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R.3 Practical Connections Assignment

Overview: At UC, it is a priority that students are provided with strong educational programs and courses that allow them to be servant-leaders in their disciplines and communities, linking research with practice and knowledge with ethical decision-making. This assignment is a written assignment where you will demonstrate how this course (professional writing) research has connected and put into practice within your own career. Directions:
Provide a reflection of at least 500 words (or 2 pages double spaced) of how the knowledge, skills, or theories of this course (professional writing) have been applied or could be applied, in a practical manner to your current work environment. If you are not currently working, share times when you have or could observe these theories and knowledge could be applied to an employment opportunity in your field of study.


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course name : professional writing(dissertation course)

  • Provide a 500 word (or 2 pages double spaced) minimum reflection.  
  • Use of proper APA formatting and citations. If supporting evidence from outside resources is used those must be properly cited.  
  • Share a personal connection that identifies specific knowledge and theories from this course.   
  • Demonstrate a connection to your current work environment. If you are not employed, demonstrate a connection to your desired work environment.   
  • You should NOT provide an overview of the assignments assigned in the course. The assignment asks that you reflect on how the knowledge and skills obtained through meeting course objectives were applied or could be applied in the workplace.

I will be attaching a sample reference and rubric. please follow the reference and rubric. i need proper APA format, proper citation, and references.’

Rubric for Practical Connections

Novice (0-15 points)Competent(16-29 points)Proficient(30-40 points)
Writing Skills, Grammar, and APA FormattingAssignment does not demonstrate graduate-level proficiency in organization, grammar, and style. Assignment is poorly written and confusing. Ideas are not communicated effectively. Student paid no attention to spelling and punctuation. Demonstrates poor writing skills. The assignment lacks the use of APA formatting and does not provide proper citations or includes no citations.Assignment demonstrates graduate-level proficiency in organization, grammar, and style. Assignment is effectively communicated, but some sections lacking clarity. Student paid some attention to spelling and punctuation, but there are errors within the writing. Needs attention to proper writing skills. Use of APA formatting and citations of outside resources, but has a few instances in which proper citations are missing.Assignment strongly demonstrates graduate-level proficiency in organization, grammar, and style. Assignment is well written, and ideas are well developed and explained. Demonstrates strong writing skills. Student paid close attention to spelling and punctuation. Sentences and paragraphs are grammatically correct. Proper use of APA formatting. Properly and explicitly cited outside resources. Reference list matches citations.
Maintains Purpose/FocusSubmission lacks focus or contains major drifts in focus.Submissions has an organizational structure and the focus is clear throughout.Submission is well organized and has a tight and cohesive focus that is integrated throughout the document
Understanding of Course ContentStudent does not demonstrate understanding of course content and knowledge.Student demonstrates some understanding of course content and knowledge.Student demonstrates understand of course content and knowledge.
Work Environment ApplicationStudent does not demonstrate the practical application, or ability to apply, of course objectives within a work environment.Student demonstrates some practical application, or ability to apply, of course objectives within a work environment.Student strongly demonstrates the practical application, or ability to apply, of course objectives within a work environment.
Assignment RequirementsDid not complete the required assignment.Completed portions of the assignment.Student completed all required portions of the assignment.

Pracitcal Connections

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” (Grier, 2018,

p.5). Albert Einstein said these words, one of the most influential mathematicians and educators

humankind has ever known. This statement emphasizes the importance of and education is more

than learning material, yet it is a training, an ever-evolving process. As an educator, this holds in

many ways every day. However, when one thinks of today’s educational system, thoughts of a

teacher standing in front of a class delivering knowledge is that typically comes to mind. The

truth remains that an educator’s job is much more than just teaching. Endless paperwork, from

grading and writing feedback for students, sending letters and emails to parents, and writing

grants and professional documents, is all part of an educator’s world. While many educators

understand how to write effectively, knowing the difference, and being able to adapt to the

different levels of writing is of vital importance. Every day, teachers produce some form of

written communication. This course has assisted in understanding the level of writing needed for

each style and the information required to communicate the true intentions successfully.

