5 USC 4107 - Academic degree training

(a) Subject to subsection (b), an agency may select and assign an employee to academic degree training and may pay or reimburse the costs of academic degree training from appropriated or other available funds if such training
(1) contributes significantly to
(A) meeting an identified agency training need;
(B) resolving an identified agency staffing problem; or

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(C) accomplishing goals in the strategic plan of the agency;
(2) is part of a planned, systemic, and coordinated agency employee development program linked to accomplishing the strategic goals of the agency; and
(3) is accredited and is provided by a college or university that is accredited by a nationally recognized body.
(b) In exercising authority under subsection (a), an agency shall
(1) consistent with the merit system principles set forth in paragraphs (2) and (7) of section 2301 (b), take into consideration the need to
(A) maintain a balanced workforce in which women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and persons with disabilities are appropriately represented in Government service; and
(B) provide employees effective education and training to improve organizational and individual performance;
(2) assure that the training is not for the sole purpose of providing an employee an opportunity to obtain an academic degree or qualify for appointment to a particular position for which the academic degree is a basic requirement;
(3) assure that no authority under this subsection is exercised on behalf of any employee occupying or seeking to qualify for
(A) a noncareer appointment in the senior Executive Service; or

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(B) appointment to any position that is excepted from the competitive service because of its confidential policy-determining, policy-making or policy-advocating character; and
(4) to the greatest extent practicable, facilitate the use of online degree training.