Frequently Asked Questions

1. Once I complete all of the career ladder courses, will I automatically promote to the next grade and get a raise?
2. When do I have to let someone know that I want to participate in the career ladder program?
3. Can I decide to take any courses that I want or should I talk about my plans with anyone else?
4. Can a supervisor refuse to let me participate in the career ladder coursework?
5. If I do get promoted through this system, how much will my raise be?
6. I know that I have to take HR (Human Resources) electives, but how many do I have to take and does it matter what they are?
7. How do I find out what HR electives are available and how do I sign up for them?
8. What do I need to do if I can't fit a class into my schedule?
9. How long will it take me to complete the career ladder courses? What happens if I take some of the classes this year, but don't finish them?
10. If I take more than the scheduled number of electives, can they count toward future career ladder moves? If I take all of them, will I be finished with them through grade 8?
11. Can you tell me more about testing? I'm afraid of taking tests and I don't want to set myself up to fail. Will every course I take have a test?
12. Do I have to become a member of the Alabama Library Association to promote? How do I get this information into my file?
13. Where do I get the forms for application to the career ladder path?
14. Who is responsible for keeping up with my records including classes I've taken and anything else I've completed?
15. If I don't agree with what's in my folder or record, who do I need to discuss the problem with?
16. Someone mentioned "placement tests." What does this mean? Can I just take a test and not have to take any classes?
17. If I do promote how many years do I have to wait to begin the promotion process again?
18. Is any employee eligible to take career ladder courses even if they're not participating in the career ladder process?
19. Can I receive credit for taking courses at Auburn University or AUM?
20. I'm a grade 6. Do I only have to complete one coursework form?
21. Can on-the-job training count as a Library Elective?
22. Will a score of '3 (meets expectations)' for each of my responsibilities on my performance evaluation be sufficient to promote?
23. I have other questions about the career ladder process. Who has the answers?


1. Once I complete all of the career ladder courses, will I automatically promote to the next grade and get a raise?

No. The career ladder coursework is only one of several components you must satisfactorily complete to be considered for promotion. Other requirements that must be met include demonstrating increased competencies appropriate to the next higher-level job; performing at a satisfactory level in your current position; meeting the time requirement in your current position; complying with all library policies and work rules (including attendance and punctuality); meeting any other specific criteria as established.

2. When do I have to let someone know that I want to participate in the career ladder program?

The sooner the better. However, you can start this process at any time during the year. Keep in mind that if you attempt to promote by October 1, the coursework must be completed and the appropriate forms signed and sent to Human Resources by May 1 for budget-planning purposes.

3. Can I decide to take any courses that I want or should I talk about my plans with anyone else?

You should first discuss your intent to participate in the career ladder process with your Supervisor. A form of intent will be signed by your Supervisor, Department Head, Assistant Dean and you.

4. Can a supervisor refuse to let me participate in the career ladder coursework?

Yes. If you are not performing your current job satisfactorily, your Supervisor may deny your participation in order for you to concentrate on bringing your current responsibilities up to a satisfactory level.

5. If I do get promoted through this system, how much will my raise be?

The amount of the raise is determined by the AU Human Resources Department and must be consistent campus-wide.

6. I know that I have to take HR (Human Resources) electives, but how many do I have to take and does it matter what they are?

You need to take two courses for each grade level. The approved list of HR electives is in your packet.

7. How do I find out what HR electives are available and how do I sign up for them?

HR sends out a brochure at the beginning of each quarter. Registration for HR classes should be accomplished as soon as possible because we compete with other units on campus for these classes.

8. What do I need to do if I can't fit a class into my schedule?

All efforts will be made in order to provide access to the classes both through HR and within the Library. Special class times may be provided if the need arises.

9. How long will it take me to complete the career ladder courses? What happens if I take some of the classes this year, but don't finish them?

You will be able to work at your own pace. If you indicate that you want to participate in the career ladder process and find that it takes longer than planned, credit for classes already completed can be carried over.

10. If I take more than the scheduled number of electives, can they count toward future career ladder moves? If I take all of them, will I be finished with them through grade 8?

No. You can't apply current coursework credit to any subsequent career ladder moves. However, if you have several coursework forms to complete for your promotion, you can work on more than one form at a time.

11. Can you tell me more about testing? I'm afraid of taking tests and I don't want to set myself up to fail. Will every course I take have a test?

The emphasis is on learning, and not on testing. In fact some of us won't even use the word "test" - Pat Deery from H.R. calls them "learning celebrations" instead. Be assured that if you come to class, take a few notes and become familiar with the handouts you will do well. Many classes, particularly the Library and HR electives, may have no "learning celebration" component at all.

12. Do I have to become a member of the Alabama Library Association to promote? How do I get this information into my file?

Membership in AlaLA is not a component of your career ladder path. However, activities of this type can be beneficial to your career, and should be reported to your Supervisor and the Library HR Specialist, and noted in your file.

13. Where do I get the forms for application to the career ladder path?

Forms can be obtained through the AU Libraries HR Specialist's office on the 2nd floor of RBD library.

14. Who is responsible for keeping up with my records including classes I've taken and anything else I've completed?

You are responsible for keeping up with your coursework form(s). All participants are encouraged to periodically photocopy their current form and submit it to the AU Libraries HR Specialist. This way current information will be maintained.

15. If I don't agree with what's in my folder or record, who do I need to discuss the problem with?

You should begin with your supervisor. If the problem can't be worked out, you will be directed by your supervisor to the next level.

16. Someone mentioned "placement tests." What does this mean? Can I just take a test and not have to take any classes?

Placement tests are explained in the Guidelines included in the packet. Credit can be awarded for placement tests taken as substitutes for courses required at or below the employee's present grade level. This does not include Library electives or HR courses.

17. If I do promote how many years do I have to wait to begin the promotion process again?

One component of the career ladder is a time element. With approval, you can begin taking coursework immediately after promoting, but remember that you have to satisfy all of the other requirements, including the specified length of time at the grade level. Typically this is two years.

18. Is any employee eligible to take career ladder courses even if they're not participating in the career ladder process?

Yes. Classes are not restricted to career ladder participants.

19. Can I receive credit for taking courses at Auburn University or AUM?

Yes. If your supervisor verifies that the class is specifically job-related, then you may receive credit for one Library Elective per course.

20. I'm a grade 6. Do I only have to complete one coursework form?

No. You need to complete all prior grade level coursework forms also. A grade 6 would have to complete forms 1 through 4

21. Can on-the-job training count as a Library Elective?

Only designated courses, workshops, teleconferences, etc. can count as Library Electives.

22. Will a score of '3 (meets expectations)' for each of my responsibilities on my performance evaluation be sufficient to promote?

A score of 3 will be sufficient for all responsibilities, EXCEPT a score of 4 or above must be attained on the responsibility that states"Contributes to the unit's programs, goals and objectives related to quality, student/customer satisfaction, and image through teamwork, cooperation, suggestions, and personal productivity and conduct; maintains professional working relationships with team members and other members of the university community."

23. I have other questions about the career ladder process. Who has the answers?

Contact the AU Libraries HR Specialist in the Dean's Office on the second floor of RBD Library.

Last Updated: Jul 28, 2011