Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hillery, Julie L.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences


Many retailing and apparel merchandising programs now offer their majors a professional development course. These courses are designed to help students develop their professional skills. Additionally, it provides assistance to students in discovering their potential for their own futures. Because this is becoming such a vital piece of every student’s education, any professional development course should be enhanced in such a way as to nurture those aspects. The attitudes, perceptions, and outcomes of students (n=26) enrolled in a professional development course were assessed through administration of a pre-course and post-course survey. Little or no change occurred in students’ perceptions of most personal and career characteristics throughout the duration of the course. However, the desired careers of the students experienced a dramatic shift upon completion of the course. Upon entrance to the course, there was a large interest in pursuing a buying career. However, after completion of the course, the interest in retail management overcame the interest in buying. Additionally, students stated that the interviewing skills learned in the course would be useful in their careers.


Includes bibliographical references.


18 pages




Northern Illinois University

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