Module 2 Introduction

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Introduction to Module 2

I hope your first week of classes went well for you. I think it's always good to get that first week behind you. As you may have realized from reading each other discussions, I believe that you are all new transfer students.

I've enjoyed reading your introductions and seeing the images you chose to post. You have much to contribute to our class discussions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and gaining your insight.

We are moving on to Module 2. This week, we will be exploring two skills- goal setting and planned happenstance. Planned happenstance, as you'll read about it, is the idea and practice of keeping your eyes open and following up on chance encounters and events that you experience. It is acting on opportunities that come your direction rather then locking yourself into your original plan. Many of you have already touched on chance events that led you to coming to the UMN. Not everything that happens to us is planned and sometimes it's those unplanned events that can have the greatest impact. They all lead us to where we are today. In my video blog I will talk about a chance event that led me in a direction in my life.

The other topic is quite different from planned happenstance and it's goal setting. Learning a systematic process for setting goals can be a very effective way to get what and where you want in life. The S.M.A.R.T. goal setting process has proven to be a useful way to set goals both personal and professional goals.

Your discussion this week will focus on planned happenstance. As you are reading the articles this week, think about the following questions:

• How do you make the most of those unplanned opportunities that present themselves to you?

• What can you do to tune into "planned happenstance" and how does it relate to careers?

This is a busy Module and there are a couple additional activities I'd like you to pursue this week. I'd like you to take a look at GoldPass. It's the University of MN online tool for learning about jobs, internships, Career Fairs, etc. You'll need a resume to use the system fully. This week I'd like you to submit your current resume into our Moodle site. We will revisit your resume later in the semester. You'll be given resources and assistance to help you create a polished resume.

Finally, your Biol 2001 Contract is due on Sunday, September 18th. Within your contract, you need to list the six Student Choice Activities you will complete during the semester.
Student Choice Activities are intended to be information sessions, extra readings, workshops and participatory experiences that are of your choosing. You'll find suggested Student Choice Activities listed in Module 1. Choose from this list or suggest other activities that you think would be more helpful. I want to see you get involved in campus life, take advantages of resources, gather information, and stretch yourself to do activities that you might not find the time for otherwise. Remember, 2 of the 6 need to be ones that require you to "get out of your comfort zone". Ones that require you to interact with others to complete.

One option for a student choice activity is to meet with me sometime during the semester for about 20-30 minutes. I would love to have the opportunity to talk with you about what you're thinking, answer any questions you might have and to serve as a general sounding board. We can use that time to discuss your career direction or any other career related concerns or questions. Just drop me an email with your availability and we'll find a time to meet on the Minneapolis campus.

Looking Ahead to Module 3
You will need to have your StrengthQuest code for Module 3. I am told that if you purchase the StrengthQuest code through the UMN bookstore it is $11.50 while if you go online at it is $12.50. So, save yourself a $1 and buy it through the bookstore!

Again, assignments and readings can be found in the Agenda for Module 2.

Have a great week!


Module 1 Introduction

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Module 1 Intro

Hello, my name is Nancy Fraasch I am very excited to be teaching BIOL 2001. I look forward to getting to know each of you this semester through your writings. This course will support you with search strategies, resources and knowledge about yourself and the world around you to be able to intelligently create your career direction that hopefully fits who you are.

About Me
A little background about myself. I have been in the Career Management field for about 20 years. I was a special education teacher before getting my Master's of Business Administrative (MBA) degree. Besides teaching this course, I am also a Career Coach with the UMN-Carlson School of Management in their Graduate Business Career Center and I have a career coaching practice where I support individuals with their career direction and strategy. In my roles I support individuals in assessment (figuring out who they are and what career direction may give them what they need to be satisfied), networking, resume development, search strategy, interviewing and negotiation.

Our Course
Our Moodle site is our classroom where we will be interacting with one another. For this type of learning environment to work, it is important for everyone to fully participate in all online course activities and to keep up with the posted deadlines. We will use class discussions to discuss ideas and thoughts with others in the class. We will also make use of online journals that are shared with only myself. All the readings, assignments and other necessary information for the week will be outlined in the next pages of the weekly agenda, click on "Module __". As you will see on the Moodle site, there will be deadlines for assignments each week or every 2 weeks. I will use this introduction blog for almost like a mini classroom lecture to emphasis important ideas.
Keep in mind that the UMN guideline is that students put in 3 hours weekly for a one credit class so that should be your guideline.

This week you be asked to introduce yourself to the group, which will lay the groundwork for future interactions with each other through the semester. I expect all discussions to be open, thoughtful, respectful, and on-topic. Write your main post by Thursday, Sept 8th so the rest of the class has time to read your post and reply to it (and you to theirs) before Sunday, Sept 11th at midnight.

Monday, Sept 12th we will move on to a new topic and usually a new module. As you'll see, Module 2 will be open by 8am on Monday of the second week of class. I will read your discussion posts but normally not add input since I really want you to be in charge of the discussions.

This week, you will be also be writing your first journal entry. The journal is a conversation between just you and me. The journals allow me to coach you in your career direction and process. You'll be assigned a topic based on what we are covering in class that week. For my part, I will read your journal and send you feedback to all your journal posts. You will be able to see my response in the assignment and as a list of comments in the grade book.

You'll find this course to be very different from your other courses. Instead of asking you to learn challenging or novel concepts, this course asks that you take time to think about yourself, your future and how you can best set yourself up for success. The course is mostly about YOU. During the semester, you will have opportunities to examine your strengths, interests, who you are and what's important to you. You'll also learn about setting goals, seizing opportunities as they come to you and how to research careers.

I hope you will use what you already know and what you learn about yourself during this course, think deeply about your goals, be open to exploring other career opportunities, and discover valuable resources that will help you succeed.

There are many ways to contact me. You can call me at 763-300-7500 or email me at, set up an appointment to meet with me or post questions to the general Q & A. I'll check each every day. Be sure you read the syllabus this week so you know what is expected of you and what you can expect from me. Also look at the "Course Schedule" which shows you the topics, assignments, journal and discussion topics, and due dates over the course.

A few points I'd like to highlight:

• I am available to support with any questions or concerns you may have as you explore through the course and your career direction. You just need to let me know when you need aditional support. I look forward to supporting you through the career development process.
• Participating in online discussions and completing journal assignments is very important and must be completed by due dates.
• All assignments, other than the primary post for an online discussion, will be due on Sunday evenings at midnight. This week, for example, the first module will be due the "end of the week," which is midnight on Sunday, Sept 11th.
• Pay atteention to the due date and week in the assignment instructions. Also, refer to the "Course Schedule" to see the dates when assignments are due.
• You may have taken other online courses that were entirely self-paced. In this course, we will release course materials throughout the semester similar to an in-person course. Participation in online discussions is key to this class because you have much to learn from each other.
• Check the course web site on a regular basis - at least 3-4 times per week. New modules and messages from me will appear on Monday mornings. During the week, I will be reading your work and posting feedback / announcements to the website.

This is a class that you get out of it, what you put into it. Don't do the assignments for me but do them for you, your future. I believe this class is the least important for your degree but could be the most important for your future. My goal for you is to get a much better idea of what UMN has to offer you, what you need to be satisfied in a position, which careers may give that to you and how to get there. I wish you success in that mission!

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