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Throughout the course, you had opportunities to clarify your passions and interests in psychology practice and scholarship, create SMART goals to help you achieve your vision, and explore the competencies and requirements for pursuing a career in your specialized field of psychology. This final assignment provides you an opportunity to transform your vision into reality by translating your exploration and brainstorming activities into a plan to actualize your vision and achieve your goals. Complete the following:

Vision and Goals

By the time you complete this final assignment, you gained a lot more knowledge and insights about your interests in psychology and your career trajectory. To begin this assignment, take some time to reflect on all you have learned about the field and ways you can contribute to psychology. Refine your vision and long-term goals from Unit 3 to reflect your evolution throughout the course. Update your Articulating Your Purpose activity to help support these revisions.

Competencies and Requirements

Understanding the competencies and responsibilities involved with your future career in psychology is essential to prepare yourself to become a practitioner-scholar in your field. It is also necessary to understand any requirements that enable your specialized practice and scholarship. For this step in the assignment, outline the competencies, responsibilities, and other requirements for achieving your vision and goals. These may include:

  • Capella program and specialization requirements.
  • Skills and abilities critical to success within the field of psychology such as effective decision making, problem solving, evidence-based solutions, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Credentialing, certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards.
  • Ethical codes, principles, laws, and policies applicable to your chosen career path.

Once you understand those requirements, reflect on your current competencies, previous experiences, and achievements that help you meet those requirements. Since you are at the beginning of your journey to a future career, you will have some gaps in your knowledge, skills, attitudes, and credentials. Identify any areas in which you need further development to achieve your goals and vision as a psychology practitioner-scholar.

Action Plan

With all this knowledge of your vision and goals and the competencies and requirements for the field in hand, you are ready to plot your course to make these aspirations a reality. The final step in this assignment is to create an action plan to achieve your goals. This means translating the requirements for your profession and the development areas you identified into specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed steps to achieve your vision. These steps may include:

  • Completing your Capella program, additional training, and volunteer opportunities to overcome your knowledge and skill gaps.
  • Creating opportunities in your current position to develop additional skills through coaching or stretch assignments.
  • Joining Capella Community groups and professional organizations for networking with others and completing additional informational interviews.
  • Staying current with the research and literature in the field by reading specific peer-reviewed journals.
  • Using Smarthinking and other support resources to develop the skills required to successfully develop your writing and other competencies essential to the profession and your role as a graduate learner.

At this point, there may be an overwhelming number of steps that you could complete to work towards your vision. If it helps you work through this plan, focus on major milestones and requirements as well as steps you can take during your Capella degree program to help translate your vision into SMART short-term goals and tasks.

Consider reviewing the SMART Goals Presentation, Career Center, or searching the Capella Library or the Internet for additional reflective exercises or inspiring ideas about transforming your vision into an action plan.

Assignment Requirements

Your assignment should also meet the following requirements:

  • Length: 7–9 typed and double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point content pages (length excludes title page, abstract, table of contents, and reference list).
  • References: Your references may include both scholarly literature and practitioner sources.
  • Written communication: Must be free of errors, scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the profession of psychology.
  • Writing Style: APA expectations for scholarly writing includes the use of third-person narrative, unless it is awkward to do so. Because you are talking about yourself in this paper, you may write in the first person.
  • APA formatting: Must be formatted according to APA (6th edition) style and formatting and include a title page, abstract, table of contents, and reference list.

Use the course project description and scoring guide to self-assess your completed assignment prior to turning it into your instructor for feedback to ensure you meet all evaluation criteria.

Attachments:This includes the assignment and responses to others.  Please note: the final discussion is due on Thursday.

You must use the headings from the paper description.  By headings, I mean the section headings throughout the paper (the running head is something else).  Additional headings could be added, but the paper must include APA style level one headings that are centered, placed in bold and have each word capitalized.  The required headings are Introduction, Vision and Goals, Professional Competencies, Professional Requirements, Self-Assessment, Action Plan, and Conclusion.  You can modify the specific heading titles (for example, you could write Professional Competencies in Applied Behavior Analysis), but the paper should still have the same elements.

