Assignment: Professional Development Plan: Parts 1 & 2

Assignment: Professional Development Plan: Parts 1 & 2

Professional Development Plan
Program: PhD in Human Services
Specialization: General
Walden University
Professional Development Plan
Part 1: Professional Goals
Professional Introduction
Start off with a clear paragraph that describes your academic and professional goals. Include the name of your specialization, if relevant, and possible career goals and special academic interests. List past professional and personal efforts that you will likely carry into future work. This paragraph will be extremely useful to assist those assigning mentors who will guide your academic work after HUMN 6000/8000 is completed.
Professional and Academic Background
Discuss your education and work history, using details to help create a clear picture of the chronology, locations, and type of work or study involved. You do not need to provide elaborate details here as you will be discussing the nature of your past pursuits in Part 2.
Goal Statements and Their Relation to Academic Research
Here you will answer the question of how your graduate study at Walden will contribute to meeting your overall goals. Be sure to discuss both your goals and how you expect to achieve them through academic research. Here, you might refer to your tentative dissertation topic.
Reflection of Walden’s Mission Statement
Discuss how Walden’s mission statement corresponds to your own philosophy and goals. Be sure to demonstrate that you have read the mission statement by using specific examples from the statement itself.
Attainment of the Advanced Degree Related to Goals
Discuss how an advanced degree from Walden will help you attain your goals. Why did you choose this university and/or online environment above all others?
Part 2: Educational Background and Research Proficiency
In this section, discuss your academic and relevant personal proficiencies. Consider using subheadings to separate different sections of this part of your narrative. See the resources on the Writing Center website for instructions on formatting APA headings.
Academic Coursework in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
This is your chance to elaborate on your educational background and competencies. You may choose to list in bulleted form your most relevant courses.
Academic Coursework in Other Fields
Here you should elaborate on your educational background, competencies, past research, relevant coursework, publications, and other academic achievements. You may choose to list in bulleted form your most relevant courses.
Professional Presentations, Seminars, Training, and Workshops
Discuss any training, skills, or other experience related to your professional endeavors.
Volunteer Work
If relevant, discuss work you have done in your community that has inspired your current course of study.
Past Research, Publications, and Teaching Assignments
If relevant, discuss past research you have been involved with, along with any of your teaching assignments. If you have published research in the past, list the publications.
Access to Research Materials
Describe the availability of databases, information technology, and other research materials necessary for graduate study. Think about local libraries, resource centers, and your professional contacts to which you may have access.
Academic and Research Strengths and Weaknesses
In this section you should analyze the strengths and weaknesses you bring to graduate study, the opportunities or assets you have to help you, and any situations or conditions that may pose a threat to your success. You should also give your faculty a sense of how they may help you meet your goals, so give an honest account of this analysis.
Wrap up this section with your perspective on your readiness for graduate study.

Part 3: Plan of Study and Program of Study Form

Overall Learning Goals

Describe your goals for study at Walden, using as much detail as you can at this point. How do you plan to use Walden’s course offerings? What are your goals for the courses you plan to take?

Description of Coursework

Discuss your plan for taking courses here at Walden. Be sure to browse through the course catalog, paying attention to the differences among the courses and the content they will include. Think about each course in your Program of Study (POS), and spend some time here discussing what you hope to learn from these courses.
We understand that your ideas will change and develop as you move through the program, but we want you to get your creative ideas flowing, identify reasons to spend more time with the resources for your studies and in dialogue with other scholars and fellow students, and be more prepared for your first conversations with your Instructors.
(Please note that the following references are intended as examples only.)
Alexander, G., & Bonaparte, N. (2008). My way or the highway that I built. Ancient Dictators25(7), 14–31. doi:10.8220/CTCE.52.1.23-91
Babar, E. (2007). The art of being a French elephant. Adventurous Cartoon Animals, 19, 4319–4392. Retrieved from
Bumstead, D. (2009). The essentials: Sandwiches and sleep. Journals of Famous Loafers5, 565–582. doi:12.2847/CEDG.39.2.51-71
Hansel, G., & Gretel, D. (1973). Candied houses and unfriendly occupants. Thousand Oaks, CA: Fairy Tale Publishing.
Hera, J. (2008). Why Paris was wrong. Journal of Greek Goddess Sore Spots20(4), 19–21. doi: 15.555/GGE.64.1.76-82
Laureate Education (Producer). (2007). How to cite a video: The city is always Baltimore [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2010). Name of program [Video webcast]. Retrieved from
Sinatra, F. (2008). Zing! Went the strings of my heart. Making Good Songs Great, 18(3), 31–22. Retrieved from http://articlesextollingrecordingsofyore.192/
Smasfaldi, H., Wareumph, I., Aeoli, Q., Rickies, F., Furoush, P., Aaegrade, V., … Fiiel, B. (2005). The art of correcting surname mispronunciation. New York, NY: Supportive Publisher Press.

Updated September 2009 from the Walden Writing Center

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