A new program at Tusculum College seeks to promote professionalism across campus. Dr. Joel Van Amberg, associate professor of history and director of the Commons program, will be leading an effort with support from the Niswonger Foundation. The program is designed to cover both academic and co-curricular functions to increase student involvement in the program.
“Our students want to be leaders but they often find themselves in an entry level position with no available leadership opportunities,” said Dr. Van Amberg. “Not everyone can begin as a leader, but everyone can exhibit professionalism.”
Dr. Van Amberg explained the partnership is tailored to fit three major elements on the Tusculum campus. It recognizes Tusculum is a value-based institution, establishes what behaviors are associated with professionalism and incorporates the presentation of professionalism Tusculum students are already being taught.
“We want to find ways to make professionalism overlap with our other values and traditions,” he said.
The first year of the partnership is designated specifically for planning with intent to implement a pilot program this spring and fully integrating the professionalism plan in the 2014-15 fall semester. Dr. Van Amberg explained the partnership is currently overseen by two committees, a curricular and a co-curricular committee to best assess student engagement with the program and to establish the principles of the partnership in the students’ lives outside of the class room.
“The Niswonger Foundation is proud to establish this innovative partnership with Tusculum College,” said Dr. Nancy Dishner, executive vice president of the Niswonger Foundation. “Focusing on professionalism through the entire undergraduate experience will provide their graduates with important credentials for success in today’s challenging job market. Not only will graduates be academically qualified, this program will provide the confidence and maturity that is certain to produce a more successful professional career.”