Summer 2008 | Volume 2, Issue 2
New Major Has Global Impact
What motivates students today? For many, it's the desire for financial security. But in a 2007 USA Today report about student goals, one-third of respondents, ages 16 to 25, indicated that their top goal is to help people who are in need.
That's not surprising, according to Ruth Adams, Seattle Pacific University's registrar and director of Student Academic Services. "This generation of students has grown up watching people give," says Adams. "They've watched people go and help after events such as the Indonesian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. So they naturally want to do the same."
In fact, from building houses in impoverished nations to feeding the hungry at local food banks, SPU students are already out there, in the real world, applying their energy and their passion to help. And now they want to learn how to do it better.
"Students kept talking with me about their various projects and passions, and requesting self-designed majors to tackle their specific interests," says Kathleen Braden, SPU professor of geography. "Suddenly a light bulb went on for me."
The result of Braden's "ah-ha moment" is a new major called "global development studies." Set to begin Autumn Quarter 2008, the major will blend classes from several academic disciplines -- including business, theology, global health, and geography -- with practical application through internships.
"This major is a first step in SPU's global education initiative," says Braden. "It will give students the kinds of skills CEOs of nonprofit corporations want their employees to have. And it will involve students in Seattle-based companies that are helping on an international level."
Discover how SPU's newest academic major will equip students to change the world.
There's Only One Option
Though she majors in educational ministry and minors in business, junior Kelly Hogan learned a valuable lesson from her theology professors, changing her life forever.
"They showed me that I have two options when it comes to my faith," says Hogan. "I can be comfortable and live for myself, or challenge myself to think of others first."
A native of Littleton, Colorado, Hogan has chosen the second option. While earning her degree, Hogan keeps deeply involved in global-justice issues, including ending human trafficking and providing education to the poorest of India's poor.
Read about Kelly Hogan's journey of involvement.
Meet Jobe Korb-Nice
Jobe Korb-Nice, director of undergraduate admissions at SPU, has been helping prospective students and families for the past seven years.
He says his favorite role is to share SPU's mission of engaging the culture and changing the world with as many people as possible -- especially with busy high school students who are already making a difference in their communities.
As a father of two, Korb-Nice knows firsthand the concerns parents have for their students' futures. He and his staff work hard to help families prepare their students for early success in high school and college.
Learn more about Jobe Korb-Nice and what he says students should do next in the admission process.
Take a Year Off?
Should students take a year off after graduation? Jacqui Smith-Bates, director of the Career Development Center, offers the following benefits of "taking a break" before graduate school or that first full-time job.
- Taking time to travel and work in another city, state, or country can provide valuable insights and experiences, and solidify career goals.
- Time off can help a student establish residency in another state and gain tuition breaks for graduate school.
- A graduate can "give back" to society (and forgive loans) through programs such as the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and AmeriCorps.
For more pros (and even some cons) regarding taking a year off, visit the parents and families website.