Professional Growth Award

What Is It?

The Professional Growth Award (PGA) is an award for classified staff that recognizes and rewards efforts toward life-long learning and improved service to the district. It requires the accumulation of 200 hours of professional growth activities for each award, and it carries with it a monthly addition to your paycheck for the rest of your career with the district! Currently, each PGA is worth $70 per month, or $840 per year.

Which Activities Qualify?

Activities that qualify for the award include the following:

  • College, adult, or trade school courses
  • Voluntary district in-service workshops
  • Leadership in professional associations
  • District committee work
  • Seminars, conferences, conventions
  • Physical education classes

Some categories of activities have limits per award, so pay special attention to the current PGA application form for your bargaining unit.

When Can I Apply?

You are eligible to apply for your first award when you have completed one year of employment as a regular classified staff member and accumulated 200 hours of activities. You are eligible for subsequent awards when at least two years have passed since receiving the last award and you have accumulated another 200 hours, at least 100 of which have been earned since the last award. (The remaining 100 hours can be carryover from the previous award.) The new limit for 2005-06 is 10 awards or $8,400 for an individual. (The previous limit was $5,040/year in total awards.)

How Do I Prepare to Get a PGA?

The process of obtaining a PGA starts months or years before you submit your application. Start keeping records TODAY! Many staff find that keeping an accordian file or other filing system makes this easiest. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Read the PGA section of the current bargaining agreement for your unit (OK, you don't HAVE to do this, but it's good for you.)
  2. Download and print the current PGA application packet for your bargaining unit
  3. Read the guidelines and look over the forms
  4. Make extra copies of the pages for recording your workshop and committee attendance
How Do I Keep Records?

Once you've prepared to keep track of your hours, follow these steps to keep on top of things:

  1. Bring a blank workshop attendance form to all voluntary workshops and get it signed by the presenter
  2. Bring a blank committee work verification form to all committee meetings and record that day's meeting on the form
  3. Keep copies of all paperwork relating to conference, lecture, seminar, or institute attendance, including dates and times of sessions and session descriptions
  4. Keep transcripts from institutions where you take classes (Staff can get free Foothill and De Anza transcripts. Just fill out the request form at the campus and hand deliver it to the appropriate staff member in Admissions and Records.)
How DoI Apply?

When you've reached 200 hours, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the PGA Application form
  2. Make a copy of the completed application and all supporting documentation
  3. Submit to Human Resources a packet including the PGA application, official transcripts, and copies of other supporting documents
  4. Keep the copy of the application and transcripts and the originals of other items in your record-keeping system
Deadline: 10th of Each Month

The committee accepts PGA applications every month, so be sure to apply as soon as you have completed 200 hours to maximize your paycheck. Applications must be received in Human Resources by the 10th calendar day of the month to be considered that month.

The Committee

The team of volunteers who evaluate PGA applications include the following classified staff members (left to right in photo):

PGA committee

Kristine Lestini, CS, Human Resources, 650-949-6222

Ellen Mann, DA, Adapted PE, 408-864-8978

Denise Perez, FH, Educational Resources,, 650-949-7256

Carmela Xuereb, FH,

Cynthia Smith, DA,

Additional Information

To learn more about the PGA, you can view this Powerpoint handout from the September 2005 district opening day presentation by Kris Lestini and Denise Perez:

PGA Sept. 2005 Handout (488k)

Call or e-mail one of the committee members if you have additional questions. Good luck!

Top of page May 26, 2010