Sookmyungians who entered after 2015 are required to do one of the following to qualify for graduation: double major, choose a minor, take advanced major specialty courses, or enroll in special courses by the Department of Convergence. Fellow Sookmyungian has been mulling over what to do. She has considered both double majoring and choosing a minor, but those equate to simply taking courses from other departments. Also, taking advanced learning courses would mean just taking more courses from her major’s department. However, she knows little about the Department of Convergence. Thus, for Sookmyungians like her who are unfamiliar with the department, The Sookmyung Times embarked on a journey to learn about it and the courses it offer.
What are Special Courses?
The Department of Convergence aims at sustainable Earth development and transdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration to meet contemporary and future societal needs. Other universities such as Yonsei University or Hankuk University of Foreign Studies have also established similar departments for similar reasons. By taking courses offered in this department, students receive two bachelor degrees. However, it is different slightly from double major. The special course is a major in which two or more related departments, divisions, or major provide relevant curriculum for a new major. For example, a person majoring in Arts and Cultural Management should take the courses of different departments to meet the double major requirement: ‘CULTURE, ARTS AND ECONOMICS’ from the Department of Culture and Tourism, ‘PRINCIPLES OF MARKETING’ from the Department of Business Administration, and ‘INTRODUCTION TO BROADCASTING’ from the School of Communication & Media (refer the picture on the left side). Once the person has completed all the course requirements, she is eligible for a degree in Arts and Cultural Management. Also, unlike general department, high school students may not apply for courses offered in the Department of Convergence or enroll in advanced courses offered by the department. Currently, Sookmyung offers 15 different specialty courses: Arts and Cultural Management, Big Data Analysis, Business Law Track, Counselling, Financial Engineering, Global Environment, Human Resource Development, Interdisciplinary Humanities, International Korean Education, International Trade, Narrative Writing, Public Service, Secretarial, Tax Accounting, Creative Contents and Technology. According to the College of General Education, which includes the Department of Convergence, 1202 students are presently taking special courses offered in the Department of Convergence. Among the courses being offered, the more popular ones are Tax Accounting (198 students), Narrative Writing (170), and Arts and Cultural Management (149). The Sookmyung Times, below, has organized information and data regarding opinions from students presently enrolled in these popular courses.
Popular Courses: Ranking Top 3
The course most sought after by Sookmungians is Tax Accounting. It provides students with much needed information on tax accounting in order to increase students’ employment rate in today’s competitive market, to increase students’ knowledge prior to attempting the national tax expert and accountant examinations, and to provide students with basic facts, theories, and data before applying for graduate school. Students who have taken the course are able to better qualify for positions in manufacturing, accounting, and fund management, and can even apply for positions such as investment analysts in company institutes of economics and investment relations. The second most popular course is Arts and Cultural Management. By fusing lecture and practical-based knowledge of culture and arts, the course cultivates human resource personnel capable of planning culture and arts education, culture and arts managers and administrators, and culture and arts staff at companies and public institutions. Students also become better prepared to take on more advanced roles in the field of public culture planning and cultural arts consulting. The third most popular course is Narrative Writing major. The global world’s culture industry is full of movies and dramas. The world needs experts who have keen creative senses in order to create software for a 21st century cultural industry, where the paradigm shifts from a political economy to a culture economy. The curriculum creates the foundation for professionals in various media fields by centring on creative storylines through practical activities based on theory. Kim Jieun, Department of English Language and Literature’ 15, who has taken Narrative Writing, said “I chose Narrative Writing because I am interested in daily writing. I also wanted to learn how to write better and create stories with good solid foundation by incorporating theory and practice.” In the Narrative Writing course, she had the opportunity to meet students from English Literature, French Culture, and German Linguistics. In other words, by enrolling in the course, she was able to meet and share ideas with a variety of other Sookmyungians from other departments.
Unique Courses Only in Sookmyung
Besides the more popular courses, there are also two unique courses. Through them, Sookmyungians may find their hidden talent and aptitude. The first is Interdisciplinary Humanities. With the speed of globalization and information spread, the diversity and complexity of modern social problems are soaring, and they can no longer be solved through the research methods and theories of individuals. Universities around the world are partnering to tackle them by fusing humanities and social sciences in order to nurture creative talent beyond specialty boundaries. In short, the world needs more broad human resources. Sookmyung is attempting to showcase its students’ talent though the course. Besides gaining expertise in their specialty, students are exposed to advanced economics, politics, and journalism. The world needs talented people with high level skills such as thinking, criticism, and creativity in practical areas such as management, culture, and design. For these and other fields, Interdisciplinary Humanities provides students with the tools to find or cultivate their talent. Hwang Jisu, Division of Law’ 16 said that she enrolled in the course in order to learn more about philosophy, sociology, politics, and economics. In particular, unlike other special courses, she said the course guarantees students the opportunity to participate in Student Guidance Day as well as a variety of other events. Hwang also enjoyed sharing her thoughts and creating strong networking relationships with classmates and professors from the course. The second unique course is Creative Contents and Technology. With the fourth industrial age now upon us, students who are poor at IT or science will suffer. This special course helps ensure the future of non-engineering majors, especially those in the humanities and social sciences. Since first being offered, the department has greatly improved the course curriculum so that even true beginners with no knowledge or skills in the engineering field can easily participate in the course and gain valuable knowledge. In addition, the course now has a practical aspect that allows students to initiate, implement, and produce results, unlike in the past when it was very much one-sided lecturing by teachers. This latter part seems to be its most attractive aspect and the reason for enrollment in the course by many non-engineering students. In addition, the course offers students a break from lecture-only education, which lessens the burden and worry about failing due to non-attendance or by not participating in career guidance sessions. Lee Yeji, Business Administration’ 16 student felt the charm of the course was the opportunity to integrate two disciplines and ponder consumer wants and needs. She also liked that the course gave her the chance to propose a prototype and then proceed with its planning and production. In other words, the course exposes students to entrepreneurship as well as business-related skills such as formulating business plans, prototyping, and financing. In order to prepare students for practical employment and possible start-up businesses, students need access to information related to engineering tasks. By having students analyze data using statistical package programs, asking them to prototype their proposals using advanced equipment such as 3D printers and laser cutting machines, requiring them to design creative work, and asking them engage in software coding, Sookmyungians become superior intellects, ready for the 4th industrial revolution era. The two unique courses are sure to become advantages of your major. The courses offer Sookmyungians the chance to learn beyond boarders and more about what exists outside of their specialty.
On 1-2 June of this year, a special course fair was held at the amphitheater in front of the Queen Sunheon Building. In order to follow the world trend of integration and cooperation in university education, the fair was aimed at promote enrollment in the unique courses offered by the department. 15 booths along with special booths for 3D printing, AR, and VR were set up in the amphitheatre. In addition, 10 seminars were held to by professors. Students participating in the fair were also given the opportunity to talk with currently registered students and students who had completed the courses to learn valuable information and tips on which special course to enroll in. While the fair was a good attempt to provide answers to the many questions students have, students still need more information. Sookmyung should continuously investigate special course progress and update the department’s counseling center with clear up-to-date information for students. SMT hopes students make the right choice for them when enrolling in the department’s special courses by finding out what they want and need for their future and personal pursuit.