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ERIC Number: EJ1177921
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0143
A Structured Course for Personal and Professional Development
Ragan, Deirdre D.
Honors in Practice, v14 p43-57 2018
Since 2009 almost 90% of the surveyed college freshmen have identified "getting a better job" as a major reason for attending college (Pryor et al). College educators can help students work towards this goal by producing mature, critical-thinking graduates who are well-prepared not only for life but also for a career. Many students, unfortunately, do not participate in the frequent, developmental interaction that provides encouragement and guidance in examining and developing their future career goals. They can best choose a career by identifying a confluence of aptitudes, experiences, and passions. Students' post-graduate plans and a pathway for making these plans a reality merit deep inquiry. While most students periodically interact with an academic advisor within their major, these meetings frequently focus on scheduling and class selection issues. While these discussions are important to ensure degree completion and on-time graduation, they do not provide the guided introspection that aids in the development of a career plan. Academic advisors are sometimes not trained or equipped to provide significant career exploration. Career advising, on the other hand, is not necessarily as structured or proactive as many students need. All too often, gathering information on careers and career choice is a student-driven activity that occurs only late in a student's college experience, left to offhand and belated trips to career services. A benefit to both the student and the college would be to intertwine career exploration and academic advising within a defined curriculum no later than the first semester of the student's sophomore year at college. This article examines a college development course at The Citadel, Personal and Professional Development, a four-year, one-on-one course that reflects the best practices in advising and career counseling. This individualized mentor/advising program encourages research, writing, and discussion on the topic of the student's future. The approach influences students' ability to recognize their talents, skills, interests, and experiences. Additionally, the program encourages students to take actions to ensure that they are well-positioned to pursue their post-graduate goals. This course of study, combined with a rigorous undergraduate curriculum, produces a mature, critical thinker who is poised for a successful career.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A