Pursuing higher education is one of the most valued investments that one can make in life. Therefore, it is imperative that one ensures that he or she capitalizes on achieving academic success. Continuing academic success requires strategic planning and complete utilization of available resources while maintaining academic integrity. The Benefit of Creating Goals
The first step to ensuring one’s academic success is having clearly defined educational goals. Clearly defined educational goals allow one to consider the desired outcome or destination and to devise a “road map” towards success. As referenced by Kokemuller (2009) in accordance with his research of goal setting theory developed by Locke and Latham, “Individuals and groups produce the best output when motivated by specific, challenging, attainable and quantified goals. Setting goals creates a purpose or path which drives direction, motivation and intensity of effort to achieve.” With a clear focus on the desired outcome, one is less likely to succumb to distractions often associated with continuing education such as balancing family and work responsibilities and time management. The benefit of creating goals is a valuable asset to any student who can see a plan and execute it with persistence.
Setting goals, either short term and or long term, creates a mental check list that is almost like an ice sculpture you are carving to completion. Eventually, those goals will turn into something beautiful. My ice sculpture or educational goal is to obtain a degree in business management and start a career in Human Resource Management. I would like to pursue my career with a fortune five hundred company that has demonstrated infinite opportunities and lots of growth. My personal goal is to complete my educational goal, graduating with honors. Personal learning style. I personally am a visual and verbal learner. I have to see it, write it, and or hear it. “In order to remember, visual learners have to see the information presented. However, this is not the way that information is presented in college classrooms. Although most students are not privileged to learn in their personal learning style, those who are committed are able to be successful at evaluating information given to them visually or verbally (Seiler, 2012, p. 136).”
Personal learning style as well as understanding how a person learns can assist in one’s success while matriculating through their college program and career. Understanding how I learn will help me to know how to retain the necessary information to reach my education goals. In order to be successful academically, I have made a commitment to improve upon my ability to think critically and use the writing process. Critical thinking and writing skills are crucial while in an academic, personal or professional environment. Benjamin Bloom, a noted psychologist, tasks us to ask and answer an array of questions to solidify deeper learning. Ellis stated, “In order to think critically, it is vital that one understands the six levels of thinking which are remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating” (p. 205).
The keys to this effort involve methodical steps that include: checking your attitude, checking for logic and checking for evidence. Critical thinking is one of the most important skills to possess on one’s journey of becoming a master student and professional. Proficiency in the six levels of thinking critically is one noted group of skills that is guaranteed to assist in the process while on this journey. Once a person has embraced the six levels of thinking, he or she is now in a position to create. Our thoughts can now be put in writing or in a presentation. This process requires one to prewrite, draft, revise, edit and publish. In order to conduct research and write a well-organized and documented paper, the writing process and critical thinking skills must be intertwined. Whether, an undergraduate or graduate student, a research analyst for the government, a lawyer, or a sales representative there will always come a time when the ability to think critically and write will become the key to a person’s success.
Academic integrity requires one to adhere to moral and ethical behavior as related to academia. It is a personal choice by students to hold themselves accountable for being responsible seekers and users of information and resources. With the introduction and constant evolution of the internet, there are many possibilities for furthering knowledge, but at the same time, many opportunities to misuse material (Anderson, 2009, p.35).
The most common misuse of such materials and resources is in the form of plagiarism. There is a plethora of ways to identify plagiarism. Some are obvious and some are more inconspicuous. Some examples are a change in writing style, transferring of incorrect grammar or spelling words, or simply using another person’s reference. All in all, they violate academic integrity and require one to give credit to others for their work. Understanding this means that you will take the highroad and make conscience and concise efforts to avoid the pitfalls and pressure to plagiarize (Anderson, 2009, p.36). A simple solution is developing a strategic plan to manage task assignments within a specified time frame. The student least likely to plagiarize is probably the one who worries about it the most. If pressed sometimes one may make the mistake and fall into a plagiarism trap. If students are encouraged early on to write and really understand the fundamentals, they probably will shy away from cheating because they will have the self-assurance needed to write from a place of integrity. (Anderson, 2009, p.36) Conclusion
In closing, utilization of resources to ensure success inside and outside of the university is what every student must do in order to matriculate successfully. The University of Phoenix online offers a multitude of resources. They are, but not limited to, the University Library, WritePoint to check grammar, a plagiarism checker, video conferencing and discussion boards, a citation generator to assist with properly citing references, and an academic advisor who is always there to assist. Furthermore, as students outside and inside of the University, we possess an arsenal of transferable skills that we have acquired at home, on the job, and in our local communities. Such skills include listening, time management, note taking, effective communication skills and most importantly the ability to adapt resources to meet the needs of continuing education. This class has helped to refresh and renew my mind and thought process. Because of this class, continuing academic success will be a more positive and exciting experience and I am along for the ride.
Anderson, I. (2009). Avoiding plagiarism in academic writing. Nursing
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Ellis, D. (1985). Becoming a Master Student. Fifth Edition: College Survival, Inc.
Kokemuller, N. (2009). Goal-Setting Theory: Advantages and Disadvantages. eHow. Retrieved January 12, 2015, from http://www.ehow.com/facts_5312495_goal-setting-theory-advantages-disadvantages.html
Seiler, D. (2012). Age and learning style in the adult learner. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 8(1), 133-138.