Why do I Have to Take that Course?

Posted By Staff Writer on November 9, 2011

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 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