5 Non-Traditional and Unusual Courses From American Colleges You Might Want to Try
Education is pretty expensive, and there is a growing concern about student loan debts, but there are some colleges across the United States of America that have turned to including non-traditional and unusual courses.
Adventure Education Course
Plymouth State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Adventure Education, where students will learn to expose themselves, “children, adults, and at-risk populations” to challenges and personal development.
Students in this degree can look forward to learning the fundamentals of rock climbing, wilderness expedition, whitewater kayaking, winter back-country travel, and alpine mountaineering, among others.
Graduates of this degree can find jobs training mountain climbers or hikers, guiding campers or tourists, or even building their own outdoor adventure business.
Tree Climbing Course
Cornell Outdoor Education started out with having their students climbing courses indoors. Realizing that this was counterproductive to their mission to advance authentic outdoor education, Cornell began conducting tree climbing classes, making use of the school’s woodsy locale.
Among the classes offered are recreational tree climbing, canopy research training, and custom courses like tree hazard identification, alternative climbing styles, high angle rescue, and managing students in trees.
Nearly everything bought and sold comes in packages. So, Michigan State University, 59 years ago, decided to offer courses under their School of Packaging, with undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Their BS degree includes courses like technical principles of packaging, computer applications, packaging processes and systems, distribution dynamics, and economic factors of packaging, among several core courses.
There are also electives students can take: virtual package design, environmental issues, packaging laws & regulations, packaging for FMCG, RFID and robotics, and automotive and industrial packaging.
The degree is more difficult than it appears, though, as junior college students must pick a concentration area in either Packaging Science or Packaging Value Chain Management. And that’s just the undergraduate program.
MSU School of Packaging also offers short online courses on basic, food, health care, and virtual packaging.
Wasting Time on the Internet
In this new digital age, it was bound to happen that a course be offered related to productivity loss and the internet.
The University of Pennsylvania offers this course Wasting Time On The Internet, taught by Kenneth Goldsmith, about the new digital lifestyle and how it affects the world.
In this course, the class will focus on “the alchemical recuperation of aimless surfing into substantial works of literature”.
Most of the coursework will involve students staring at their computer, interacting with their classmates only through social media and online means, and reading about boredom and time-wasting.
It is an absolute immersion into the topic of the study. According to the course site, “Distraction, multi-tasking, and aimless drifting is mandatory.”
Selfie Class Course
In the Writing program at the University of Southern California, a new course emerged last year that devotes studies on gender, race, and sexuality in the 21st century through the lens of new digital technology, habits, and phenomenon like the rise of the “selfie”.
In an interview with the BreitBart News Network professor Allison Torpe said, “Selfies are not just about self-portraiture. They are also autobiographies and auto-ethnographies.”
Classes involve writing and studying about profile photos and their influence on a person’s identity, self-reflection, and other topics about the modern society and expression.
Every year, thousands of jobs are created, and some of them are non-traditional and downright strange.
It’s a reflection of the changing times that unusual courses also get taught to make sense of current trends and to better equip students for the uncertain job market.