A Guide to Professional Development For Graduate Students In English
Cindy Moore and Hildy Miller
Moore, Cindy, and Hildy Miller. A Guide To Professional Development For Graduate Students In English. National Council of Teachers of English, 2006.
By: Artemis Harris
Before coming to Graduate school, there are things a prospective student should know when deciding on which school to go to, what programs to join, and how to best maximize their experience within it.
I provided a brief overview of A Guide to Professional Development For Graduate Students In English by Cindy Moore and Hildy Miller, emphasizing how they benefit the MA, M.Ed., and the Graduate Certificate in Writing (GCW) programs at Millersville. This is by no means a comprehensive review of everything the book has to offer.
Determining Your Professional Goals:
Collectively: Students might be particularly interested in this first chapter as it discusses professional goals relating to licensure, pay raises for public school teaching, collegiate teaching/employment criteria, professional writing/editing, job market factors/fluctuations, and additional job avenues for English Graduates.
Why: This will give a better idea of what to expect from the professions and job market in your field of interest.
Making the Most of Graduate School:
Collectively: Look at job ads in the fields you wish to work in to see the traits that they look for in an employee. This will allow you to tailor your experience at Millersville to your professional goals. You should also investigate the Graduate Assistantship program. It is a good opportunity to build on your resume and build working relationships with faulty. This is important for future endeavors such as your thesis, but also possible references in the future.
MA/M.Ed. Students: There are mentorship and tutoring opportunities on campus, as well as clubs and organizations that you can take advantage of or create.
GWC Students: There are multiple publications on campus that you can submit to, as well as multiple clubs and organizations specific to writing. You can also create one.
Why: Utilizing what Millersville has to offer will allow you to make the most of your time. You are paying for it, so you should get everything you can out of it.
Establishing Yourself as a Teacher:
Collectively: This chapter will be of particular interest because it details the ways to shape your goals into action for a career as a teacher. This would include reviewing those goals, identifying your preferences, and finding ways to gain teaching experience in Graduate school and beyond.
M.Ed. Students: This section might interest you as it goes into detail about making the most of teaching assignments, gaining credentials in other teaching fields, and demonstrating teaching excellence in job searches, among other important topics.
Why: Gaining this experience now will prevent you from having to do it later, which could disrupt your professional ambitions.
Establishing Yourself as a Scholar:
Collectively: This chapter discusses what types of scholarship there are within (and outside of) Graduate school (conferences, workshops, journal articles/essays, poetry, drama, fiction, literary non-fiction, etc.). It also discusses publishing work, which is important for your resume. There is also a section on honors, grants, fellowships, and residencies.
Why: This section discusses essential scholarship for all Graduate students; what it is, why it is important, and how to gain experience from it. This is essential for your professional goals moving forward.
Establishing Other Academic Selves: Service, Administration, Editing:
Collectively: This chapter deals with the administrative side of academia. Graduate students can look for administrative opportunities within the school in the form of college/departmental committees, conference committees, as well as the Graduate Assistant position which is a faculty/research assistantship. Students can also submit scholarly work to the English Graduate Blog and The Graduate Journal for editing/publishing experience.
Why: These will help you develop skills within and outside of academia that can be applied to your professional ambitions. Jobs are often looking for people who can do more than simply prove they know their subject.
Survival Strategies for Graduate School and Beyond:
Collectively: The final chapter goes over helpful tips that every student will find useful for Graduate school. It covers managing stress, setting goals and time management, collaborating with others, and professionalism to name a few.
Why: This is important for all students because Graduate school comes with its own stress factors and unique set of obstacles. The better prepared you are to face them the more likely you are to succeed.