Showing posts with label practitioners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label practitioners. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Benefits of Hiring Practitioner Scholars in Business Colleges

Academic life is something inquisitive people hope to someday achieve in their efforts to grow and develop as a person. Eventually they make their way through college to obtain a terminal degree, and with some experience, they apply to universities in anticipation of achieving their dreams. With a tough market for professors, not everyone will find their way into a college position. Despite the competitive market, ensuring that universities hire more practitioner-scholars with "real life" experience is important for university development.

In business programs this is even more important than other fields. The difference between a person with only academic experience and one with both academic and professional experience is profound. One understands focuses on theory while the other may also have experience with using theories in practice. Their industry experience helps them understand how theories operate in real life scenarios outside the higher education vacuum. Having a representation of both ensures higher value for students.

Industry knowledge filters throughout everything the professor does. Consider the following benefits of a practitioner-scholars (pracidemics):

1.) Theoretical Explanations: A greater ability to explain theories and business principles in real life form and example.

2.) Research Development: All research must eventually be applied to be of any benefit. Practioners are able to use their understandings of industry problems and find new solutions that have market value.

3.) Administration: Professors who come from a business background also have knowledge of administration and processes. They are not as concerned about titles as they are about skill and performance.

4.) Credibility: Faculty with practical experience have credibility because they know what the student will be getting into after graduation. Students view them as both professors and mentors.

5.) Course Development: Because practitioners have practical and theoretical knowledge they are able to develop content that is relevant to modern industry.

6.) Cultural Awareness: Faculty are pragmatic and bring with them a focus on "what works" and encourage universities that are cost effective.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What is a Pracademic?

By Dr. Kevin Kuznia and Bill Davis  

Pracademic \prac-Ə-‘dem-ik \ n (2009) A member of an institution of learning who has extensive background, methods and knowledge of a specific discipline and uses that experience in the course of instruction. 

Paul L. Posner is a professor and director in the Masters in Public Administration program at George Mason University and serves in the American Society for Public Administration. He has served for many years with the U.S. Government Accountability Office as managing director for federal budget and intergovernmental relations. Posner stated this in the Journal of Public Budgeting & Finance: “a Pracademic is a person whose career spans the boundaries of academia and practice. “ Posner (2009) says that they have significant experience in both worlds and can jump between then with ease. Dr. Posner is describing many faculty in the ranks today who are teaching in colleges and universities.  

Bill Davis, MA, CM
Instructors and Professors today have real world experience, successful past and present careers and they can be considered pracademics. They are highly skilled and experienced in their respective fields. They utilize their expertise to provide students with timely advice, coaching, training and feedback. This along with excellent service, care and encouragement helps students make the intellectual connections they need to be successful in their chosen discipline. Ultimately, the goal is to help students increase their knowledge, build upon their strengths and help them grow in other related areas as they make new discoveries. When pracademics combine their abilities with course tools and applications, the student has a clear path to become successful in any endeavor they choose. 

As pracademics, it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and experiences as we commit and follow our high quality teaching standards. This “Best in Class” approach ensures high quality teaching, engagement, facilitation, coaching and student support. Being student centered, we provide students with a meaningful and gratifying learning experience, academic rigor and the service they need to gain an optimal transfer of content and theory. It is important to remember we are preparing adult learners for leadership in their personal and professional lives in the 21st Century, and beyond.   

Kevin Cope (2012) in his book, Seeing the Bigger Picture – Improving Your Business Acumen tells us that there are five business drivers which are cash, growth, profits, asset utilization and people. As pracademics, we need to know the people side well and leverage that in connecting with our students.  Since our students are atypical from stereotypical university students, they have accumulated life experiences. Knowing that these students come to our University with experiences and knowledge in diverse areas, we can leverage that into practical learning activities that enable them to draw on their prior skills and knowledge. Furthermore, these students are readily able to relate new facts to past experiences and enjoy having their talents and knowledge explored in a teaching situation (Wynne, n.d.).     

The online classroom is the platform (stage) where the pracedemic practices his or her craft, and students can take action on what they learn. The instructor promotes student engagement so they can display their knowledge through social and active learning methods and process. As pracedemics, it is our responsibility to promote active learning, which is the process of doing and observing and the process of dialogue with self and others. So much engagement is possible within an online course and adult learners engage their instructors and peers. There is a dyadic process that occurs which is the relationship between those leading the discussion and those following. All of those who lead and follow influence each other over time and they motivate each other.
Dr. Kevin Kuznia

Dr. Ron Beach (2013) shared a quote in 2013 and said “Dr. King said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically; Intelligence plus character – that is the goals of true education. One of the exciting aspects of being a scholar is that we have the opportunity to touch so many people and the ripple effect is huge.” Many pracademics bring in their years of higher education and experiences forward into the classroom and do exactly that. They teach, discover, research and they play it forward. They all have a strong passion and purpose to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. 

As a pracademics their role is vital to promoting their university’s mission. So as you facilitate the learning of your students, remember, your skills and experience, combined with your students thirst for knowledge creates a dynamic atmosphere for fostering learning and growth.


Beach, R. (2013). Personal Conversation, Ashford University.

Cope, K. (2012). Seeing the Big Picture, Business Acumen to Build Your Credibility, Career,
and Company, Austin, Texas, Green Leaf Books.

Posner, P. L. (2009). The Pracademic: An Agenda for Re-engaging Practitioners and Academics.
Public Budgeting and Finance, 29(1), 12-26.

Wynne, R. (n.d.). Characteristics of adult learners. Retrieved from