Knowing the difference between professional writing and grant writing is one of the most

influential and useful knowledge many educators could learn. Sadly, this knowledge was lost and

held small importance until this class. As an educator in a small, rural public school system,

financial support is limited and gaining access to funds for different programs is at a premium.

The goal for any educator is to provide the best environment possible for students to achieve at

the highest level they possibly can. The fact that to obtain this goal requires a hefty sum of

money tends to be lost on many outside the world of education. Whether it be supplies,

equipment, technology, physical upkeep to buildings, or items to meet basic student needs, allDr. Jaocb BryantExceeds Expectations

these are needed and require funding. As an educator, much of this funding must be found

outside of the system through grants.

Grants provide access for educators to receive money for resources that go above and

beyond what their system may be able to offer. To unlock this access, one must understand that a

difference exists in the style of writing required for grants as opposed to that of professional

writing. For years, I have applied for grants through various organizations, and only once ever

received the minimal amount available. I truly feel the reason for this is due to the style in which

I was presenting the information through my writing style. Now that I have learned the

difference between styles and gained an understanding of how to identify how to present the

data, the particular grant is asking for, and things have changed. This application of

understanding grant writing is apparent in the events since COVID 19 has begun.

The system in which I have worked for years has been struggling to find a way to provide

one to one access to personal laptops for all students grades three through twelve. With COVID

19 completely turning the education world on its top, this need has become more apparent now

than ever before. Beginning in May 2020, myself and a team of teachers in our system began

searching for grants that would assist us in having the capacity of being entirely online. Thanks

to federal assistance from the Tennessee Department of Education, much of the funding for

personal laptops have been made available but not the entire amount. Taking a different

approach and utilizing the knowledge learned on the true grant writing style, multiple grants

were studied and applied for by the team.

Due to legal issues, the name of the grant in which we have applied for can not be

revealed. However, one of the applications has been approved for further review for full funding

available. If we are lucky enough to receive this funding, not only will our system have the

means to provided each student their laptop at the beginning of the school year, a couple of other

goals can be met as well. Each teacher will have access to a computer program that will allow

them to teach and upload lessons each day online utilizing Google Classroom. Those students

who have internet access will be able to access Google Classroom and the video lessons to

recreate the classroom setting as much as possible during these uncertain times. Students who do

not have internet access, due to the remote and sever poverty levels of our system setting, will be

provided flash drive with their laptops that will contain the same recorded lessons available. All

of this will be fully funded through the previously discussed grant. Thanks to this course, we

now have the knowledge and ability to access these funds with a better percentage of success.

This can truly be a game-changer for our students, our faculty, school, and the overall



Grear, A. (2018). Powerful Understanding: Helping students explore, question, and transform

their thinking about themselves and the world around them (p. 5). Ontario, Canada:

Pembroke Publishers Limited.

Practical Connections Assignment for DSRT 837

Ben Huelskamp


Approaching this course I had one goal: work on developing a research topic and

question for my dissertation. When I learned that my goal was not something that would or could

come out of this course I was tempted to drop the course and focus on other things. I am glad I

decided to stay in the course because it allowed me to begin delving into research methodologies

and identifying mentor texts that may inform my eventual dissertation. Applying the content and

experience of this course, I can identify four main areas of learning with direct applications to

the work I do in my career, including critical analysis of journal articles, engaging across

research methodologies, structuring a scholarly paper or article, and career exploration as a

professional in higher education.

Critical Analysis of Journal Articles

We each approach how we read scholarly articles with one of many strategies between

reading the article in its totality to skimming the abstract and then deciding whether or not to

read further. I tend towards a strategy of skimming the entire article and then reading the

experimental sections and the discussion of the findings. This course challenged me to critically

examine an article by locating key information throughout and using that information for

whatever project on which I may be working.

Engaging Across Research Methodologies

A major shared experience in this course was discussing our writing with other students.

