Personal care: Personal care incorporates a holistic wellness approach for students. Taking care of one’s self by exercise, eating right, and managing stress allows students to function and achieve at higher levels. This P is founded on the following concept: “you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself.”
Partnering: Partnering and collaborating with a mentor (faculty or peer) is an essential part of student development within higher education. Allowing current students to mentor new students fosters their growth and can potentially reduce anxiety by eliminating “the fear of the unknown.” Partnering with faculty and/or community members in the field enhances the connection to their future profession.
Persistence: Students can become overwhelmed with the many personal and academic challenges that they are faced with. Once their motivation and persistence decrease, it becomes more difficult for them to persevere. When there is persistence instilled and an intrinsic motivation to keep the student going, despite the tribulations, they have a higher probability of completing their degree.
Pursuing your passion:College students initially are reluctant to decide their major or may decide on something because of personal or societal influence. If a student chooses to pursue a career based on the aforementioned influences, the risk of non-completion potentially can increase. Career counseling is of great importance in assisting the student in their decision on what major to follow. In order to increase persistence and motivation, students should be inspired to continue in a major or degree that they are passionate about.
Participating: Participating within you particular school consists of not only being an active member in the classroom, but also engaging in external scholarly activities. Avenues that should be pursued include memberships in organizations and participation in campus activities. By participating in organizations and school related activities, students are not only able to build a support network with peers and professionals within their field, but are broadening their knowledge base.
Professional Presence: As a student becomes more proficient in their area of specialty, professional presence opportunities should be explored. An example of this is presenting at conferences. Presenting expands professional capabilities and establishes the student as a point of contact to audience members who share interest in the topic. If students are interested in pursuing graduate school, this is a great way to add information to their curriculum vitae. Establishing a professional presence includes components of community mentoring or job shadowing, research opportunities in the chosen field of study, and internships as well.
Progressing Professionally: Once a student has been an active learner and engaged in the previous P’s, professional development is the final component to success. Progressing professionally utilizes all of the previous components of the Ps and continues to build upon them. It addresses the multiple roles that students and professionals take on: developing one’s personal identity, and continuing to progress in the field by contributing to the existing body of knowledge as well as advocating for the profession.