The Pioneer Post

The Pioneer Post is a resource for online students that provides tips and information about distance education.


Monday, May 19, 2008

With family, work, and classes on your plate, you’re probably thinking that there’s no way you could join a professional association. As a working professional who is pursuing your degree, there’s no way that you shouldn’t join. Many professional associations offer benefits that go well beyond just providing networking opportunities. Here are two of the lesser known benefits that many associations offer:

1. Newsletters and whitepapers: These pieces are often excellent “brain food” for future homework assignments. Generally they tackle current issues in your field so you could use them to generate a thesis or a project, cite them as a reference (be careful if your instructor requires peer-reviewed sources only), or just stay current with issues in the industry.
2. Scholarships: Many associations offer scholarships for some of their members. Most of them fall in the $500-$1000 range but there are a few that offer sizeable opportunities. If your annual membership fee is $50 or less, that’s a pretty good return on investment for membership.

Even if you’re not looking to get deeply involved and build a strong network, you can benefit from these groups and the resources they provide. Below are a few of the larger professional associations that align with our distance learning programs.

Project Management Institute

Wisconsin Chapters: Northeast WI, Madison, Southeast WI, La Crosse
National Society of Professional Engineers

Wisconsin Chapter: WI Society of Professional Engineers
Society for Human Resource Management
Wisconsin Chapter: WI Society for Human Resource Management
Fraternal Order of Police



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