Educational planning is a significant activity because it assists the student in aligning her day-to-day operations with the goals she intends to achieve during the college life and even her career goals. It is essential that a student formulate goals for her career and college life and follow these up with detailed plans. The plans shall guide the student in her day-to-day activities to ensure proper alignment with her goals.
When you narrow down to planning int he context of education and careers, the educational plan is the ideal tool for students to use to achieve their goals. An educational plan is a plan that lays out which classes the student should take each quarter to achieve their stated aims. The goal of the student could be a credit transfer, completion of a degree, graduation, or even meeting minimum entry requirements for a particular profession the student wants to join. It is also desirable that the plan includes all the resources that the student shall need for a particular class. This aspect of the plan acts as a reminder for the student to collect all the resources necessary for a particular class, and, hopefully, the use of the resources increases the possibility of the desired outcome in each class. Educational planning is so important that in most colleges it is mandatory for a student seeking a degree to prepare an educational plan at the start of their first term or whenever they decide to change their study area.
Preparing an educational plan at the onset of a college career is important for many reasons.
Firstly, assuming that your goal is to graduate, developing an educational plan ensures that the courses that the student is going to take meet the graduation requirements for the particular course. Most colleges have advisors that aid the students in selecting the appropriate courses that ensure that the student graduates. These advisors also point the students to appropriate internal and external resources as well as support. The plan shall act as a reference document every time the student intends to select courses.
Secondly, assuming that the student has already selected the classes, the educational plan helps the student to determine in advance which classes to register for during the next quarter. Again, the educational plan acts as a reference point during all semesters so that the student can select the appropriate courses for their goals and save time doing so.
Thirdly, an educational plan shall be of great assistance to a student if they decide to transfer to another university. The educational plan shall come in handy as a reference point on what classes the student has taken and what classes they need to take at the new university in light of their goals. In this sense, the educational plan shall enable the student to reduce confusion and save time and effort during onboarding at the new university.
Lastly, preparation of an educational plan boosts the sense of ownership by the student in their educational journey. In this sense, the educational plan is like a business plan, in that it forced the student to ask themselves difficult questions about the academic journey that they are about to undertake. The questions force the student to formulate clear goals and make detailed plans to achieve the target. Overall, the plan gives the student a sense of responsibility for their journey and their destination.
The preparation of an educational plan begins with the careful selection of a program of study. If a student is unsure about what program to choose, the student should make an appointment with an advisor or counselor. The advisor shall help the student with appropriate resources such as self-help tools and research relevant to the student’s desired career, all of which aim to match the student with majors that are in line with the student’s strengths and interests. The advisor may also help with information relevant to the student’s desired career such as job outlook, pay range job descriptions and other factors that shall help align the career and the program chosen.
The next step is to start formulating the educational plan with the advisor. If the student is a transfer student, they should bring to the advisor meeting all their previous college transcripts. The advisor reviews the previous coursework covered and recommends an appropriate education plan. The student can also create an education plan using an educational planning tool if your college provides one.
The following step is to schedule an appointment with an advisor so that the advisor can review the draft, ask questions and make recommendations.
Lastly, the student should remember to revise the plan as time goes and their goals change. The student should also check with the advisor each quarter to ensure that the selected courses which are still acceptable.