FAQs

Who is eligible to apply for the Professional Development Program (PDP) Educational Services and ACS Scholarship Programs?

PDP services are available to ACS employees. All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements, which include:

  • A permanent or non-competitive civil service employee status;
  • Two or more years of satisfactory job performance at ACS;
  • An overall rating of “Very Good” or “Outstanding” in most recent performance evaluation;
  • No past, present or pending disciplinary actions;
  • A favorable recommendation from their Borough/Division leadership and immediate supervisor.

What are the educational support services provided by PDP?

PDP educational support services include:

  • Individual support and coaching-assistance with exploring colleges/universities and programs that best fit your educational goals, as well as support with the application process;
  • Release time – for graduate level studies, collaborate with leadership and navigate agency policies to support up to 7 hours of agency approved release time per week to attend classes;
  • Field Placements/Internship support – PDP collaborates with ACS divisions/departments to identify field placement/internship opportunities for employees who must complete field placements/internships as part of their graduate studies;
  • Capstone support and advisement PDP provides staff members who are in their final year of study support/advisement for their Capstone Projects.

Is release time for applicants guaranteed?

ACS cannot guarantee all applicants will receive release time or field placements/internships approval. All requests will be reviewed and approved by your respective Borough/Division leadership.

How do I apply for PDP Educational Support Services?

Please download Step 1 and Step 3 of the application and submit your completed packet to Nancy Espinet at [email protected]. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Questions regarding the PDP application process may be directed to Nancy Espinet via email at [email protected] or via phone at (212) 341-2901.

Am I eligible for an ACS Scholarship even if I don’t need additional PDP Educational Support Services?

Yes. Anyone enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program that meets the scholarship eligibility requirements is encouraged to apply for an ACS scholarship whether they need any of the other PDP services or not. The ACS Scholarship Program is a service under the Professional Development Program.

Am I eligible for an ACS Scholarship regardless of the type of degree I pursue?

The James R. Dumpson Scholarship is available to any ACS employee who meets the eligibility requirements and is enrolled in an accredited master’s degree program in social work, public administration, public policy, urban policy and management or an approved equivalent. The degree must be relevant to the mission of ACS.

The Nicholas Scoppetta Scholarship is available to any ACS employee who meets the eligibility requirements and is enrolled in an accredited bachelor’s degree program.

How do I apply for the ACS Scholarship?

Please download Step 1, Step 3, and Step 4 of the application and submit your completed packet to Aisha Dixon at [email protected]. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis contingent upon eligibility of funds. Interviews for eligible applicants are conducted three times per year (March, July and October). Questions regarding the Scholarship application process may be directed to Aisha Dixon via email at [email protected] or via phone at (212) 341-2790.

Does everyone who applies for the ACS Scholarship receive one?

The scholarship program is a competitive process. The selection committee includes ACS leadership from multiple divisions, school faculty, and PDP/Scholarship graduates. Award recipients are selected based on:

  1. proof of acceptance or matriculation in an accredited degree program and current academic record;
  2. most recent ACS performance evaluation;
  3. written recommendations from a supervisor and borough/division leadership;
  4. applicant’s personal statement, and
  5. outcome of a group interview.

Will the scholarship cover all my educational expenses?

Scholarship amounts are based on the cost of an equivalent degree obtained at CUNY. Scholarship awards are available pending funding. We strongly recommend that applicants also contact their school’s financial aid office for assistance with applying for any available financial aid opportunities. PDP can also provide additional information on financial aid resources.

How long is the scholarship application process and at what point will I know if I have been granted an award?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and interviews are held three times a year: July, October and March. Scholarship award decisions are given to each candidate within 30 days of the interview and awards will apply to the following semester’s tuition. For example, if you receive a scholarship in July, it will be applied to your fall semester tuition. Also, be aware that ACS cannot guarantee all applicants will receive an award.

What is expected of me if I am awarded a scholarship and/or granted PDP educational support services?

ACS scholarship and PDP educational support recipients are expected to:

  • Sign a contract accepting the terms of agreement for continued employment post- graduation.
  • Obtain and submit all required documentation necessary to process tuition payments and continued scholarship eligibility.
  • Satisfy the school’s attendance criteria.
  • Maintain at least a “B” average or its equivalent in all course work, including field placements (where applicable).
  • Remain in good standing with ACS and their school of study, as well as complete all necessary designated course and examinations among other responsibilities.
  • Provide PDP with written grade reports for each semester.
  • Provide PDP with a copy of the field placement/internship/externship educational evaluation for each semester in placement (where applicable).
  • Notify PDP immediately of any plans to withdraw from school.
  • Notify PDP immediately of changes in job status, work location, home address and telephone number.
  • Participate in all PDP program related activities (where applicable).
  • Participants who have participated in field placements are expected to return to their original job assignments upon completion of their degree.

Will I be eligible for a promotion once I complete my master’s degree?

ACS is committed to acknowledging, recognizing and utilizing staff members who have acquired additional education both in their original assignments and when new opportunities arise. However, ACS is not able to automatically grant promotions, transfers or salary increases upon completion of a master’s degree program.

For additional information, please contact the Professional Development Team:

Aisha Dixon, Deputy Director of CE and Scholarship Programs: [email protected]

Alexis Howard, Deputy Director: [email protected]

Nancy Espinet, Deputy Director of Professional Development Program: [email protected]

Norma Urigüen, Director of the Professional Development Program: [email protected]

Orlando Hawkins, CUNY Program Associate: [email protected]

In Accordance with our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, selections will be made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.