COURSE DESCRIPTION AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
This one-credit course is designed as a round-table reflection and discussion around three main areas of professional development in RWS: 1) Navigating Academic Conferences, 2) Navigating Academic Publishing, and 3) Navigating the Academic/Professional Job Market. These three units are implemented to the course structure as a response to students’ needs and expectations who are enrolled in this class. While these three central units appear to be independent areas of focuses for students to explore, they are connected to one another within the broader trajectory of professionalism in our field. In response, through the professional trajectory of the course, students will learn how to navigate each area of focus by exploring the underlying connections and in what ways these connections will help them to situate their academic/professional identity and work in our field. Throughout the semester, students will improve their abilities primarily in presenting their ideas and describing their accomplishments effectively and persuasively, which will help them to develop and improve strategic skills in
• Applying to conferences, pre-conference labor, presenting and networking while at a conference, and post-conference strategies
• Understanding the fundamentals of academic publishing: preparing a piece for submission, the peer-review waiting process, and how to work with responses received from journals
• Getting ready for the job market: pre-job market labor-preparing your job materials and e-portfolio, while in the market-reading job ads and re-purposing your materials accordingly, skype/phone interviews, campus visits, and how to negotiate a job offer.
On the one hand, the round-table model will allow us to ask questions, share our experiences to support one another, and explore useful resources together; on the other hand, we will use this model to open space for workshop sessions and work on our materials, which could be a conference paper, a paper for publication, and/or job materials. We will share our work with one another and offer each other constructive feedback. Through this mixed (round-table and workshop) structure, you all will create your own professional/academic maps to navigate the three main professionalism paths in our field.
MATERIALS, COURSEWORK, AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
*Access to Blackboard and UTEP e-mail!
*The Professor Is In Web-Site:
*Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt by Kathryn Hume (pdf available in Blackboard)
*Expert Advise Series on conferences, publishing, and building your CV (link available in Blackboard).
* “17 Conference Tips for Graduate Students” by Emily Contois (available in Blackboard).
For the mixed-structure of this course to function effectively, it is of vital importance for students to take control and ownership of their professional development and shape the focus, content, and the agenda of each class session. For each class meetings, students will prepare questions or discussion points for each meeting in addition to submitting revised drafts or new materials that they will be working on during the semester. Further details will be provided throughout the semester.
Attendance and Participation (30%): The mixed-model structure of this course makes attending each class meeting and active participation absolutely necessary. If you cannot make it to a class meeting and/or miss submitting drafts-questions-discussion points because of an emergency (family-health), please do your best to contact me within 24 hours so that we can work together for you get caught up in the course. Excessive absences might cause you to fail this course particular because not being present will lead to missing essential class discussions and submitting work-in-progress materials. Also, not being present in class regularly means that you cannot be active participants. In other words, the outcomes of excessive absences will hurt your access in this class. I am sure this will not be an issue that we would have to worry about in a Ph.D. class, but it is my responsibility to make a note for you as your success, and well-being in this class is my priority.
Questions and Discussion Points (30%): Every other Tuesday (by 3:00pm), you will submit either questions or discussion points for our Thursday meetings. We will reflect on your questions and discussion points in class as we share resources, strategies, and tips. You will submit your questions or discussion points to Blackboard.
Work-In-Progress Submissions (40%): In this class, each one of you will select a project that you would like to work on. For some of you, this could be a conference presentation or a possible publication while some of you might prefer to work on different job application materials. You will submit first, revised, and final drafts of what you will be working throughout the semester. We will have workshop sessions every other Thursday to go over your drafts, which means that you should submit a draft of your work every other Tuesday by 3:00pm to give enough time everyone in the class to review your material(s).
*Adapted from Dr. Eric Detweiler
We will use a grading-model called the Learning Record System in class. This model is a portfolio-based system. I will provide written or spoken feedback on your individual progress and assignments, but not numerical or letter grades. Then, at midterm and during finals, you’ll turn in written arguments for the grade you deserve based on the body of work you’ve done in the course, the assessment criteria below, and dimensions of learning and course strands that we’ll discuss during the first day of class. Here are the assessment criteria:
Represents outstanding participation in all course activities, perfect or near perfect attendance, and all assigned work completed on time. Also represents very high quality in all work produced for the course. LR provides evidence of significant development across all five dimensions of learning. The LR at this level demonstrates activity that goes significantly beyond the required course work in one or more course strands.
Represents excellent participation in all course activities, near perfect attendance, and all assigned work completed on time. Also represents consistently high quality in coursework. Evidence of marked development across the five dimensions of learning.
Represents good participation in all course activities, minimal absences, and all assigned work completed. Also represents generally good quality overall in coursework. Evidence of some development across the five dimensions of learning.
Represents uneven participation in course activities, uneven attendance, and some gaps in assigned work completed. Represents inconsistent quality in course work. Evidence of development across the five dimensions of learning is partial or unclear.
Represents minimal participation in course activities, poor attendance, serious gaps in assigned work completed, or very low quality in course work. Evidence of development is not available.
TENTATIVE COURSE SCHEDULE
SPECS FOR SUCCESS
• Handle any necessary absences with professionalism and courtesy.
• In-class discussions may not be made up, and work may not be turned in late (notwithstanding emergencies).
• Confidentiality and respect are key to sustaining our relationships and the vibrancy of our conversations.
• Incompletes will be given only in the event of an emergency. These are reserved for students who have successfully completed the work all semester and have an extenuating circumstance (death in the family, serious illness, etc.) which prevents them from completing the work by the end of the semester.
• Please retain all of your work (including drafts) until final grades are posted.
• Dropping the course by the drop deadline is your responsibility, not the instructor’s responsibility.
• Academic integrity is expected. At UTEP, consequences for plagiarism, fabrication, and collusion include disciplinary probation, failing grade for an exam/assignment/course, suspension, and expulsion. If you are unsure what these are, it is better to ask than to risk it. See
• ADA support is available to you. If you require an accommodation or additional support, I would like to meet with you in the privacy of my office during the first week of class to be sure you are properly accommodated. Please bring appropriate documentation from the Center for Accommodations and Support Services
Communication and Collaboration
• Make the most out of the mixed-model structure. Be active participants. Ask questions. Share your work and progress. Support your classmates’ growth. Take every opportunity to improve your skills.
• Open Blackboard as frequently as you can during the week to stay on top of announcements, discussions, and assignments. Any urgent announcements or major changes will also arrive in your UTEP e-mail inbox.
• Instructions for Accessing Blackboard: Students must have a UTEP email ID and password to access Blackboard. The instructor will send you a link to the class space, and you can log on using your credentials. Any questions or problems can be directed to the Helpdesk at 747-5257. Students can access Blackboard by the steps outlined below: Go to Login is e-mail ID. Password is e-mail password. Click on the link to Blackboard. Once logged into Blackboard, all the courses a student is registered for are listed under the appropriate semester. Click on the course title to access the course.