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Continuing Academic Success

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Continuing Academic Success

Sheri Coleman

GEN/201

August 18, 2014
Lindsey Rudolph, Professor

Continuing Academic Success

According to Curran and Reivich (2011) “How does goal setting increase performance, achievement, and ultimately well-being” (p. 44)? In my opinion, academic success should be included in one’s model for achieving one’s career goals. While some believe continuing academic success is not required to obtain one's ultimate career goal, academic success is achieved by setting goals, fusing one’s learning style with lessons being taught, applying critical thinking skills and utilizing all available resources. During this first course of continuing my education, I’ve learned the tools necessary to become academically successful as well starting on the path to a successful career.
Goal Setting Setting goals, leads to success because there’s a plan being put into motion. According to Lock & Latham 2002, “Research indicates that when an individual sets a goal that individual shows increased direct physical effort, cognitive effort on repeated task, self-reported subjective effort, and physiological indicators of effort” (p.44). Choosing the online course to continue my education allows me to move at my own pace. Setting goals is directive; goals reveal the path in which I need to follow. All of these actions lead to positive outcomes. (Curran & Reivich 2011, Lock & Latham 2002, Locke & Bryan 1969). Smaller and easier to attain goals should be set; this will allow me to remain persistence and to see that progress is being made toward my career goal. According to (Curran & Reivich 2011, Lock & Latham 2002, Locke & Bryan 1969) “All of these actions lead to positive outcomes”
Career And Academics Goals My career goal is to become a successful family entertainment business owner. After two previously failed business ventures, I felt it necessary to attain the educational background to be successful in starting and running my own business. On my academic journey, I would consider myself as being successful by maintaining a ‘B’ or above grade in all of my courses. I have discovered that the best way I learn is by visual aids and performance, meaning “hands on”. Over the years I’ve noticed that when being taught or trained there were certain things I needed to be able to fully grasp the lesson. I need to be shown how ‘you’ do it a couple of times, and then I need to get in there and do it myself. Ethical Lens Example I saw that my boss and a knack for decorating, so I asked if he would wrap a gift for me, he agreed. I then proceeded at my break to take him the gift to be warped. Little did I know this would lead me to being involved in the investigation of him demonstrating unprofessionalism in the work place. Aware that human resources would be contacting his employees in regard to the allegations, he asks me to “lie” about the gift wrapping situation. I respond by letting him know that the only thing I can do is tell my side of the story, and that this did not take place on company time. Though I was never questioned on this specific situation, when asked if I had witnessed anything I deemed as unprofessional, my response was that I hadn’t personally. Since I was new to this department I informed human resources that I would rather not be involved with the investigation. Writing Process For students writing is an inevitable. So applying the process to the best of my ability towards writing academic papers, I believe, will assist me in the advancement of my education. The writing process includes knowing the correct format in which the paper is to be written, correctly citing all sources used in the paper, knowing the audience, and revising writing. Knowing how to write professionally is imperative in the advancement of my career. Having the ability and knowing of how to write professionally, meaning e-mail messages, proposals for reports, and any documents, gives you an upper hand (Ellis, Dave/University of Phoenix, 2014) and is very important. Another aspect that falls within the same perspective lens is that of tone. A writer must be keenly aware of the tone used to portray the main objective, which are determined by the following inquiries: What do I as the writer hope to accomplish with every piece written, is there a purpose? Is it an informational piece of work? Am I merely trying to educate or provide further knowledge on a particular topic? Is it a persuasive document? Do I work up a sense of desire, which calls for active participation? Knowing your audience is pivotal to career advancement through utilization of your writing skills because it determines your game plan, tone and overall objective to be accomplished. Critical Thinking (Facione, 2010 & Forrester, 2008) Offered ways I can improve my critical thinking skills like being open-minded. I know I’m a little stubborn, so being open-minded would allow for multiple solutions to problems to be explored. Really, it’s all about thinking outside the box. Take into consideration ideas from different sources in order to keep results from being too one-sided. Another involves analyzing, and this can be accomplished by taking my time and slowly build on thoughts and concepts. This step poses a slight problem due to my lack of patience. According to Thomas (2011) “Forrester (2008) stated:” (p. 32) "If the educational community is to encourage both creative and critical thinking, then students must be given the motivation to think, the time to develop ideas, and the collaboration and support of a learning community that provides information, feedback and encouragement" According to Thomas “(p. 104)”. In my opinion, not only does this apply to students, but to those out in the working world as well. University Resources University resources can be a great asset to use to help advance my academic career. The university has many tools, aids and tutorials I personally plan on utilizing. One being the library and here there are many avenues to take in using the resources. I can access the university library where looking for sources for papers can be found. It also provides comfort in knowing that all sources here are credible and reliable when writing papers. I looked into taking advantage of the live assistance when it came to writing my thesis statement in the previous week assignment: this is where there’s a live instructor to assist me with questions. Using the plagiarism checker is an excellent tool for checking my papers to make sure I’ve cited my sources so that I am “giving credit where credit is due." WritePoint a tool I’ve already utilized is used to check my paper to make sure it’s grammatically correct. Last but certainly not least, are the “Skills and Drills.” This refresher tool can be used for extra practice after I’ve completed a lesson. Outside Sources Just as there are resources that I can be sure are reliable, there’s other ways to obtain information for research. One would be using the internet, although this is “the most up to date” information, it can work both for and against you. If I use sources via the internet, I need to make sure that I have the knowledge to be able to decipher if that source is valid and reliable. I can also use interviews I’ve conducted, or email communications. Speaking with people or surveying results can provide a different perspective for a given topic of discussion. Sources such as these create a deeper insight, which you can’t interpret from reading a book alone. What makes these unreliable is that there is no way to validate that the information given is true.

Conclusion Short term goal setting is essential because these smaller goals serve as check points toward my ultimate goal. The background to a successful career focuses on having an education. Writing is a process that is fundamental to my academic success, as well as my career success. Critical thinking, although takes patience, will help me to slowly build on thoughts and concepts, keep me open minded, and will help me to build a value system. Utilizing all available resources, such as internet, surveys, interviews and books, can offer deeper insight so long as I know my sources are credible. Setting goals, academic or otherwise, will better prepare me for reaching my ultimate career goal.

Resources
Curran, K., & Reivich, K. (2011). Goal setting and hope. Bethesda: Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/867665583?accountid=458
Ellis, Dave/University of Phoenix. (2014). Becoming a Master Student. Retrieved from Ellis, Dave/University of Phoenix, GEN201 website
Facione, P.A. (2010). Critical thinking: what it is and why it counts, 2010 update. Insight Assessment. [Online] Available: http://www.insightassessment.com/pdf_files/what&why2006.pdf (December 3, 2010).
Forrester, J. (2008). Thinking creatively; thinking critically. Asian Social Science, 4(5), 100-105
Locke, E. A., & Bryan, J. (1969). The directing function of goals in task performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 4, 35-42.
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting and task performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Think. (2014). In Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com

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