Monday, August 30, 2010

How Curriculum Varies by School

When you choose a school, it's not always enough to find out if your major is offered at your prospective school. Often, a program's focus will vary depending on the economy of the area. Take Recreation and Tourism Management (RTM) for example. My school is in a very rural area and many of the students are from economically depressed areas. West Virginia as a whole is trying to improve the economy while not harming the environment. Therefore, Tourism is a huge focus by the state. Therefore, when the school teaches, its focus is on outdoor recreation such as rafting and hiking.

As a business major, I've noticed that we are being prepared for jobs with large corporations. They are the focus of cases in our textbooks. Unfortunately, I disagree with this particular approach. The reason I became a business major was because I planned to start a business. Since then, I have been very interested in small businesses, particularly working for them. I feel that my school would be better served by encouraging us to either start businesses or find jobs working for one after graduation. Like tourism, it is a key part of improving the economy.

I suppose there are other schools that have business programs with more of a focus on small business or even an entire program dedicated to teaching emerging entrepreneurs. At my school, it sort of makes sense that the focus would be working for a coal company, since that's the major source of income for the state, but if a student wants something else, they usually have to leave the area. Many graduates leave the state, which is dangerous since the next generation of workers is a vital part of the workforce.

Many other programs have a certain focus as well. For example, the social sciences at my school seem to have a major emphasis on research and going to graduate school.

Has anyone else noticed something similar at your own school?

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