New Requirement for Freshmen
It has been common practice for HYU to reform its curriculum every four years and accordingly, the curriculum for 2013 was likewise reorganized. Compared to the last educational curriculum(from 2009 to 2012), the new one focuses mainly on three goals; encouraging Hanyangians to read the classics, developing 3C(Creativity, Communication and Consilience) skills, and reinforcing practical education.
As a part of strengthening practical education, all Hanyangian freshmen have to complete the internship requirement, except those students in the College of Medicine, the College of Education, and the Department of Nursing, as they have their own type of programs where their students are supposed to work as interns in hospitals or as student teachers in schools during their undergraduate years.
There are three ways for Hanyangian freshmen to complete the internship program; work as an intern at a company, undergo practical training at a laboratory, or take classes related to working experience.
The first way to satisfy the required internship is to work at a company approved by the Career Service Center or the Office of International Cooperation at HYU. In this case, Hanyangians who attend an internship program at a company should complete the requirement by earning three credits in a short-term internship and 15 credits maximum in a long-term internship.
Working in a laboratory is another way of completing the requirement. This category mainly applies to students who want to go onto graduate school to continue their academic studies. For example, Hanyangians in the College of Natural Science can work in a campus laboratory during much of their time at HYU. They can complete the internship requirement, if they work in a laboratory for more than 30 hours per semester. Hanyangians will need to keep a report of their work in order to submit it to the administrative office of their college later.
Lastly, Hanyangians who enroll in courses related to Business Administration, can fulfill the school’s internship requirement by taking classes for academic credit. Classes such as field training related to one’s major, Capstone Design, and cultural studies about internships and employment are included in this category. When freshmen complete any one of the three types mentioned above, they will have satisfied one of the internship requirement conditions to graduate.
For Whom is the Requirement Intended to Benefit?
When Hanyangians hear the word “internship requirement”, many may think they have to work as an intern at a company during the semester or vacation breaks. However, Sohn Dae-won, Dean of Academic Affairs, defined the internships in a broad sense, stating that the internship experience is an opportunity for the participants to practice in an area of one’s major before getting a real job. “The university does not just limit the program only to working at companies. HYU obliges Hanyangians to participate in internships to nurture their professionalism for their future,” Sohn said.
When questioned about some Hanyangians whose career paths have nothing to do with the internship programs, like those who prepare for national examinations such as the Bar Exam, Professor Sohn answered, “In the case of students who have passed the Preliminary National Bar Examination, HYU will excuse them from having to take the internship courses, deeming them as experts in the areas of their majors already. Again, internship experiences could be good opportunities for all Hanyangians to prepare for being future specialists.”
Professor Sohn added a few more comments regarding some Hanyangians’ opposition to the internship requirement, especially due to lack of communications with them beforehand. “HYU conducted a survey on graduate students to evaluate the previous education curriculums. Through the survey, we recognized the strong demands for practical education that would be useful for graduates when they seek jobs. In accordance with those demands, HYU thought about ways to help students develop their career aptitudes. That is why HYU decided to implement the internship requirement starting from 2013,” he commented.
A Lack of Interaction Between HYU and Hanyangians
“I think that an absence of official communication between Hanyangians and HYU is a serious problem. HYU made the mistake of not considering Hanyangians views on the new requirement beforehand,” said Jung Seung-jee, a Freshman in the College of Policy Science at HYU. In fact, according to the survey by The HJ, 48.1 percent of Hanyangians answered that implementing a policy without taking students’ opinions into consideration is the biggest problem when setting up new requirements.
Another freshman in the College of Social Science at HYU, Kim Hye-jin said, “Apart from the question of whether the internship program will be effective or not, I was confused because I could not find any information about it. I have been trying to find detailed information about it on the HYU homepage, but I still have not found anything.”
As Kim said, the website does not provide specific information about the new internship requirement, but rather only a brief mention. There were no guidelines such as how each college’s students can complete the requirement, what programs are prepared, and how many credits students need to complete. “Especially for freshmen those who are not accustomed to using the HYU homepage yet, HYU should have tried a better way to inform Hanyangians,” Kim added.
Actual Education Needs Interaction
As previously mentioned, in addition to the goal of boosting practical education through the internship requirement, another goal that involves HYU‘s recently reorganized curriculum is developing students’ 3C(Creativity, Communication and Consilience). However, considering that that there was not enough communication between HYU and Hanyangians about the internship requirement, it does not make sense for HYU to achieve this 3C goal, especially in the areas of Communication and Consilience.
Son Ju-hyuong, the President of General Students’ Association stated, “Even though the school claims that the internship requirement have been implemented for the benefit of the students, I have doubts about whether internship requirement launched without any interactions with Hanyangians can be viewed as a sincere policy made for our sake. Only when active communication exists, and not only before such requirement are settled but also after they go into effect, Hanyangians truly will trust HYU and be willing to give such new requirements a try.”