As graduate students it is important that we expand our networks, learn about best practices in the field, and be privy to job opportunities. Joining a professional association or organization can help you with that.
An association is a synergistic group, meaning that the effect of a collection of people is greater than just one person. So, how exactly can becoming part of this synergistic group help further your career goals? Kelly A. Cherwin from HigherEdJobs highlights some of the benefits of joining an association below.
Enhance your network:
For most people, creating professional relationships is important, and joining a group allows you to have a sense of security and trust. From this, you are able to support and help one another in reaching your professional goals. Associations sponsor numerous events throughout the year that allow you to connect with your peers. You can share ideas, ask for advice, volunteer to be a speaker or become a member of a committee. Since most associations have national or local conferences, you can participate and have the opportunity to learn about breaking news in your career, learn “best practices” or new ideas. Another benefit of enhancing your network is that you may find a mentor to help you with your professional needs or you may be in a position to become a mentor to someone else.
Take charge of your career:
Associations often have job listings online or in print available only to their members. This is a great way to find targeted job postings. Additionally, many associations have career resources available such as tips on effective resumes or cover letters, job searching strategies and negotiating techniques. Some associations even have panels of experts that you can contact for specific questions on career issues. Other benefits include information about seminars, training or certification classes that may be suitable for you. And don’t forget, listing your association membership on your resume is impressive to current or future employers as it shows that you are dedicated to staying connected in your profession.
Broaden your knowledge:
Another reason to join an association is to learn more or stay informed about issues in diversity. For example, Academic360.com includes a list of associations and articles that provide valuable information such as: resource guides for diversity, affirmative action and advocacy, as well as information on new and proposed regulations related to diversity.1Additionally, associations provide a source for scholarship information, links to publications, and awards for persons achieving excellence in their field.
So, whether you are looking to learn about job postings in your field, network in your professional community, gain access to current events in your career area, or just have some fun while meeting new people, joining a professional association is a step in the right direction!
Consider making the most of your graduate school experience by joining a professional association or organization! (See full article at: HigherEdJobs.com)
Here is a list of professional associations and organizations for K12 leaders
AASA, American Association of School Administrators (www.aasa.org)
ACEI, Association for Childhood Education International (www.acei.org)
ACTFL, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (www.actfl.org)
AERA, American Educational Research Association (www.aera.org)
AFT, American Federation of Teachers (www.aft.org)
ALAS, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (www.alasedu.net)
AMLE, Association for Middle Level Education (www.amle.org)
ASBO, Association of School Business Officers International (www.asbointl.org)
ASCD, Learn, Teach, Lead (www.ascd.org)
ASCA, American School Counselor Association (www.schoolcounselor.org)
CEC, Council for Exceptional Children (www.cec.sped.org)
CoSN, Council for School Networking (www.cosn.org)
IRA, International Reading Association (www.reading.org)
ISTE, International Society for Technology in Education (www.iste.org)
NAEA, National Art Education Association (www.arteducators.org)
NAESP, National Association of Elementary School Principals (www.naesp.org)
NAEYC, National Association for the Education of Young Children (www.naeyc.org)
NAfME, National Association for Music Education (www.nafme.org)
NAGC, National Association for Gifted Children (www.nagc.org)
NASSP, National Association of Secondary School Principals (www.nassp.org)
NCSS, National Council for the Social Studies (www.ncss.org)
NCTE, National Council of Teachers of English (www.ncte.org)
NCTM, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (www.nctm.org)
NEA, National Education Association (www.nea.org)
NSBA, National School Boards Association (www.nsba.org)
NSTA, National Science Teachers Association (www.nsta.org)
PTA, National Parent Teachers Association (www.pta.org)
TCEA, Texas Computer Education Association (www.tcea.org)
USDLA, United States Distance Learning Association (www.usdla.org)
(many organizations offer discounted memberships to graduate students)