The Academic Success and Professional Development Plan created in this course is one strategy for including academic accomplishments in the development of professional goals. This plan is a vision blueprint, identifying tools and strategies to bridge scholarly work into professional success. This blueprint for success ensures preparation to bring visions into focus and make them a reality (Laureate Education, 2018a). The development of this plan so far has helped me identify key players in my network, academic tools available to help me succeed, and professional resources that enhance integrity of practice. The next step in the plan, before finalization, is the development of an academic portfolio. This in itself is another strategy that will bridge academic success into professional practice.
Creating an academic portfolio is an evidence-based strategy designed to merge academic success into the development of professional goals. With a complex and competitive job market, e-portfolios facilitate a new way for grad students to stand out in these technological times (Leahy & Filiatrault, 2017). Thanks to technology and e-portfolios, applicants can often make a first impression before ever having an initial face-to-face meeting. According to Burns (2018), three reasons to create a portfolio include self-promotion to show accomplishments, evidence of outcomes to display competencies, and structure and direction to describe professional goals. A nursing portfolio may contain several elements and can be tailored to emphasize top individual qualities and characteristics.
These two strategies align with Walden University’s commitment to social change. The Academic Success and Professional Development Plan aligns with the social change emphasis when it includes areas for serving communities, building professions, and partnering with professional organizations (Laureate Education, 2018b). This plan helps translate a passion for social change into action steps that create social change. Walden University emphasizes the value of social change as well as the value of creating an academic e-portfolio. Students are more likely to create an academic e-portfolio when they understand the benefits (Ahmed & Ward, 2016). One of the benefits of academic e-portfolios is in connecting students with organizations that have a shared passion for a particular area of social change. For example, I can emphasize my passion for creating community resilience in my e-portfolio and send it to an organization that I know shares the same passion. An e-portfolio that illustrates a shared passion will likely give me a head-start in the interview process.
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