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Professionalism and Expectations

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All college teachers have a built-in responsibility to behave in professional and ethical ways. University instructors are expected to demonstrate a high degree of professionalism in their positions. Differently stated, campuses have the right to expect no less of the people to whom they entrust the learning of their students. Professionalism includes behaviors of inclusivity, civility, non-capriciousness, and non-discrimination. It expects respect for students, colleagues, the discipline, the campus and humanity. It requires honesty and sensitivity. But it also expects a commitment to teaching and teaching well, so there are ground rules to follow.

Professionalism can be defined as "how individuals or groups of individuals conform to the characteristics expected of them by virtue of their occupation" Lee (1981). "Being a professional carries with it certain roles and responsibilities. The three areas with which we should be concerned are: professional status, professional improvement, and professional organizations" (Allen, 1978). Hall (1968) and Moore (1970) suggest that professionalism as an educator involves a commitment of service to the public; a formalized organization to which one has responsibilities; esoteric, useful knowledge and skills based upon specialized training; and an autonomy restrained by self regulation and responsibility.

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