Who Is Responsible for Funding Professional Development and Training?Marilyn Glazer-Weisner | Language Program Coordinator, Cambridge College
Now that I am working in a management position, the type of professional development I am seeking involves a leadership institute. This institute does not offer leadership development; they know that we are already leaders. Instead it offers an opportunity for leaders to work together in a think tank for a year to develop a goal that will have a positive impact on the community where we work.
There is a fee for this year-long leadership institute and, of course, I am willing to contribute towards paying it because I recognize that I will benefit professionally and personally from the experience. However, my employer also offers some professional development funding so I have applied for it. Whatever I receive in the form of professional development funding will reduce my personal cost for the tuition. I believe that since my employer is willing to support my desire to pursue this professional development it serves as a form of recognition for my contributions on the job. At the same time, I am motivated to pursue this learning opportunity because I want to continue to grow and make a difference in the community where I work. Of course, this contribution will positively affect people who speak English as a second language because my passions are breaking the cycle of poverty through giving people the communication tools they need to do so.
Also, I get invited to attend and participate in workshops that contribute to my professional development. These workshops do not require that I pay a fee because they are supported by larger non-profit agencies. In fact, this coming week I am attending a workshop that focuses on managing staff transitions for workforce readiness programs. I view this opportunity as a place to learn, but even more importantly as a place to network to build connections and relationships that will help bring more students to our program.
Ultimately, it comes down to your definition of professional development. If it is up to the individual who is seeking ways to improve his or her status on the job, community colleges do a great job of offering many opportunities for workshops and classes that are affordable. If the professional development is going to directly impact the employer, then the employer should provide tuition remission for the employee. If the employee is pursuing professional growth to move his or her career forward, then he or she should pay the bill for the training or education.