Professional Development

Some of the programs which serve to assist faculty in advancing professional development and enhancing their chances of success at Cal Poly are outlined below. In addition to availing themselves of these opportunities, new faculty are particularly encouraged to consult with their departmental colleagues as well as their department head/chair regularly throughout their probationary period to ensure the highest likelihood of success in their academic endeavors.

The Grants Development Office (GDO)

The Grants Development Office (GDO) assists faculty in identifying and obtaining external funding for research and instructional projects, public service activities, fellowships, and other opportunities. It maintains and disseminates current information on funding through its web page at; provides assistance in the development of proposals and budgets and completion of sponsor forms; ensures conformance with institutional and sponsor requirements; and obtains University and Corporation review and approval. The GDO represents the University in the negotiation of awards with sponsors, and identifies regulatory requirements and intellectual property issues. It also provides periodic reports on proposals and awards to the University. For more information please browse the GDO web page, or call 756-2982.

Statistics Consulting Service

The Statistics Department, located in Faculty Offices East (25-107D), provides a statistical consulting service for faculty, staff, and students to facilitate research design and data analysis in any discipline. Those wishing to avail themselves of this opportunity should bring a description of their research goals, collected data set and a description of how the data was collected. A consultant is available to lead seminars, group lectures or tutorials on requested topics and to offer advice on all aspects of statistical analysis including data collection, experimental design, analytic techniques, and statistical software. This service is not intended to supplant or be an adjunct to classroom instruction. Contact the Statistics Department at 756-2709 for information on walk-in consulting hours, which vary by quarter, or to make an appointment with the consultant. Additional information is also available on the Statistics web site.

Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT)

The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) provides teacher/scholar support for tenure-track and tenured faculty, lecturers, instructionally related staff, and graduate associates. The CTLT interacts with colleges and departments; conducts workshops and classes; provides newer faculty orientation; facilitates faculty learning communities; offers grants; conducts individual consultations with faculty; conducts class observations and class video recording; communicates with faculty through the CTLT website, newsletter, and e-mail; and coordinates the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program. The CTLT is a professional, safe, and supportive environment in which faculty and staff can receive assistance. CTLT interactions are not revealed to others without permission.

Please visit the CTLT or call 756-7002 for any Center for Teaching and Learning related information.

Faculty Development Programs

The CTLT offers a variety of programs, including workshops and webinars to help faculty and staff further develop their skills. Please visit for a listing of current programs offered by the CTLT.

Professional Learning Communities

A professional learning community (PLC) is a faculty and/or professional staff group who engage in an active, extended program of study that is defined either by the needs of a particular cohort or by the imperatives of a particular topic. In addition to study, PLC participants commit to self-reflection and peer feedback in an effort to improve teaching and learning. CTLT aims to fund three PLCs for a maximum of $4000 for each community depending on the budget needs of the group.


The CTLT offers a variety of teacher/scholar support and consultations to help individuals or groups of faculty and staff further develop their skills. All CTL consultations are free of charge and confidential. To schedule a consultation, please contact the CTL at or 756-7002.

Academic Technology

The CTLT is dedicated to assisting faculty in achieving Cal Poly's commitment to teaching excellence by incorporating technology into their course(s) as a component to enhance student learning and improve their role as a scholar. Please visit for Academic Technology information, including learning management systems, tools, and techniques.

Grants and Awards

Professional Development Travel Grant Program

The CTLT will award grants for up to $1000 each to Cal Poly faculty or staff members who are traveling to professional development opportunities.Please visit for more information.

CSU Forgivable Loan Program

The Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) seeks to provide loans to a limited number of doctoral students who are interested in applying and competing for California State University (CSU) instructional faculty positions after finishing their doctoral degrees.

Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities Grant Program

Cal Poly is committed to the teacher-scholar model in which faculty integrate excellence in teaching with excellence in research, scholarly and creative activities. The teacher-scholar model enables faculty to fulfill Cal Poly’s mission as an institution committed to quality undergraduate and graduate education, to the advancement of knowledge through basic and applied research, to the enrichment of society through creative activities in the arts and humanities, and to serving our community. The Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities (RSCA) Grant Program, supported by funds from the CSU Chancellor’s Office and the Cal Poly Provost's Office, is intended to help faculty remain engaged in their disciplines beyond the classroom and to contribute new knowledge through robust programs of scholarship focused on strengthening California socially, culturally, and economically. The annual funding from the program is intended to provide internal resources to help faculty pursue a broader array of professional activities. For more information, visit the RSCA Grant Program webpage.

