It is commonly thought that professionalism can only be discussed or evaluated within the context of work-related responsibilities.
While this claim is true to some extent, at least traditionally, the current demonstration of value erosion and breakdown of ethics within the wider society has forced academic institutions to come up with both formal and informal techniques of encouraging professionalism among students with a view to not only enhance their capability for personal fulfillment and growth but also adequately prepare them for the job market (Hammer et al., 2003).
Indeed, professionalism is a major topic of discussion in nearly every academic field today, and students must demonstrate to their tutors that they are interested in developing professionalism within the learning context by taking a courageous step towards developing and internalizing strategies that will advance their professionalism in the various fields of study.
This paper purposes of defining the concept of professionalism in addition to evaluating its value in the academic area, especially in assisting students to maintain punctuality in attending classes and avoiding acts of plagiarism
Professionalism is defined in diverse ways depending on the context and the environment in which the term is used.
A Merriam-Webster’s definition quoted by Hammer et al. (2003) views professionalism as a set of behaviors, aspirations, or qualities that typify or mark a profession or a professional individual.
The authors own definition is that “…professionalism is the extent to which occupation or a member of that occupation exhibits the characteristics of a profession” (p. 5).
In displaying professionalism, students must be able to demonstrate values, perceptions, beliefs, worldviews and other traits that characterize a professional.
The value of student professionalism in academic institutions cannot be taken too lightly. At a more general level, I am developing professionalism while at school enables students to equip themselves with an adequate sense of professional identity upon graduation (Hammer et al., 2003).
This, according to the authors, will not only help the graduates to act ethically in their professional practices, but will assist them in understanding the values, attitudes, and actions necessary for professional conduct.
Most employers are on the lookout for these virtues, implying that students who develop professionalism in their various areas and the scope of the study will not be faced with challenges when looking for employment.
According to Hammer et al. (2003), “…various aspects of knowledge, skill sets, instruction, and experiences assist in shaping and developing student’s professionalism” (p. 3).
The knowledge, instruction, and skills are mostly offered by the tutor in a classroom setting, and students must make it their responsibility to routinely attend classes and work on all the assignments given by their tutors.
The basic principle of this argument revolves around the fact that students have a decisive role to play in enhancing professionalism, and must work together with their tutors by attending classes and asking for clarifications where they may not understand to ensure that adequate sense of professional identity is developed.
Furthermore, attending courses on a routine basis enhances the students’ capability to perform well in their examinations.
I have been experiencing difficulties in attending classes on time and submitting my class assignments on time.
This scenario has put me in trouble with some of my tutors, who insist that I must develop capabilities to arrange my schedule and class workload to ensure that I am punctual in attending lecture sessions and that I always submit my class assignments on time as per the regulations set by the school.
Through the contents of this paper, I have realized that it is my responsibility to routinely attend classes and complete class assignments to maintain professionalism.
However, I must be allowed to say that the jobs I get are too many and the submission time is also limited to facilitate the successful completion of the assigned tasks.
As such, I am always too overwhelmed by the tasks to the point that I am late for lectures or fail to attend classes altogether.
Even as I have been notified of the serious consequences that accompany such behavior, I would wish for a situation in which the time given to complete tasks is adequate for successful completion. Such an arrangement will serve to reduce stress levels on the part of students.
The development of professionalism at the school level assists students in developing many of the preferred behaviors that they would later need in their professional practices.
Such actions include respect, self-discipline, accountability, honesty, empathy, kindness, courtesy, compassion, and punctuality, among others (Hammer et al., 2003).
The chances are that students who submit their assignments late for grading will also have issues keeping time in their new job postings upon completion of a college education.
In equal measure, those who commit academic dishonesty and other acts of cheating may soon find they are unable to remain honest and accountable in the new job postings. This, by any means, is a serious consequence.
At a personal level, I have committed plagiarism although I can honestly say that it was not my intention to plagiarize.
However, the act occasioned trouble with my tutor, who made it clear that plagiarism amounted to cheating, and is a serious offense as per the academic dishonesty rules since it may automatically lead to expulsion from the school.
I should be allowed to say that I committed plagiarism due to inadequate knowledge of the consequences involved, and also because I was overwhelmed by the many assignments that I had to complete.
I have taken a bold step to accustom myself with the school’s regulations on academic dishonesty and the various actions that may amount to plagiarism.
I am very positive that such an occurrence will never be repeated. I will always enhance the development of professionalism by persistently and constantly addressing the concept at its most basic core.
Hammer, D.P., Berger, B.P., Beardsley, R.S., & Easton, M.R. (2003). Student professionalism. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 67(3), 1-29. Retrieved September 23 2010 < http://www.ajpe.org/aj6703/aj670396/aj670396.pdf >