Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Board of Criminal Justice recently approved the launch of a new program that would reimburse Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) employees for the tuition expenses incurred while pursuing relevant courses at accredited institutions of higher education.

According to officials with TDCJ, the launch of EmpowerEDU, a Tuition Reimbursement Program, was unanimously approved and was designed to “aid employees in enhancing their job-related skills, work-related capabilities, and overall competency, thereby positioning them to excel in their current roles and adapt to evolving technological, legal, and procedural advancements.”

“Our workforce is the backbone of this agency, and investing in their education and professional development is vital,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier said. “Through the EmpowerEDU Tuition Reimbursement Program, we aim to empower our employees to not only excel in their current roles, but also to prepare for future challenges and opportunities.” 

In order to apply for the program, employees must be a full-time TDCJ employee with at least three continuous years, or 36 months, of service, a “satisfactory” annual job performance evaluation, and not be on disciplinary probation or a return-to-work retiree, according to officials.

“Our goal is to establish ourselves as the No. 1 employer in Texas. We believe in investing in our employees and providing opportunities for growth and development,” Collier said. “This program will not only help our staff advance their education, but also enhance their professional skills and knowledge, ultimately benefiting TDCJ and the communities we serve.”

Officials noted that applications for the program must be submitted within 20 days of receiving their final grades and upon successfully completing the course. Reimbursement is capped at $5,000 per fiscal year for tuition, books and mandatory fees, officials added, and reimbursement spots are limited.

Visit the TDCJ website for more information on the program along with the criteria needed to apply.

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