Our University slogan is “Fostering creative leaders with the power of thinking.” Under this catchphrase, Sookmyung Women’s University provides a variety of humanities education. Every Sookmyungian get a chance to have lectures to put their own views across by speaking and writing. These days, expressing your own opinion and communicating with others is important in our society, so many universities are helping students to develop these skills in various ways. Also, Sookmyung is one of these universities.
What Do You know About It?
Have you ever heard about the Communication Development Center (CDC) in Sookmyung? This is a place for Sookmyungians to develop communication skills and leadership. In 2009, the CDC become an organ of the General Education Institute and made lectures named Writing and Reading, Presentation and Discussion, and Readings in Humanities. The Readings in Humanities course was first started in 2011 to strengthen Sookmyungians’ humanities education more than before. From 2010 students, these three courses are part of the required general education courses to graduate from Sookmyung. Throughout the course, Sookmyungians learn how to convey their own opinions effectively and improve their writing ability for thier theses. Less than thirty students are gathered in a class and get advice and correction from the professor. Also, they have opened courses in Logic and Reasoning, Conversation and Negotiation, and Criticism and Writing for students who want to get executive education about communication skills. Every semester, these courses are offered, so many students get a chance to improve themselves. Furthermore, not only school lectures, but also the CDC holds the Sookmyung Debate Contest, the Kyobo-Sookmyung Book Debate National Championship, and the counseling office for students’ communication ability in writing a report or thesis.
Course for the Real Humanities?
Nowadays, the ‘crisis in the humanities’ has shaken our society. One survey conducted by education policy, found that 81.9% of university students asserted the importance of a wellequipped knowledge of the humanities, and 72.8% said the humanities have a good influence on university life. However, when they were asked about questions about education of the humanities, most of the respondents showed skeptical attitude about it. 30.9% selected “lack of interest” and 27.3% considered them “unnec-essary for getting a job.” These exactly explain the crisis in the humanities. It is no wonder demand of the humanities went down considering that almost every university student is struggling for survival in the age of limitless competition. For solving this situation, many universities started out fostering the humanities. At SMU, the school gave the entire right of education of humanities to an institute. That is the CDC. After this center was established, the course of cultural subjects for the humanities was made. However, it seems too short a period to learn the humanities. Every course is taught for just one semester, and compared with other universities, we can see how deficient they are. The School of Humanities and Sciences, with over 40 departments, interdepartmental degree programs, and cultural subjects, is the primary locus for the superior liberal arts education offered by Stanford University. Also, some Sookmyungians have noticed the deficient period of the humanities. Statistics student Kwon Yejin (’11) said, “In one of the humanities courses, a book discussion class, students are divided into groups and discuss freely and deeply about the book. I think it is surely a good course, but sorry the time is too short to dig into the topic completely.” Some even say that the classes look like a casual program. It means that most of students have not gotten enough time to be wired in the humanities during the classes.
They Are Always Ready for You
In spite of these problems, CDC is very helpful institute for students. It holds discussion competitions every year. One of them is Sookmyung Discussion Competition. It is annual events supported by school, and lots of students have participated in it. Through this competition, students can get a chance to study abroad and rewards. Besides, they hold a national book debating competition whichaims at both university and high school students. Also this competition is supported by SMU and Kyobo as well. The last competition’s topic was ‘Nature vs. Human.’ One of professors in CDC said, “This national book debating competition is very meaningful to SMU. Kyobo is one of company where really care about book and discussion relationship, and they especially choose Sookmyung to collaborate discussion education. It is very good chance to Sookmyungians.” Above these competitions, diversity of lectures and seminar are going on for students. They are always open to who want to ask help about any part of communication. Communication development center is ready to help students from all quarters. They are running feedback program as well. Student who wants to get their report revised, can get a help easily. From this system, students can revise and develop their writing, speaking and discussion. However, not much student knows it. Only after taking discussion classes, some students get to know the feedback system. It is required more effort to promote these helpful system.
To be the Cradle of Humanities
The humanities are not any one thing. They are all around us and evident in our daily lives. When you visit an exhibition, that is the humanities. When you read an old book in the library, that is the humanities, too. The humanities “expose” students to the “ethical, aesthetic, and intellectual dimensions of human experience.” However since the late twentieth century, based as it is on money rather than on social relationships, “exposure” to the “intellectual dimensions of the human experience” has undergone the crisis. This condition should not go any longer. It’s time to provide more methodical and stronger education of the humanities to students. Above all, as a hall of learning, university should be a core of humanities education. However, that’s not to say there is urgent necessity for making special programs or curriculums for humanities. What is most important thing is students’ awareness of need for humanities by themselves. Communication Development Center is exactly good helper for you, and you can find diverse and valuable chances in there. From now on, stop.