I need your advice! In the FalI Semester, I am teaching a new online course, new for me, entitled Professional Development. Each time I ask a friend or colleague, “What does the term professional development mean to you? What would such a course cover?, I get a different answer. So I am coming to you, former students, to ask for your advice.

I know that there are many who have graduated, who may have dropped out, or are not checking email in the summer. But I am still hoping for your input!

Thanks in advance! Please leave your suggestions, comments and advice below.

If you prefer call or text me!

Thanks for your help!

Dr. James (Skip) Ward

Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing

Fort Hays State University

jgward@fhsu.edu

281-793-6791

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2 years ago
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Oooh. Look at that cool Tackk program. Skip, you should definitely go for it!

2 years ago
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Skip, you may wish to check out this brochure from Sheffield Hallam University titled "Using Social Media to Enhance Your Employability."

2 years ago
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2 years ago
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Professional development can mean several things depending on context. From a manager to an employee, it generally means that they are the items that can help your development from a constructive criticism angle. This could be things like completing your college education (yours truely), improving communication skills, getting certifications, etc.

2 years ago
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From a course though, I would think of it almost as a gauge of ways to enhance your future prospects by looking at your strengths and weaknesses and seeing where you want to go with your career path. It's about that path of continuous improvement and to always keep learning every day. As an IT professional, I try to keep my non day to day skills upto scratch by doing projects that help me keep my skills sharp. For example, I dabble in system administration; however, I do not do this as a part of my day to day, but it could come in handy. So I keep up a Linux server that I maintain and improve when I can.

Hope that helps

2 years ago
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Professional Development ~ If I were enrolled in this class my hope would be that I learn some tools and receive feedback on how to take my career to the next level. For those new to the workforce it could mean the job search and ensuring they have the minimum required to qualify and how to set themselves apart from other candidates. Creating a personal development plan is helpful. As a middle manager I would like evaluate where I am today to determine the steps I need to take for advancement, most importantly to reach my future goals.

2 years ago
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Hope this helps! Have a great semester!

2 years ago
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In some ways the Six Sigma Certification defines corporate expectations of the professionally developed employee, knowing they can approach any problem and aptly Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) the situation. It would be nice if students could walk away from your course armed, in some similar way, with tools to confidently attack problems in their discipline and systematically Unpack, Discern, Analyze and Recommend resolves... (UDAR)! A skill set helping them be more laser focused in problem-solving and valuable to their employers.

a year ago
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As Heather pointed out, the expectation for those taking the course will be gaining tools and learning how to take their career to the next level. The problem is the tools and needs will be different for different professions. Professional development for a teacher may be much different than would be needed for a nurse for example. A focus on what is needed in general or every situation with tools to branch out to individual needs might be a good way to go. For instance a professional development plan (PDN) is a good way to start. Individual student research into what is needed/required for their profession could contribute to their individual PDN. Practically every profession requires good communication skills. Building from communication skills is presentation and team building, strategy, negotiation skills, leadership skills, self marketing and digital marketing skills. By the end of the semester each student would have a fully workable PDN ready to put in play.

a year ago
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Hello Dr. Ward. I think it is important for students to know that professional development is not limited to age, level, or occupation. Professional development, especially in the age of instant communication and direct access to information from global minds, does not have the barriers that it used to have just a few decades ago. Also, professional development can help people beyond the work place, as long as people open-minded. This topic is essential for learning more, improving through critical feedback, developing self-awareness, and becoming stronger professionally and individually.