Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The DoDEA Human Resources Center has received a number of inquiries regarding Academic Salary Lane (ASL) changes (also known as pay lane changes) for educators. The most frequently asked questions are listed below and answered so that a better understanding of the program and its criteria can be achieved. We hope the information will be helpful for educators in deciding what courses to take, in maintaining records, and in submitting ASL applications. ASL changes are governed by DoD Directive 1400.13, Part IV and addressed in Article 25 of the Negotiated Agreement. These documents and subsequent Memorandums of Understanding should be available at each school.
Not necessarily! The regulations governing the certification program are distinctly different from those which govern ASL changes. For certification purposes, post-baccalaureate courses taken for “continuing education” or “professional development” may not have been taken at the graduate level for academic credit (as typically stated on the official transcript). For ASL purposes, we recommend that educators determine, BEFORE registering for courses, if courses are graduate level for academic credit. We, at the Human Resources Center do not make this decision. Educational institutions do this. If the official transcript does not specifically identify a course as creditable at the graduate level, it is the educator’s responsibility to secure documentation from the university certifying that the course carries gradual level credit. Again, only graduate level courses are acceptable for approving ASL requests.
No! Grade reports (official or otherwise) are not considered official documents to approve ASL requests. We must have an official transcript (original), or a certified true copy (certified by the principal or assistant principal). Again, the educator is responsible for including official transcripts with any ASL change request. Also, please make sure that the transcript legend (sometimes on the reverse side of the transcript) is forwarded.
As soon as an ASL request is approved by a HQ specialist, an email is transmitted to the educator and the district HR office advising the educator of the effective date, new pay lane granted and when the pay change can be expected on the leave and earnings statement—usually about two pay periods if there are no intervening actions.
ASL changes are effective the first day of the first pay period following the date the education was completed or the degree granted—provided the ASL requests were submitted within one year of course completion/degree award. Delaying submission only results in numerous corrections to other actions and increases the possibility of pay errors. Please remember that 31 U.S.C 3702 (b)(1) limits back pay recovery to a six-year period.
I took some professional credit courses (600 level) and have a letter from the university stating that these courses are “universally accepted by school districts from California and neighboring States for advancement on salary schedules and for recertification.” Is this sufficient documentation for my ASL request?
No. The problem remains that the state still doesn’t clarify that the courses are considered graduate-level course work. Many States accept post-baccalaureate course work for salary schedule advancement, regardless of whether it is undergraduate or graduate level. If professional course work is transferred to a “regular” university, and that university accepts such course work (600 level) as graduate, then we will, too. Also, if another university indicates (on official letterhead stationery) that they will credit the professional course work as graduate-level course work, then we will accept that as appropriate documentation.
We accept a college or university listed in the United States Office of Education Directory. Additionally, we accept course work from universities which are accredited by one of the six regional institutional accrediting associations recognized by the Secretary, US Department of Education. These are as follows:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Colleges and Schools
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Association of Colleges and Schools
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Colleges and Schools
Foreign degrees and course work from non-accredited institutions must be evaluated prior to acceptance. The three acceptable procedures for this are as follows:
- the work is evaluated and interpreted by the International Education Research Foundation, Inc., Credential Evaluation Service, Post Office Box 3665, Culver City, CA 90231-3665 or www.ierf.org/ or 310-258-9451;
- the foreign institution which awarded the degree is on a list endorsed by a regionally accredited university or on a list endorsed by a state department of education for the purpose of teacher certification in that State. This procedure will require an English translation of the transcript and a copy of the document awarding the degree, together with an authenticated list produced by an American university or a state department of education;
- the work is evaluated by the graduate division of a regionally accredited university and declared the equivalent of similar graduate work in a U.S. institution.
- Application for Academic Salary Lane Change
- Official transcripts or principal-certified copies of transcripts
- Transcript legends (normally on the reverse side of the transcript)
- Course Break Out Sheet (must list graduate courses which are to be credited, the college/university from which taken, the semester, and the completion date.
Each ASL request must be initiated by the educator through his/her principal. The principal can also certify that a transcript is a true certified copy (again, make sure the legend is included in the documentation forwarded to us). The HR office reviews the ASL application for completeness and forwards the request to HQ for approval and processing.
When an educator requests a change to the BA+30 or MA+30 ASL, does the Human Resources Center just add on to the BA+15 or MA+15 level, or does the DoDEA review all graduate course work?
We review ALL course work to make sure it is from a U.S. accredited educational institution and is graduate level. On occasion, we have found that some previously approved pay lane requests were processed erroneously. We will NOT change those actions. However, if a course was mistakenly credited and an educator is found to not meet the BA+30 or MA+30 requirements, the ASL request will not be approved for processing.
Complete and submit your ASL application form, along with the required documents, to your school office secretary. You have then filed your application and the school secretary will date stamp your application as being received. The school secretary will forward the application request to the district HR office for a cursory review of properly filed documents. If it is determined that the application is complete, the district HR office will forward the ASL application to the Licensure Unit at HQ DoDEA in Arlington for approval and processing. If the district HR office determines that an ASL application is incomplete, the application will be returned to the school office with a note of any missing documents.