Of all the different types of text you will have to write in the academic world, the statement of purpose is one of the most difficult, not least because it is about you. We spend our time trying to eliminate ourselves from other academic writing, research proposals or from term papers. Now you have to write a paper about yourself. Like any other academic genre, a statement of purpose has a logical structure and development, and its purpose is to simultaneously show why you are the best candidate for a given course or grant, and why this course or grant is the most suitable one for you. This page will tell you how to do this. But don’t leave it at that: when you have finished, come to the Writing Center and discuss your statement of purpose with us. The resulting revised draft will be even more effective.
Do Answer the Question!
Before you start writing your statement of purpose, look careful at any instructions you have been given. If, for example, you have been asked to specify why you want to study at this university, make sure you answer that question, and that your paragraph starts with a sentence that will signal that you are answering it (e.g.”My reasons for studying…”). Do not omit to answer any of the questions you are asked, and consider carefully before providing the information you were not asked for. If you have 500 words, they expect you to spend most of them answering their questions, not volunteering other information. Frequently, however, universities do not give any guidance as to what they want, perhaps wanting to test if you are intelligent enough to work it out for yourself. If so, the guidelines below are designed to help you.
The doctoral program will provide me with an opportunity to learn more about higher education and prepare me to be a senior-level college administrator. I have had several educational and life-fulfilling opportunities to work with many administrators to help contribute to the field. Due to the nature of this program; I believe it will provide me with an opportunity to continue to be a catalyst not only within higher education but in my community as well. In addition, this program will help me further my understanding of first-generation African American college students’ expectations and knowledge about college prior to enrolling in their respective institutions by participating in pre-college programs.
My professional goals are to learn as much as I can about higher education that would strengthen my awareness of trends within the field and how I can contribute to the overall mission and purpose of the profession. I would like to someday become a dean of students or vice president for student services or student affairs as well as a faculty member. I believe my past and current experiences have prepared me tremendously to serve as a senior-level administrator.
As a graduate student at American Justice University (AJU), I studied and worked in a number of capacities i.e. graduate assistant, supervisor, advisor, and practitioner within an urban environment. Located in Detroit, AJU challenged me to think critically and provided me with skills to work with a number of different cultures, lifestyles, beliefs, and backgrounds. Classes such as College Student Development, Higher Education Law, Finance, and Administration, and my study abroad experience in England, Scotland, and Ireland deepened my understanding of the field and how colleges and universities operate. These experiences provided me with an opportunity to enhance my understanding of higher education and how to apply theory to practice.
As an active member within a number of different organizations that work to improve the lives of others, I believe I have not only been a catalyst for change but have instilled a “sense of hope” for many students. Currently, I serve as an advisor to the Gamma Club (GC) of Detroit, Michigan, which is a youth auxiliary of Beta Beta Beta Sorority, Inc. This youth auxiliary was established in 1970 and designed to assist young females between the ages of 8 – and 18 providing them with opportunities to work with college and professional women on a regular basis, exposing sorority national programs and services, and preparing them for academic and career success. Many of the young women who participate in this program are raised by single parents/guardians (predominately women); therefore, my colleagues and I work extremely hard to ensure these students are provided with the necessary skills to be successful and influenced by positive female role models.
In addition, I serve as a committee member for the MLK Weekend Celebration in Detroit, Michigan. Last year, the committee implemented an essay competition to encourage high school students to think critically and display their creative writing abilities. With access to college becoming more burdensome and stressful for many college students, I worked with university officials at NASPA University, which is located in Denver, Colorado to establish a scholarship (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship) for the first, second, and third place winners of the essay competition. The university agreed to support this initiative to help offset costs during their first semester of study at the university.
In my current role as a Residence Hall Director at NASPA University, I strive to educate the campus community about diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion, and how it plays an essential role within our society. Part of my responsibility includes monitoring minority students’ academic and career success and preparing them for graduate or professional schools through the Graduate Recruitment Program (GRP). As an advisor to GRP, I believe I have been influential in empowering these students through seminars, workshops, and programs that encourage them to continue to seek higher education.
I believe my experiences have greatly prepared me for the EdD program at NASPAUniversity. I am confident that this program will continue to enhance my understanding of higher education and prepare me to help my colleagues and future colleagues to be catalyst within the profession.