As the world changes, employment fields emerge and grow, creating demand for prepared college graduates to lead those industries to success. Universities and colleges must recognize these changing and emerging fields and work to update and create areas of study that will prepare their students to pursue careers.
Obviously, Rider has recognized that the sports industry is growing in both its demand for employees and its impact on society. The upgrading of Rider’s business of sports minor to a sport management major will allow students to dig deeper into the ins and outs of sports and become better prepared for careers in the sports industry.
This new addition to Rider’s curriculum is a step in the right direction. Every industry from communication to education, business to science, is rapidly changing — and sport studies is not the only area in need of a little updating.
Other minors that are also good candidates to make valuable majors for Rider students include sustainability studies and health administration.
According to onetonline.org, the occupations Medical and Health Services Manager and Sustainability Specialist are labeled as having “bright outlooks,” with promises of 100,000 or more job openings from 2012-2022. With health care and sustainability among the fastest growing industries in our country, the transformation of these minors into new majors at Rider may open new doors of employment for its undergraduate students.
While a complete makeover of Rider’s long list of majors and minors may be out of the question, it is important to remember that a few little tweaks can result in major differences.
An easy way to significantly update and enhance what Rider has to offer its students in terms of a personalized education is to create courses with narrow focuses, rather than broad overviews.
While the core requirements are vital to the preparation of students, offering courses on specific topics within one’s major is also very valuable — for students and Rider’s tight budget.
Replacing courses that cover a large spectrum of topics with ones that feature specific focuses could give Rider academics the feel of a makeover without total upheaval of the current structure. This would create an attractive and fresh curriculum for Rider students without the costs of redesigning entire curricula.
For example, technology electives for education majors are taught in a way that does not really prepare them for realistic utilization of technology. Because every student already has a basic use of technology in classrooms, these courses must be updated in order to truly challenge future educators.
The ability to explore specific and unique electives within an area of study not only attracts future students to Rider, but also provides current students with more satisfaction and flexibility in their courses.
Giving students the opportunity to explore niches within their desired industry can provide students with opportunities for growth and discovery. Exposing students to various topics within their majors can lead them to a deeper understanding of where they would most enjoy developing a career within that industry.
For example, students majoring in journalism may want to write about sports, fashion, news or celebrities, among many other topics. Yet all journalism majors are required to take three courses on news reporting.
While these courses in news writing provide the valuable basic knowledge of journalism, the addition of elective courses focusing specifically on writing for different journalistic topics such as fashion or sports would allow students to personalize their degree and deeply explore their passions.
This idea can, and should, be applied to all majors and minors. By creating the opportunity to personalize degrees, Rider will not only attract new students, but will also greatly enhance the experiences of students in all areas of study.
The weekly editorial expresses the
majority opinion of The Rider News.
This week’s editorial was written by Copy Editor Sarah Bergen
Printed in the 2/26/14 edition.