  • The Introduction should discuss your passions and interests and how they relate to your previous personal and professional experiences.
  • The Vision and Goals section should be the most current version of your vision and goals.  Please do not copy them verbatim from your prior papers.  They should be paraphrased.  You can quote a sentence, if you cite yourself correctly, but not an entire paragraph.  I will be checking to make sure it is paraphrased.  To cite yourself, look at the APA examples that I provided in Updates and Handouts at the beginning of class.
  • In the Professional Competencies section, you should discuss the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for success in your vision.  Be sure to include common skills important for success within psychology such as critical thinking, effective decision-making, problem solving, applying evidence-based solutions, and conflict resolution skills.  This is a good place to add interview comments.  The paper should discuss the importance of ethics in this section (including a citation for ethical standards).  Include ethical competencies related to your specific profession or use the APA ethical principles.  Include any key responsibilities associated with positions related to your future career.
  • The Professional Requirements section should outline the requirements for your future career including Capella University program and specialization requirements, credentialing, certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, additional training, etc.  If your vision does not require licensure or certification, please state that.  It should also include what is required for your Capella University specialization.
  • Self-Assessment should reflect on and assess your current knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to the professional competencies you described.  Then, reflect on and assess your previous experiences and achievements that help you meet the professional requirements you described and any gaps you have in your knowledge, skills, attitudes, and credentials.  Finally, identify any areas in which you need further development to achieve your goals and vision as a psychology practitioner-scholar.
  • The Action Plan refers to creating an action plan to achieve your goals.  This means translating the requirements for your profession and the development areas you identified into specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed steps to achieve your vision.
  • The Conclusion section should explain the benefits of becoming a practitioner-scholar in the field of psychology and explain the importance and relevance of your vision and goals to your personal and professional aspirations.

Please do not forget to discuss the interview.  Without it, you will lose points.  Use critical thinking tools to synthesize and integrate your professional interview and other sources into the paper.  You should add an interview comment wherever it is relevant to support your writing.  Please do not include an interview transcript.  Paraphrasing is always best.  If you have not conducted a professional interview, you can use information from a Meet the Chair meeting.  The format for citing interviews is (A. Interviewee, personal communication, Month, Day, Year).  Interviews should not be added to the reference section.  They are only listed as an in-text citation.

A good rule for the number of references is one for each page of text.  This means that you should use 7-9 references in your paper.  Many of them can be electronic because this is a career paper and much of the information is online.  I recommend that you use a chapter from the Sternberg text (making sure that you cite the specific chapter instead of citing the entire book), the McClintock article (from the first paper), something from your research paper, and the relevant ethical standards for your specialization.  Please make sure that your citations and references are all in APA style.  This means that quotes MUST be followed by the page number (p. x) or paragraph number, if it is from an electronic source (para. x).  The Sternberg text should not use Sternberg as the author unless you are discussing the entire book in general or a section that was written by Sternberg.  You should instead cite and reference the author (not Sternberg) of the particular chapter that you are using for your paraphrasing or quotes.

If you use a part of one of your discussions or papers, you must cite and reference it.  An example is on page 211 in the APA Manual.  It should look like this

Your last name, A. (2014).  Title of paper written in italics.  Unpublished manuscript,

Department of Psychology, Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Here is how to reference your discussion postings in your paper.

Author, A. (2014, October 14).  u01d1 Title of the discussion in italics [Msg 25].

Message posted to http://www…

Please use Smarthinking and Turnitin.  Although they are not required, they can improve your paper significantly.  You should plan on three extra days for receiving feedback from Smarthinking.

