Professional Development Plan

As a student affairs professional, I strongly believe in the value of continuing education and lifelong learning. Although I may be receiving a degree called “Master of Education” following my two years of study, I feel that I have only just scratched the surface of everything there is to be learned in higher education, not that I have mastered all that knowledge. However, I do feel competent in my ability to find, through research, an answer or to create, using theory and best practices, a solution to any problem I may encounter as a professional. Nevertheless, to keep my skills sharp and to maintain currency with ongoing developments in higher education, I do expect to make use of professional development resources and workshops I can.

As a professional, I believe the things that I really must do in order to continue my professional development include working to overcome my weaknesses, further develop my strengths, and stay current on developments within the field. I believe one of my largest weaknesses, especially since I am interested in working with international students and other international education initiatives, is my lack of experience abroad. I already have arranged for a summer internship at the American University in Bulgaria this summer, but I do not want to rest there. I plan to develop my strengths, which I believe are my technical skills and my interest in organizing interdisciplinary responses to critical issues in higher education. I will continue to explore subject areas outside of higher education which relate to student affairs, career development, or international education. Finally, I will keep current on the profession through membership and participation in professional organizations and networks.

Below, I have identified specific areas for growth and development and a timeline or timeframe for each. I hope to accomplish each of these as I continue my career in higher education.

Professional Knowledge Communities, Organizational Involvement

  • Maintain membership in NASPA – continually until retirement
  • Join and maintain membership in NAFSA, NACE, and/or other relevant organizations – continually until retirement
  • Seek mentorship opportunities through professional organizations – within two years
  • Join and participate in conversations with other professionals through sub-communities within the above organizations – within two years

Service to the Profession

  • Present a program at a state or comparable level conference – within two years
  • Present a session at a regional or comparable conference – within five years
  • Present a session at a national conference – within ten years
  • Become a mentor to a new professional – within fifteen years

Technical Skills

  • Maintain computer skills in essential office programs, including word processing, spreadsheet, slideshow, and communication software – continually
  • Improve skills with internet and mobile internet communications, including social networking and web 2.0 technologies – within two years
  • Complete formal training and/or coursework in information technology – within five years

Experiential Learning

  • Complete a two-month internship in the student affairs department at the American University in Bulgaria – immediately after graduation
  • Work, study, or otherwise live abroad for a year – within ten years
  • Complete a short-term educational experience exploring universities abroad and comparative education – within twenty years
  • Travel to at least ten different countries – before retirement

Related Competencies

  • Continue language learning efforts in French and Japanese in either formal setting or by informal means – within two years
  • Learn about employer relations, human resources, and/or employment law in a formal setting – within five years.
  • Learn about intercultural communication and cultural anthropology in a formal setting or by informal means – within five years

Current Events

  • Keep up to date with news in student affairs and higher education by subscribing to and consuming knowledge resources such as the Chronicle, news published by professional organizations, podcasts on student affairs, and webinar series – continually
  • Keep in contact with peers from the Kent State program – continually after graduation
  • Maintain connections with former supervisors and coworkers – continually
  • Network with professionals at other institutions – at every opportunity
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