Professional Development Experience

2018-2019 Catalogue

Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete a PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and submit a PDE 401 Professional ePortfolio prior to graduation.

Professional Development (PDE) Course Descriptions

100: Career and Major Exploration.
Goal: To help students develop a strong foundation for major/career decision planning through career inventories, research on careers, and personal reflection.
Content: The course provides opportunities and resources for students to seek career information related to academic and occupational interest patterns, which form the foundation for sound career decision making. Students are guided through individual and group exercises that assist in identifying needs, values, wants, interest, and abilities.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisite: None.
Credit: 1 hour.

396: Special Topics in Professional Development.
Goal: To provide an opportunity for exploration of a topic not offered as part of the established curriculum.
Content: Examination of special topics, problems, or issues in business that seem particularly relevant to student needs and interests.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: Dependent on topic.
Credit: 1-6 hours. A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours of special topics in any one field.

400. Professional Development Experience
Goal: To allow students the opportunity to engage in a high-impact practical application of skills and knowledge through a professional experience that ties together and supports the student's coursework and professional goals.
Content: Each student identifies, plans and completes a professional experience that supports her individual goals and career objectives. The PDE can take the form of an internship, professional research experience, community service project, creative work culminating in an exhibition or performance, or a self-designed project. Working with her faculty supervisor, the student will develop learning outcomes to fit her anticipated professional experience and include those as part the application. At the end of the experience, the student will articulate and reflect upon what she has learned and submit that documentation as part of her Professional ePortfolio.
Taught: Upon request of student, with approval of sponsoring faculty.
General education category: Professional Development
Prerequisite: 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
Credit: 1-12 hours.

401. Professional ePortfolio
Each student will prepare an ePortfolio to document and reflect upon her learning experiences as they relate to career and professional goals. The ePortfolio will incorporate several required learning experiences designed to support the student in her process of professional discernment and development of knowledge and skills to prepare her for graduate school or career. The student will refine her ePortfolio over the course of her undergraduate experience and present it to her major advisor prior to graduation. The ePortfolio will be in partial fulfillment of Objective 7 (Professional Development).

Required ePortfolio modules:

1. Personal Statement
Based on assessment of and reflection on values, interests, and skills, the student will prepare a statement of her personal and professional goals. This will also draw on exploration of career and educational paths of interest to the student. In this statement, the student will also speak to the connection between her liberal arts education and future aspirations.

2. Transferable Skills Narrative
Using a transferable skills inventory, the student will write a reflective paper in which she identifies and analyzes the connections she sees between skills she has acquired and course and co-curricular activities she has participated in. The student should provide details of a number of different experiences and also explore how the skills developed prepare her for a professional setting and how they fit with particular career paths.

3. Resume
Students will prepare a professional resume.

4. PDE Reflection
After the student completes her Professional Development Experience (PDE 400), she will write a reflective paper in which she considers how her curricular and co-curricular experiences prepared her for the PDE, how the PDE further developed her knowledge, skills, and abilities, and finally how the PDE prepared the student for future success.

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