I can see that most of you have been consistent and progressive with your work toward becoming a psychologist.  All of you have made impressive improvements with APA format and style.  If you are still struggling with APA, it will come with conscious effort and practice.  Please do not hesitate to contact either our teaching assistant 







Your Vision as a Practitioner Scholar

Sandy Pennington

Capella University













My greatest vision is to help patients go through physical rehabilitation with respect and humaneness. In return, this exposure will give me a chance to practice psychology in a field that interests me greatly. I will also be able to make first hand observations in my area of specialization. These observations will continue to further my knowledge in my chose field and help me help other patients better. This field will also help me to meet likeminded colleagues with whom I can formulate better ways of assisting the patients who are now in wheelchairs. Assisting individuals who are confined to wheelchairs to get their lives back will not only help me achieve my professional goals but also enable me to contribute to the society positively.













            The practitioner-scholar theory exposes psychology students to the real world instead of only relying on the theoretical part of their studies. With this theory, students are able to practically apply what they have learnt in class or a real world setting. The theory therefore helps students to continuously use scholarly research so as to derive new questions and practical answers to psychological problems. It also pushes psychology students to question the assumptions that have been in use over the years and formulate new solutions for existing and emergent problems. The students are exposed to a wide range of practical activities that relate to their course, throughout. The use of this method in training therefore exposes the student to the nature of research studies and how to collect data, and compile it to produce valuable information. In return, the psychology student will be able to inform his practice in a meaningful way, and may even instigate changes within the profession through the hands on approach to their studies (Foley & McNeil, 2015).


My vision is to become the most successful psychologist in the area of physical rehabilitation. I envision being a psychologist who is well respected in my field and who is on the frontline of research into the issues regarding patients who are confined to wheelchairs. I want to be able to represent this fraction of patients in a manner that dignifies them and gives them hope to live one more day with the confidence and hope that they can get better not only physically but emotionally and socially. I also want to be able to champion for the allocation of more funds into the area of physical rehabilitation and the accompanying course of treatment.


My goal is to help as many patients as is humanely possible to be able to live comfortably without needing to use the wheelchair. For those patients who cannot entirely be weaned of the wheelchair, my goal is to help them accept themselves and show them the various ways through which they can still contribute to the society without feeling like they are powerless. I also intend to use my acquired knowledge and affiliations to conduct studies that will help in the formation of new policies in the field of rehabilitative counseling. Through the handling of so many patients, my experience will grow and I will therefore be more placed to help solve more complex cases of individuals who have ended up in wheelchairs. My aim is to also help the patients to get incorporated back to the society with as little friction as possible. By being as close as possible with their family members, the patient will have a better chance of getting better because they have something to look forward to, people to come back home to. I am also a great advocate for short periods of stay in rehabilitation centers. Staying too long in a rehab center can make the patient get too use to he life without walking. It alienates them from the rest of the world.

I will be able to achieve these goals by attending numerous workshops on the issue of counseling individuals who are confined to wheelchairs as well as reading numerous publications on the same topic. I will also seek to join my colleagues who may be doing research projects and conducting studies on issues related to counseling patients who are in wheelchairs. This will help me to have a better insight of the problems faced by individuals who are confined to the wheelchair and how I can help them lead a decent life (Alger & Luke, 2015).

Depending on what caused the patient to be in a wheelchair in the first place and the hands on knowledge I have acquired in the course of my training, I will formulate treatment plans for these individuals. Working with them over time will enable me gauge the areas in which they need more help and therefore focus more on these areas.


There are not many very many psychologists who have ventured into rehabilitation counseling. This means that the field is fresh for me to question assumptions that have been made in previous years as well as to formulate new questions that can challenge the existing policies and practices. Additionally, this field has access to tones of data through patient records that can be used to formulate better treatment plans for incoming patients. This is therefore a promising area for specialization. There is an opportunity for career growth in this venture.













Alger, A., & Luke, M. (2015). The School Counselor Perspective: Preparing Students to be College and Career Ready within a Comprehensive School Counseling Program. The Practitioner Scholar: Journal of Counseling and Professional Psychology, 4(1).

Foley, K. P., & McNeil, C. B. (2015). Scholar–Practitioner Model. The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology.

Heracleous, L. (2011). Introduction to the special issue on bridging the scholar-practitioner divide. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 47(1), 5.


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