Today: Jun 17, 2024

IDS launches new course for students

Jay’Mi Vazquez – News Editor

Interdisciplinary Studies is piloting a new course that started this Fall semester.  

Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Erin Larkin discussed how this new one-credit course titled, “Career Pathways in IDS” works. 

“It’s a self-paced module course. Their modules correspond to these competencies that have been identified by employers,” Larkin said.  

This course is currently only offered in the Fall semester of each school year for eight weeks of a semester, being completely asynchronous. 

The modules are designed based off the National Association of Colleges and Employers eight competencies in the workforce. The eight competencies are career and self-development, communication, critical thinking, equity and inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork and technology.  

“It’s a summative course. It not one that’s formative. It’s not one that is teaching you anything, it’s going to be one that’s guiding you to look back on your own experiences and say how can I sum up what I did? And connect it and translate it to the kind of competencies employers are mostly looking for,” Larkin said. 

Larkin explained how this course is available to all students in any major.  

“We’re piloting it, we’re testing it out. It’s currently available to students in any major,” Larkin said. 

Larkin does express how this could change in the future depending on if certain majors would like to adopt this course into their program. 

“I can see that this might be a course that different programs will offer and be able to tailor specifically to their majors. For now, all of the modules are there and available,” Larkin said.  

Associate Director of the Office of Career and Professional Development Aimee O’Shea explained how Career and Professional Development has been partnered with Interdisciplinary Studies for years, working on trying to help students navigate their Owl journey. 

“It’s so connective to careers. Since it’s a self-designed major, the career piece is so important, so that students know how to truly use their degree,” O’Shea said.  

The Office of Career and Professional Development has been helping Interdisciplinary Studies design and pilot this course for students. O’Shea explained what the benefits are for this new course. 

“We’re taking students on their own personal journeys. So, we ask students to reflect on the skills they think they’ve developed, ways that they can be stronger in areas,” O’Shea said. 

The course is for students to realize their major is marketable and applicable. This course is designed to prepare students for what skills they have and what need to be worked on to be successful in the work world, O’Shea explained. 

“We want students to feel satisfied in the work that they do. Self-reflection, value, interests, talents have to be assessed, to see where that leads them to,” O’Shea said. 

Both O’Shea and Larkin want everyone to have access to a course where they can think about themselves deeply in a stress-free environment. But also understand what skills they have developed to be successful after graduation. 

“We touch on a number of skills that are most important in the field a student pursues. In other words, how can we get that foot in the door? That first important job that maybe is going to allow you to grow,” Larkin said.    

“We see students as having invaluable skills. They just need to be honed in on and be able to market. So, we’ve always had these conversations with students early,” O’Shea said.    

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