Writing a Rationale Statement

Why do I need to include a rationale for attending the professional growth event?

The rationale helps to support your application and helps the FPG committee understand how this contributes to your professional growth.  You will need to describe how this activity enhances your professional growth, and you should include a statement describing the professional growth impact of the activity on your classroom, department, or campus. The rationale should include a description of the activity's merit and the manner in which the new knowledge, skills, or attitudes will be applied to your responsibilities within MCCCD. Do NOT assume that the FPG Committee will recognize what might appear to you to be intrinsically valued activity. Remember the FPG committee is comprised of faculty from 10 different colleges and who represent a variety of different disciplines, but not necessarily yours. Write your rationale as though the faculty reading the application is not familiar with your discipline. The written rationale should be clear, describing the professional value of the activity and how the information and experiences will be applied. A poorly written or inappropriate rationale cannot be approved.

Can you offer me any guidelines for writing my rationale?

When writing your rationale, think about what professional growth you are expecting to obtain. As a guideline, you might include in your rationale the answer(s) to the following questions as guidelines:

  • How will your knowledge of your discipline be specifically affected?
  • Is the activity to help relate your current knowledge/skills to other specialties?
  • How will you change your methods and techniques?
  • How will the new information affect course content?
  • What will be the effect of the experience on your responsibilities?
  • What will be the effect of the activity on your research/publication efforts?
  • What is the value to the department, to the college, to the District?
  • What professional growth is expected?

What are examples of appropriate rationales?

  • "This workshop will help me to better understand _____ and enhance my skills in the areas of ______. This information will improve my teaching techniques, which will positively affect the learning experience of my students."
  • "This conference gives me the opportunity to meet faculty from different parts of the country, exchange ideas, and learn about different teaching methods and techniques. These experiences will be incorporated into my classroom teaching and department responsibilities."
  • "This conference will keep me current with new trends and techniques in my field. I will bring the new information to the classroom and my department, which will enrich my students and peers."
  • "I will network with peers about their classroom activities and share the information with my department and colleagues from other departments."
  • "I am a new department chair and attending this conference will help me gain the leadership skills necessary for these new challenges. I will share these skills and become a more effective leader for my department and campus."
  • "Attending this conference will increase my knowledge of _____. I will hear the newest theories and see examples of their integration. I can directly incorporate this knowledge into my classes."
  • "As an instructor of technology-related subjects, it is necessary to stay current with new processes, ideas, and methods. Attending this conference will give me the opportunity to explore these areas and bring the new information to my classroom."

What are examples of inappropriate or incomplete rationales?

  • "It relates to my field."
  • "I can use it in my classes."
  • "I can benefit."
  • "My students can benefit."
  • "It is a program requirement."
  • "I worked with other faculty to plan learning communities."
  • "I learned how to incorporate technology into my class."
  • "This will help me learn new approaches for teachings."
  • "I need the information to be able to teach several new courses."
  • "I need this to help me learn new approaches for teachings."