June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1304.1 - 22.1304.6
Smoothing the Transition: Design, Implementation and Assessment of a “Preparing Future Professionals” Course for Graduate StudentsIt is important that graduate students become citizen scholars in our knowledge-based economy.Beyond the development of their technical and research expertise, graduate students must beprepared for diverse career opportunities and be able to respond to the many challenges facingthe world. Graduate schools serve an important role in the professional development of graduatestudents. Recognizing the important role that graduate education serves in preparing students fordiverse careers beyond academia, we designed, implemented and assessed a professionaldevelopment course for graduate students. Preparing Future Professionals is a graduate-levelcourse that facilitates the transition of doctoral students to careers in business, government, andnon-profit organizations. PFP is a mentorship course designed to support doctoral students intheir exploration of diverse professional environments and to understand their roles andresponsibilities as global citizens.In this course, we introduce the graduate students to diverse topics that facilitate their transitionsto professional careers. Through dialogues with industry professionals, including technical staffand university recruiters, students cover topics that include: 1) job search process andapplication materials, 2) essential skills for the 21st century to be successful in the workplace, 3)understanding business organizations, cultures, and working in interdisciplinary teams, and 4)what it means to be successful in companies and organizations.Student learning outcomes include 1) assembling a professional portfolio, 2) generatingstrategies for success in the career advancement, 3) networking with career professionals, 4)developing a career strategic plan, and 5) relating their career goals and skill sets to variousinstitutional missions and values, company cultures, and expected job functions.Assessment of learning outcomes occurs through both formative and summative formats.Students respond to weekly discussion questions with a structured format focused on the benefitsto them of the specific topics for that session, action items that they will implement, and areas forfurther inquiry. Summative assessment occurs through students’ final submission of portfolios(Curriculum Vitae, résumé, cover letter, research statement, and leadership philosophy) at theend of the semester.Preparing Future Professionals serves as a model in the field of professional development forthe transition of graduate students to become future professionals. The lessons learned from thedesign, implementation and assessment of this course provide direct impact to the professionaldevelopment progress of graduate students on campus and also broader impact to the launchingof similar professional development courses, workshops and programs in this field.
Lynch, C., & Zhu, J., & Cox, M. F. (2011, June), Smoothing the Transition: Design, Implementation and Assessment of a “Preparing Future Professionals” Course for Graduate Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18730
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