Expanded Professional Develpment Planning Guide Overview

The Expanded Professional Development Planning (EPDP) Guide is a detailed plan of your progress through the MS in Adult Education program and shows how each course supports your professional development goals. It is designed to complement the Statement of Professional Development and Goals submitted as part of your application to the program. In the Statement of Professional Development and Goals you addressed your reasons for selecting adult education as your course of graduate study, described your professional career goals, and explained how a graduate degree in adult education will help you achieve them. Part of this insistence on goals is rooted in the focus of this program on the practitioner – especially the reflexive practitioner. These overarching learning outcomes form the foundation of the program:

Mission: To prepare individuals to engage with adults for the purpose of promoting lifelong learning as a conscious and purposeful process in a variety of organizational and community contexts.

The following statements describe learning outcomes that may help you approach your overall program planning including selecting courses and focusing learning projects within courses.

  • Demonstrate understanding of and ability to discuss philosophical and theoretical approaches to adult education;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theoretical approaches to adult learning, developing programs and creating instruction using appropriate strategies and technologies to promote lifelong learning;
  • Analyze organizational contexts and select effective leadership strategies to develop learning communities;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of approaches to theory-based research and the ability to analyze and interpret research findings.
  • Understand the importance of promoting diversity in all dimensions of purposeful learning and community engagement as reflexive practitioners;
  • Engage in communities with integrity and a sense of ethics
  • Demonstrate professional communications skills

You have the freedom and the accompanying responsibility to individually set your personal professional development goals. These then get subdivided into learning outcomes to help you develop steps to complete your Expanded Professional Development Guide. Once you have determined your learning outcomes, you then plan how you can achieve them. Understanding that the need for specific learning outcomes will shift, grow, or shrink in importance over the course of your time in the program, this plan is always adjustable to some degree. However, you do need to have a plan to guide you through to degree completion. Some of your learning outcomes will be met through the core ACE courses. Some will not. The Professional Focus Area gives you the opportunity to meet those professional goals and learning outcomes that are beyond the core courses.

Examples of the sorts of outcomes that could result from your Professional Focus Area might include achieving a higher degree of competency in a specific subject matter area that you are teaching, improving your instructional design skill set, or better understanding the context of adult education in a specific setting such as higher education or organizational development. These are merely examples and your outcomes will be dependent on your personal situation, circumstances, and goals. These goals and intended outcomes lead to your choice of Professional Focus Area courses. If your Professional Focus Area goals change during the program (due to job changes, exposure to different ideas or possibilities through the program, etc.) you must write a Revised Statement of Professional Development and Goals for your advisor and later inclusion in your portfolio. Both the Statement of Professional Development and Goals and the EPDP Guide are also required components of your Capstone Portfolio.

As you fill out this EPDP Guide at the beginning of your program, think about what you want to learn from each class – what learning outcomes you plan to achieve. As you revise and update the EPDP Guide each semester, record what learning outcomes you met in each class and think about what new outcomes your experiences may lead you to consider.

One way to think about this form is as a learning contract for your entire program. You may find it helpful to fill out a learning contract listing your main professional goal as the goal statement in Part One and your learning outcomes as the outcomes. Individual classes or sections of classes then fit in to the contract as strategies for reaching that outcome. The EPDP Guide simply records those outcomes organized by class.

Fill out the EPDP Guide during your first semester in the program and update it each semester thereafter. Given that almost all of our courses are offered only once each year, keeping track of your progress can help to avoid delaying graduation one full year because you missed a class. Look at the Course Offering Schedule and know when classes are offered.

It is understood by all faculty advisors that this document is a work in progress and – especially at the beginning of your program. It may have some “either year A or year B” or “a class on XYZ that I haven’t found yet” notes in it – however, it gives your advisor a rough idea as to your plan and provides an opportunity to offer suggestions and advice as you are going through the planning process. You need to send your completed EPDP Guide to your faculty advisor by the end of your first semester in the program and anytime you have a major revision to your plan.


Reflexivity is not the same thing as reflectivity.

Reflectivity, based on the work of Argyris and Schön (1974), is the process in which we are able to reflect upon the ways our own assumptions and actions influence a situation, and thus change our practice as a direct result of this reflective process. Reflection tends to occur after the experience and provides a learning opportunity for the future.

In contrast, Reflexivity is an approach to professional practice that questions how knowledge is generated and how relations of power influence the processes of knowledge generation and use including the process of reflection. Reflexivity occurs in the moment, impacts current decision making, and is completely situated.

"The reflexive practitioner is aware of the assumptions that underlie how they make sense of practice situations and the cognitive processes by which knowledge is created. What we know and how we know become the foci of scrutiny, along with an awareness of how relations of power are complicit in knowledge creation in … practice." (D'Cruz, Gillingham, & Melendez, 2006).

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License