Volunteers in Public Schools
(VIPS) at Colorado State University allows employees up to 5 hours per month administrative leave to volunteer in any public school district. The program was developed by Colorado State University Classified Personnel Council in 1995 and is now a permanent program open to all Colorado State employees.
Why does the University support VIPS?
- Because it upholds Colorado State’s commitment to support public K-12 schools — a goal that is in the University Strategic Plan and has strong support from the Colorado Legislature.
- It encourages Colorado State staff to get involved with kids and the community, sending the message that our University cares.
- It allows employees to strengthen their skills by taking on projects outside their normal workload — learning by giving back
Enrolling in VIPS
To enroll in the VIPS program, you must:
- Be an employee of Colorado State University (part-time employees are eligible, but their leave is prorated based on the percentage of their appointment).
- Be performing at a level to merit such leave.
- Meet with your supervisor to discuss participation.
- Complete the VIPS Leave Authorization Form.
VIPS administrative leave is processed within the department.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can be granted up to 1 hour per week of administrative leave to volunteer in the public schools. These hours can be used in a block-time each month or individually. The leave does not accumulate from month to month – no more than 5 hours may be used in a single month.
No. The University encourages employees to volunteer their time to worthy organizations, but administrative leave is allowed only for the VIPS program. There are three reasons:
- The State of Colorado allows administrative leave only when it will directly benefit another state agency.
- Most volunteer opportunities in public schools occur during the average work day.
- Supporting K-12 schools is a goal of the University.
No. While private schools also need volunteer support, state personnel rules only allow administrative leave to volunteer when it directly benefits another public agency.
First, the employee has to be eligible for overtime. Paid administrative leave time occurring during the work week is counted as work time in determining eligibility for overtime in that work week. If you are a full-time employee, you can be granted up to 1 hour per week of administrative leave to volunteer in the public schools.
The leave only covers time spent volunteering in a school. Employees must find ways to cover their own travel time.
No. Anyone with an interest in volunteering is eligible to use the leave, and it can be used in any public school.
Yes, but your leave eligibility is based on the percentage of your appointment. For example, if you're a half-time employee, you're eligible for one-half the total amount of VIPS leave, or a maximum of 2.5 hours per month.
If you want to volunteer in Poudre Schools, the VIPS/Partnership Office (970-490-3207) will work with you to find a volunteer position that matches your interests with school needs. They usually will try to place you in the school of your choice or you can work directly with a school to arrange a volunteer assignment.
If you want to help in another school district, contact the district or school directly.
No, the leave is designed to help employees who are not able to volunteer in schools during the normal school day. Some volunteer activities do exist in the evening, though. Check with the school district.
Not unless you change supervisors. Otherwise, your paperwork remains on file - you only have to complete it once!