Clemson Corner: New degree track blends education, human resources

the Clemson University College of Education has developed a new undergraduate degree program that is the first of its kind to blend aspects of learning sciences, systems improvement sciences and human resource development.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Human Capital Education and Development (HCED) will learn to design effective training, manage organizational change and develop career programs for organizations and communities.

According to Kris Frady, assistant professor in the College of Education, the program distinguishes itself from others in the college because it is not a teacher preparation program and its interdisciplinary nature prepares students for diverse occupational settings across a variety of industries.

“This program combines many of the strengths found in the College’s graduate programs and puts them into an undergraduate package,” Frady said. “It is built to be flexible and adaptable so that graduates can apply it to a variety of fields.”

Frady envisions graduates from this program as human resource development professionals in a manufacturing industry who can develop employees because they “speak the same language” as those workers on the production floor. She sees future organizational improvement specialists in a health care system who are highly effective because they have gained a specialized understanding of how a hospital works.

“These graduates will bring actual solutions to workplace problems along with the theory that informs those solutions,” Frady said.

Faculty designed the program as a hybrid in-person/online program in order to appeal to students across South Carolina and out of state. The last half of the program — roughly 60 hours depending on credits earned before starting the program — will be delivered primarily online along with a residency requirement to attend face-to-face seminars during each of the student’s final four semesters.

In addition to being accessible, the program is also designed to be relevant. part of this is done directly through the curriculum; prior to beginning core and specialized courses, students complete a 15-hour interdisciplinary support area aligned with a fast-growing technical sector such as business, human services, health care, information technology or advanced manufacturing and STEM.

Faculty behind the program consulted multiple industry partners and consultants within and outside of the College to ensure the curriculum would produce employable graduates who would be attractive to a wide variety of industries. College faculty worked with 14 different companies representing a variety of fields, and all reported a need and interest in employing the instructional coordinators, management analysts and training and development managers that the HCED program will churn out.

According to George Petersen, founding dean of the College of Education, the program will serve as a hub connecting education to communities, workforce development and economic prosperity while expanding equity, access and opportunity for all South Carolinians.

For more information on this degree program, contact humancapital@clemson.edu.

Clemson Corner is a bimonthly column on all things Clemson University. From individuals reaching new heights, research breakthroughs and discoveries, or events that can bring us all together, you’ll be able to learn more about the people who make Clemson, Greenville and South Carolina such a special place.

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