Why do I Have to Take that Course?

Have you ever wondered why you have to take a particular course?  “How can a philosophy class help me in my business major?  How can an economics course help me in graphic arts?  Why in the world do I have to take a History, or English, or sociology course?  I’m here for a career,” you might say.

Several factors are involved in the design of curriculum for a program.  What are Why do I Have to Take that Course? considered best practices across the country?  What are the requirements of our accrediting bodies and the U.S. Department of Education?  How can we make the curriculum more relevant and practicable for the student’s future career?  All of these factors weigh in as we design and redesign courses.  Instructors, Associate Deans, Subject Matter Experts, Program Advisory Committees, and Instructional Designers all get involved at some point in trying to make each course better.

But what about the two basic questions:  Why do I have to take this course,  and how will it help me reach the career goals that I have?  To help you understand the answer to those two specific questions we have designed Career Maps for each program.  The Career Map for your program is a visual chart that identifies each course in your program, and shows you how these courses will help you in your career by developing skills in five different areas that are important to your career.  These areas include:  communication, critical thinking, human relations, organization, and career specific skills.  The maps also show you how these skills relate to entry level, mid-level and high performance careers.  In some cases you will see that a single course crosses over multiple areas in helping you develop career skills.

“Where are these Career Maps?  I want to see them and study them!”  The Career Maps are located in SHARC.  Click on the Career Services icon, and the second item on the menu is “Career Map”.  Click on Career Map, then on to the specific major that you are studying and you will find all your courses and the skills they are mapped to help you acquire.


Author Bio:
Dr. Alan Hansen
Executive Director
Stevens-Henager College – Online Division

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606793132 Carly R Everett Phillips

    I keep getting management classes and I am in Graphic Arts. I dont plan to be a manager but a freelancer an dont plan to be managed but I have had several management classes- I would of preferred more graphic arts classes which I definitely would put to use.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H4QGL243HUADK3PYCQT4DT757I avery

    At this time I would like to add that I would enjoy taking a philosophy class. I have already taken this course. I am having a difficult time obtaining my transcripts because of financial reasons.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H4QGL243HUADK3PYCQT4DT757I avery

    I enjoy learning new information especially if its beneficial towards my degree.

  • Dave Velasco

    Well, there are certain things to consider first before finally deciding to take the course you are planning to – or the course that you are mandated to take. One possible factor is that it is a requirement. Other factors is that it may let you have an advantage on knowing more knowledge through the course than those who did not took the course.

    Minnesota Real Estate CE

  • http://www.importexporthomestudy.com Matt Bee

    I remember when I was in a medical course I kept getting Philosophy. Well now I work from home selling import and export goods online, the profits are great. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for discussing this topic. It comes up frequently. Students need to understand that employers have a huge selection of prospective employees to pick from these days – and it’s not just subject matter expertise that gets them the lasting career and the promotions. Well rounded graduates  who are poised to move up the corporate ladder can intelligently discuss many topics besides their area of specialization – with their supervisors, subordinates, and peers.

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed here, except as specifically noted, are those of the individual authors or commenter’s and do not represent the views or policies of Stevens-Henager College.