With some strong opinions about the “best” or “easiest” research paradigm—qualitative,

quantitative, or mixed methods—we were able to have spirited discussions about our projects

and the ways in which we hoped to structure those studies. As is often the case in higherDr. Jaocb BryantDr. Jaocb BryantMeets Expectations

education administration, there is always a quantitative camp with its numerical, but rather cold

data, and a qualitative camp with its broad and lived, but difficult to apply results.

Structuring a Scholarly Paper or Article

Though a life-long writer who feels confident in his ability to write many types of papers

and essays, I learned quite a bit about what goes into each section of a well-structured and well-

executed piece of academic writing, particularly our critical examination of literature reviews

and data analyses. While I will, more than likely, only write one dissertation in my life, I’ve

noticed recently that the literature reviews in the journal articles I read are structured in a very

similar way to the literature review we crafted in this course.

Career Exploration as a Professional in Higher Education

As a busy professional I have far less time to write professionally and no time to do much

in the way of research. This course has been a good reminder of the research I am interested in

completing and has made be think more about how I can do some of that work in the future. I

probably shouldn’t say this in a UCumberlands assignment, but this course has spurred me to

consider whether I want to stay in a professional doctoral program while working or if I want to

move to a full time doctoral program and then into a research and teaching career. While I am far

from a decision on that potential change, it is something that I began thinking about over the last

eight weeks because of this course.


Though I initially took this course at this point in my studies because I hoped to clarify

my research topic for my dissertation, I have learned fundamental skills which are connected to

and which inform my professional practice.

This course helped me to understand all of the components of the dissertation and how I

will begin that process. I appreciated the practice opportunities and connections with

classmates who are in similar stages of their doctoral program. Initially, I wasn’t sure how well

this course would prepare me for the dissertation, but I feel much more confident now and am

almost excited to begin.

Practically speaking, this course forced me to do research on leadership specific to my

profession, which I hadn’t necessarily done before this course (and the one prior). It allowed me

to think how I could better advocate for myself as a school counselor and the need to have a

great working relationship with the principal or administrator in charge.

I also realized how important the history of my profession is within the context of greater

school change. This is also going to be used again in my dissertation, which I wouldn’t have

known before this course. School counselors are pretty new in the world of education compared

to teachers, and there’s a lot of misunderstanding about our roles. Within my school, there’s a

great deal of confusion about what I actually do and what my responsibilities should be. Our

school separates the personal counselor from college counseling, and they try to keep the roles

very distinct. That can work well, but students will confide in whomever they’re most comfortable

with, and that includes teachers. Open communication and more collaboration would make a

huge difference in best supporting the students instead of getting defensive when a student

shares something personal with a college counselor. I’ve also been told to not say that my

degree or experience is in school counseling because I’m a college counselor. It’s offensive, to

say the least, and comes from a total lack of understanding of my profession and also the

degree I worked hard to achieve.

The biggest takeaway from this course, however, was that the dissertation can be

manageable and that leadership comes in all forms. I am not the loudest person in the room,

and sometimes I’ve questioned why I would get a degree in educational leadership. I don’t want

to be an administrator, and I certainly didn’t want to write a 100-page dissertation. But I think IDr. Jaocb BryantApproaches Expectations

continue to underestimate my worth and abilities. I still don’t want to be an administrator, but I

have realized that I would be a lot better at it than most educational leaders I’ve observed.

In education, it often seems like those who can’t teach, become administrators. And it

shows. My current bosses have no degrees in education or even leadership. One has a

bachelor’s degree in psychology and a law degree. The other has a music degree and yet

taught history before becoming an administrator. For me, this program and this course have

given me more confidence in myself, and I know that my dissertation will be a culmination of my

work. If I ever change my mind on becoming an administrator, at least I know that I’ll have the

credentials and experience to back up my decisions and communication.

Thank you for the course. I’m not always the best at engagement within courses or doing

my assignments in advance of the deadline, but I was better in this course than my previous

ones. For an online degree program, I learned more than I thought I would. In this course, I

learned the most, and I’m grateful to now have a good grasp of all parts of the dissertation and

what I will be doing next.

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