Student-Designed Liberal Arts Classes at Humanitas College

2021-01-04 Academic

Humanitas College offers liberal arts classes designed by students

From its inception in 2011, Humanitas College has made great strides in college-level liberal arts education. Importantly, the year 2019 marked its new beginning for education renovation. Humanitas College has focused on the transition from education to learning, strengthening the right to learn so that the members of future generations can find creative and independent ways to take their futures forward. The Student Government has responded by proposing a contest for students to come up with classes to satisfy core and elective requirements. This is part of the efforts to encourage students, who had been passive learners in a curriculum, to take an active part in curriculum design and create an independent, interactive academic community.

Student-designed classes chosen after two screenings and a student voting
58 teams joined the competition held in September 2020. The first screening reviewed whether the candidate classes were original, well organized, and feasible; then narrowed the field to 20 teams. The semifinalists submitted proposals, which went through a second screening. The judges’ scores and students’ votes were combined to decide the winners.

The contest finalists are (1) Rediscovering Death as Seen through Forensic Science, (2) Personal Finance for Young Adults, (3) Sign Language and Lifestyle for the Deaf in Korea, (4) The Law and Objective Thinking, and (5) Living Well with a Disability. All five will be integrated into the 2021 Humanitas College curriculum.

Rediscovering Death as Seen through Forensic Science is a fusion of forensic medicine, a medical science that uses medical knowledge for legal purposes, and thanatology, a branch of science that studies death, to explore human death from the perspective of forensic science. Personal Finance for Young Adults is designed to encourage effective financial management for those who have just entered the workforce without a proper education on how to manage personal finance.

Sign Language and Lifestyle for the Deaf in Korea is a disability-related class that is designed to promote mutual understanding and harmony among members of society. The Law and Objective Thinking is based on the idea that establishing a mature citizenship requires an understanding of how to organize and sustain society. Living Well with a Disability is designed to dispel the stereotype that persons with disabilities are perpetually in need of help, allowing disabled and non-disabled persons to live together better.

The finalists are to be integrated into core and elective requirements, which are mandatory for graduation
Humanitas College previously opened courses proposed by students under the “Learning Credits” system but they were not mandatory for graduation. The courses to be opened this time, however, are included in the core and elective courses, so students will have to choose among them to fulfill their graduation requirement.

The Student Government, which proposed the contest, announced, “This contest is meaningful in that it not only surveyed student preferences but also urged students to name and organize classes that they desire. We will continue to create an independent, dynamic, and interactive academic community.”

Rector Young-Jun Lee of Humanitas College explained: “Opening classes proposed by students is Kyung Hee’s honored tradition in a bid to cultivate independent and active explorers. The University seeks to facilitate self-discovery and self-learning rather than unilateral transfer of memorization.” “We will spare no effort to enhance the system. For the sake of improvement, we always welcome student proposals,” he concluded.

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