More than 300 Clemson employees are currently working toward graduate degrees using Clemson’s Employee Tuition Assistance Program (ETAP), and each year about 65 of them graduate with advanced degrees.

Clemson University offers ETAP as a way to encourage professional growth, enhance employee performance and support employee career development. The program pays for  up to 6 credit hours per academic term for eligible Clemson employees. The program also covers 100 percent of mandatory academic fees including activity/program fees, differential fees, and lab fees*.

ETAP has made it possible for faculty to further pursue their education while still maintaining a healthy work schedule. Tonyia Stewart, Assistant Director of Graduate Studies and Post-Doc Affairs in the College of Computing, Engineering and Applied Sciences, recently graduated with a master’s degree in counselor education.

Stewart provided a bit of advice for those who may be thinking about pursuing a degree through this program: “DO IT!  With the right support and a true desire to earn a Masters or PhD, it’s an amazing experience and opportunity to achieve a dream.  It’s not easy, be prepared and ready to work hard! If you are worried about the workload, try one class a semester and work your way up to two.  You won’t regret it!”

Stewart was able to achieve her degree within three years. She admits that balancing work and school was sometimes stressful, but she quickly “learned to adjust and focus” to balance work, school, and a social life. In addition to the career advancement possibilities, Stewart notes there’s a direct benefit to current Clemson students:  “I can apply what I have learned to find ways to support and help our students to complete their programs in CECAS. I also hope to encourage postdocs to grow and see professional development opportunities and leave Clemson with a positive learning experience.”

Eligibility Basics:

  •    Employment status of 75 percent time (minimum 30 hours per work week) in a regular FTE, temporary grant or time-limited position,
  •    Employment status at Clemson University for twelve (12) consecutive months, and
  •    Employment status in good standing in relation to conduct and job performance.

Visit the ETAP webpage for more detailed information.

*ETAP applies to undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees; however, unlike the undergraduate benefit, the graduate benefit is treated as income and taxed as such.