Roger Hiemstra's Statement of Professional Commitment

(I am indebted to a 1993 issue of the Journal of Extension that gave me ideas and words for this statement of commitment)

Change due to technological development, constant knowledge expansion, and ongoing experiences with the teaching and training of adults has always been an integral part of being an adult education professional. However, it seems that today changes are occurring faster and from so many different directions. Thus, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to determine which change to react or respond to first.

At the same time, in the field of adult education new clientele, new needs, and new situations constantly emerge. This necessitates that the adult education profession must continuously prioritize and re-prioritize time commitments. Often this means "letting go" of old activities or "ways" and becoming involved in new ventures and new clientele. This frequently creates an angst on the part of not only the professional, but also current clientele or students who may feel they are being abandoned or short-changed.

Thus, as a professional I recognize that I must continually face many changes that affect both me and the people I serve. This means I am required to implement programs and services that must change over time, too. This also requires that I constantly find ways to coordinate and collaborate with others, explore partnerships with various groups, and upgrade the content of programs with which I am involved.

I also am committed to using new and emerging technologies in the delivery of such programs but must be diligent in assuring that by so doing I do not inadvertently eliminate or greatly reduce the accessibility of such programs for people who have limited access to these technologies. This will take constant examination of delivery modes, materials utilized, and access routes made available. I am especially concerned that my increasing use of the World Wide Web as a resource storehouse and instructional delivery tool make more difficult my efforts to be diligent.

Above all, I am committed as a professional to helping develop a greater appreciation for those common goals and values that make our society a healthy place in which to live and in which the constant need to learn throughout life is recognized as vital to a community's development. This requires championing excellence in all programs with which I am involved and fostering the professional development of all colleagues with whom I have a relationship. In essence, this means creating an environment for innovation and professionalism in what I do as a professional.

Therefore, following are some of the professional stances to which I am committed: