Schools add minors with global focus
Posted August 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm in News
USC has introduced three new undergraduate minors this summer: social entrepreneurial studies at the Marshall School of Business, Korean studies through the East Asian Studies Center and the reinstatement of German studies through the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.
Students say the new minors will help them show specialities when applying to jobs. Specializing in a variety of fields give students that opportunity, said Rebecca Miller, a senior majoring in Russian and international relations.
âAs an international relations and Russian major, I believe that a strong background in language skills can be an extremely useful asset for almost any career, be it in policy, academia or the Foreign Service,â Miller said. âRussia and Germany have close historical, political, and economic ties. For that reason, I decided to take both Russian and German classes.â
The new German studies minor offers a complete language program featuring a student-centered approach to language learning and a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with an interdisciplinary orientation.
âThe reinstatement of the German studies minor is a step towards remedying what was lost with regard to academic opportunities for USC students after the closure of the German department,â Bothe said.
Other departments have similar plans to attract students to their academic areas. The East Asian Studies Center added a minor in Korean studies because it saw an increased interest in Korea across campus.
âNorth Korean nuclear provocations are headline news in the [United States], Samsung and Hyundai are well-known multinational companies and many Korean musical acts or movies are popular around the world,â said David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute and professor of international relations and business. âUSC offers many classes that address these issues, and instituting a minor will allow students to get credit if they are interested in learning more about Korea, or perhaps one day plan to work in Korea.â
JiYeon Lee, a junior majoring in international relations, also said the Korean studies minor is a great way to be better equipped for a global job market, one that expects not just business knowledge, but an understanding of how business changes within an international context.
âAs Korea enters the global playing field as a technical innovator and a booming economy with a central location for global political discussion, it is important to watch how this peninsula transforms and shapes the East Asian region and, more importantly, the global terrain,â Lee said. âUSCâs Korean Studies Institute offers academic conferences, distinguished speaker series and lectures to both its undergraduate and graduate community. It is an especially exciting time to get involved with Korean studies at USC.â
The Marshall School of Business also introduced a new minor in social entrepreneurship. The idea for the new minor arose when then-Provost C. L. Max Nikias expressed an interest in creating a social entrepreneurial program at USC.
âIn the last few years the university has seen a growing number of students interested in social entrepreneurship,â said Abby Fifer Mandell, assistant director at the Marshall Society and Business Lab. âThey are basically young people who want to make a difference in the world and want the business skills offered at Marshall.â
He said the Marshall School sees new minor as a way to help students change the world regardless of major.
âOne component we are happy about is that this is interdisciplinary,â Mandell said. âStudent can choose courses across the university and customize the minor to their needs. We are hoping students will have a broad range of options with courses from the business school, public policy, engineering and sociology.â
These new minors provide students with a more global perspective and the ability to make a global impact, Mandell said.
âWe find Trojans want to change their world,â Mandell said. âThey want to solve problems such as healthcare, poverty and education both locally and globally.â