope of your proposal are considered carefully as the committee evaluates sabbatical projects.  A proposal must include a well-developed timeline with realistic objectives.

Can I get help as I draft my proposal?

Yes. The Professional Leave Committee will review drafts and offer advice to faculty.  Draft proposals are submitted through the email FD@Seattlecolleges.edu and must be received by 5 p.m. of the last Friday in October.

May I submit additional and supporting materials?

Yes. We encourage you to add any comments and supporting documents which you feel would assist the committee in evaluating your proposal.

How do I know that my proposal has been submitted successfully?

You will receive an email confirmation after your application has been received by Employee Services.

What are my obligations to the Seattle Colleges while I am on sabbatical?

Faculty must complete the sabbatical work as described in their proposal. You need to submit a  mid-term Sabbatical Report if you’ve received two or more quarters of leave. Please follow the instructions for a midterm report here. You cannot work in the District during your sabbatical leave.

May I extend my sabbatical?

Yes. Faculty who have been awarded a sabbatical may request additional leave without pay beyond the professional leave period. Approval for any additional leave period must be obtained at least one (1) quarter prior to the scheduled return from the appropriate unit administrator, vice president, and the campus president. The campus president will stipulate the terms upon which additional leave may be granted. 

What are my obligations to the Seattle Colleges when I return from sabbatical? Faculty must submit a final written report on their sabbatical project to the Professional Leave Committee within one (1) quarter, excluding summer quarter, after returning from such leave.  The report must be approved by the committee on the basis of whether the faculty fulfilled the terms of their proposal. For the format of the final report, it is important to follow the committee’s instructions posted here.  Sabbatical awardees failing to file a final report, or who do not file a report that is approved by the committee, must refund fifty percent (50%) of their sabbatical pay to the District. The Faculty Development and the Professional Leave Committee also expect you to give a presentation on campus to share your sabbatical work when you return from sabbatical.  

My proposal hinges on an external aspect, for example, receiving a grant, or collaborating with a colleague at a different institute who is also applying for sabbatical. I will not have this information until after the deadline to submit my proposal. What do I do?

Write your proposal assuming positive outcomes for these external aspects. Explain what steps you are taking for these aspects and provide proof within your proposal. Email early and often with your unit administrator (who will be trying to work out contingency plans for your replacement) and reference the communication between the two of you in your proposal. Include in your proposal the date by which you will know the outcome of your needs. 

Part of my work involves collaboration with colleagues in another institution, or from another country. What evidence of collaboration is required? 

You should provide the names, titles, and institutions of your collaborators as well as a written statement from each of them that acknowledges their understanding and agreement of the collaboration and the dates that you have proposed.

If my sabbatical involves human or animal subject research, do I need additional approvals?

Yes. Please Read Seattle District Policy 530, found

here: https://seattlecentral.edu/about/policiesandprocedures/humansubjectpolicy

Where can I find the full SCC policy for sabbaticals? Seattle Colleges Collective bargaining Agreement Article 5


Professional Leave Guidelines found on Inside Seattle colleges: https://inside.seattlecolleges.edu/default.aspx?svc=professionalleave&page=leaveguidelines Scoring guideline for sabbatical proposals

  1. Description of the Project – 30 points

On a separate sheet, please respond to each of the following. Be specific but brief. Identify the underlined item in your response. The Professional Leave Committee will evaluate the clarity of the proposal as well as the feasibility and overall merits of the project proposed.

Present an abstract (overview) of your project or plan. Be specific so that the committee can understand your intentions.

  1. List your specific objectives, and present your plan and timeline. Provide information (qualification, initial steps taken, etc.) that will convince the Committee that sabbatical goals are accomplishable within the requested timeframe.
    1. State how you will demonstrate that you have achieved your specific objectives.
    1. Identify any additional financial support which you have sought or plan to seek.
    1. If you are requesting Return-To-Industry leave, identify firm, name of contact person, amount to be paid per month and number of months. Attach a letter of understanding between you and the firm outlining the above.

The 30 points in the Description of the Project section are allocated as follows:

  • Clarity of Objectives (10)
    • Presentation of Plan & Timeline (10)
      • Realistic
      • Specific
    • Outcomes (10)
  • Benefit Students, Instructional Program, College and Community – 40 points Includes aid to individual courses; creation of specific instructional materials; greater knowledge of subject matter; better understanding of teaching, learning in the 21st century; applicability to courses or activities beyond faculty member’s usual work; enhancement of program’s diversity, knowledge level, instructional techniques/technology or service delivery; improvement of working relationship with community/industry/outside agencies; enhancement of professional standing; programs of college-wide benefit.

The 40 points in the Benefit Students, Instructional Program, College and Community section are allocated as follows:

  • Potential Impact: 20
    • How does it address student needs?
    • Who will be effected? How?
    • Relevancy: 20
      • Addresses college strategic plan and core themes
      • Addresses program outcomes
  • Benefit Professional Development Potential for Instructor – 30 points Includes opportunity to acquire new skills, knowledge; broadening/expansion of knowledge and skills in present field; enhancement of interpersonal skills in dealing with students, colleagues, and community.

The 30 points in the Benefit Professional/ Development Potential for Instructor section are allocated as follows:

  • Relevancy to teaching responsibilities, discipline and instructional program (20)
    • Quality of professional development activity (10)
      • Depth, quality, and relevance of new skills and knowledge
  • Ten additional bonus points will be given to those who have had at least seven years of full-time faculty employment with the District and have not had professional leave within the last seven years.