An old friend of mine just published a year long course relating to CV / Machine Learning that I would very much like to take. The course is non-college online learning, but is respected and relatively well known / popular. My friend is academically qualified to teach the course and is a respected authority in the CS community. The material covered by this course isn't entirely in line with what I do currently for my job, but is in the same ballpark and is a direction I would like to expand my knowledge.
Would it be inappropriate to request education reimbursement to take this course, and do I need to disclose that I know the author?