Ethics and Professionalism: What Does It Mean to FCS Students?

Article excerpt

In the Roundtable feature on page 6, we heard from FCS professionals regarding their views on ethics and professionalism. The editors also wanted to hear from P/GS leaders. The following are responses from three active student leaders.

1. What is professionalism and who has helped you learn what it means to be a professional? What types of experiences have they provided?

MG: Professionalism is behavior exhibited when engaged in career-related activity. An individual represents their profession well by exhibiting knowledge, experience, sophistication, character, poise, responsibility, dedication, and courtesy. Professionalism can be demonstrated in many ways-through one's personal appearance, communication skills, follow-through, involvement, and relationships. During entry level seminars, through various exercises, readings, and exposure to current professionals, students begin to see what is expected once we leave campus and enter the career field. Involvement in professional organizations, 4-H, internships, and mentoring groups helps to develop professionalism. Being exposed to role models, observing their everyday lives, and engaging in dialogue paints a picture of what it means to be professional.

TC: Professionalism is making a conscious choice to live your life in a way that reflects honesty, dedication, integrity, fairness, and commitment. My mother and grandfather taught me what it means to be a professional. My mother has been a school librarian for 12 years, and my grandfather recently celebrated 50 years in education as a teacher and administrator. I have learned from their example and dedication to children. I have observed them in their roles as administrators and in their interactions with colleagues and support staff. They have always upheld the highest standards of professionalism, even when they may disagree with a particular course of action.

LD: Professionalism is everything that is involved in a person's professional life. One learns how to be a professional by being exposed to professionals and learning from the examples they set. If a person has good professional role models, then they are more likely to be a successful professional. I have learned what it means to be a professional from my mentors and teachers. FCS faculty members have been excellent professional role models. …