Faculty Exchange Opportunities

Faculty exchange opportunities are initiated by the faculty member cooperatively with a colleague from another university, and must have the concurrence of the faculty member’s department head/chair and dean. A formal agreement is negotiated and must be approved by officials at both affected campuses. The faculty members each retain their position at their respective universities, and their salary and benefits continue just as if they were in residence at their home campus. Exchanges may be negotiated with faculty from other CSU campuses or other universities in the U.S. or abroad. Exchanges may be negotiated for an entire academic year or specific terms thereof. More information about and administrative support for faculty who have an opportunity for such an exchange may be obtained by calling Academic Personnel at 756-6570.

International Faculty Exchange Opportunities

There are numerous international exchange options available to faculty members that provide opportunities for travel, professional development, and a unique teaching experience. Cal Poly has faculty led programs in Australia, London, Spain, Thailand and the Cal Poly at Sea program in association with Cal Maritime. International opportunities may also include coordinating departmental exchange agreements with an overseas university, coordinating an extended field trip with students in within your department, serving as a resident director in one of the CSU International Programs sites, teaching overseas with University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), and teaching and research opportunities with the Fulbright Program. Faculty interested in participating in an exchange should consult with their department head/chair to inquire about both the college and department policies on faculty participation in international education, and with Academic Personnel regarding the paperwork necessary to document an exchange between a Cal Poly faculty member and a faculty member from an international institution (see preceding paragraph). For additional information visit the International Center.

Sabbatical Leaves

Sabbatical leaves with pay may be granted to eligible employees if the research, scholarly or creative activity, instructional improvement, or faculty retraining provides a benefit to the University. Full-time faculty members, except coaches, are eligible to apply for a sabbatical leave after completing six (6) academic years of full-time service in the preceding seven (7) year period prior to the leave and at least six (6) years after any previous sabbatical or difference in pay leave. Eligibility lists are distributed annually to each dean and department head/chair by Academic Personnel, and applications must be submitted to the department head/chair by November 1 of the academic year preceding the proposed leave. Sabbatical leave compensation for academic year employees is:

  • one quarter at full pay; or
  • two quarters at three-quarters pay; or
  • three quarters at one-half pay

Difference-In-Pay Leaves

Full-time faculty members, except coaches, are eligible to apply for a difference-in-pay leave after serving full time for six (6) years in the preceding seven (7) year period prior to the leave. For a subsequent difference-in-pay leave, a faculty member is eligible after serving three (3) academic years following the last sabbatical or difference-in-pay leave. This leave must be for a purpose that provides a benefit to the University such as research, scholarly or creative activity, instructional improvement, or faculty retraining. The salary for a difference-in-pay leave for a faculty employee is the difference between the individual's salary and that of the minimum salary of Instructor. Eligibility lists are distributed annually to each dean and department head/chair by Academic Personnel, and applications must be submitted to the department head/chair by November 1 of the academic year preceding the proposed leave.

Fee Waiver

Eligible faculty members can enroll in two (2) courses or six (6) units, whichever is greater, of work-related or career development courses per quarter. Tenured and probationary faculty unit employees as well as lecturers with three (3) year appointments pursuant to Article 12 of the collective bargaining agreement are eligible. Coaches with at least six (6) years of full-time equivalent service in a department may be considered eligible. Employees on approved leave of absence, if otherwise eligible, may participate in the program. Fee waiver forms and information are available from Human Resources.

Under current IRS regulations, fees waived for employee undergraduate or graduate coursework are nontaxable up to $5,250 annually. Fees for courses taken through Extended Studies can not be waived.

Faculty Dependent Fee Waiver Program

Eligible faculty members may transfer a partial fee waiver benefit to a spouse, dependent child, or to a certified domestic partner. Eligible members of Unit 3 include all tenured and probationary faculty employees, as well as temporary faculty employees with at least six (6) years of full-time equivalent service in any one department. FERP employees are considered tenured faculty and are eligible for fee waiver only during the quarters when they are actively employed.

The fee waiver benefit entitlement consists of two (2) courses or six (6) units, whichever is greater in total units, per term. The program allows for a reduction of tuition fees based on statutory restrictions, CSU policy and collective bargaining agreements. For a summary of fees and calculations, go to Human Resource’s Dependent Fee Waiver Site for fee waiver forms and information.

A dependent child is:

  1. Your child or stepchild who has never been married
  2. A child living with you in a parent-child relationship who is economically dependent upon you (in accordance with IRS guidelines) and has never been married. Requires completion of the affidavit of Eligibility for Economically Dependent Children, Form HR 133e
  3. Your child or stepchild who is incapable of self-support due to a disability that existed prior to age 23. Requires completion of the Disabled Dependent Benefit Form HR 133d

Fees waived for graduate classes are reported as taxable income; fees waived for undergraduate courses for spouse or dependent child are non-taxable.

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