Professional Development Fund

The Professional Development Fund offers limited financial subsidies for spouses and partners of qualified College faculty and administrative staff to engage in job-related education, training, or professional development; typically within the first 10 years of arrival.

The purpose of the Fund is to help individuals acquire skills and qualifications that will increase their prospects for finding employment either in the Berkshires region or in a telework capacity.

The Fund is managed through the Manager of Spouse Partner Resources and supported by a committee made up of the:

  • Associate Dean of the Faculty
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Director of the ’68 Center for Career Exploration
  • Learning & Development Manager, Human Resources

Annual reports are made to Staff Council and the Faculty Compensation Committee.

Please note: any award is considered a benefit for the Williams employee, and appropriate taxes will be withheld per state and federal guidelines.


The Fund is available to spouses and partners of administrative staff as well as Williams College faculty with a minimum of two year appointment. It is not available to regular employees of the college.  To be considered for funding, an application should be made within the first 10 years of the spouse’s or partner’s employment at Williams. If awarded, funds must be utilized during the term of employment.

Financial subsidies may not exceed $5,000 per individual. Funds are to be used to defray the costs of career-related training and education. Courses taken solely for the purpose of personal enrichment are not eligible for the Fund.  Expenses for travel, lodging, overhead and goods will be funded only in exceptional circumstances.

Types of requests which have received Professional Development Funds:

  • Courses to prepare for a licensing exam in a professional field
  • Coursework to complete BA, MA or other degree or certificate
  • Participation in a conference, course, or training to develop skills in one area necessary for successful employment, or expansion of employment
  • Attendance in a program to increase computer or business skills
  • Language study to enhance employability or workplace communication
  • Certification or Licensure Transfer fees
  • Association membership to an organization providing direct or indirect employment services
  • Books or training materials associated with an approved activity
  • Career Coaching sessions including resume/CV, cover letter, interview, and career testing services

Application Procedure

Proposals will be evaluated by the Professional Development Fund Committee on a rolling basis. To ensure the timely distribution of funds, the following application materials should be submitted at least six weeks prior to the start of the funded activity.  

  1. A narrative describing specifically how the proposed activity relates to your short- and long-term career objectives and how the acquisition of new skills and qualifications would enhance your ability to intersect with regional employers or work opportunities (need not exceed 500 words). Links to websites and additional information welcome.
  2. An updated resume or curriculum vitae
  3. Financial documentation confirming tuition expenses

Please submit request to:

Cecilia Hirsch, Manager, Spouse Partner Resources

chirsch​@williams ​.edu