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Widening the Spread of Education: SNU Extension College

May 07, 2020

SNU Extension College Staff: Park Junhee, So Seungmin, Park Jiyeon, Choi Seung-eui, Bae Eun-ah, Kim Sin-ae, Song Woojeong
SNU Extension College Staff: Park Junhee, So Seungmin, Park Jiyeon, Choi Seung-eui, Bae Eun-ah, Kim Sin-ae, Song Woojeong

Opening the doors of learning both on- and offline

2020 marks the ten-year anniversary of the SNU Extension College. While it first offered exclusively online courses, the institute has gradually expanded its curriculum to include offline courses that are accessible to members of the general public. The Extension College has recently collaborated with local governments, including Gwanak-gu and Pyeongchang-gun to give students the freedom to carry out their education in these “lifelong learning” centers. Pyeongchang-gun, for example, hosts lectures to improve expertise in agriculture, and it offers a systemized curriculum to residents of its underprivileged areas.

In a society that is changing day by day, educators must be flexible and creative in developing content, conducting surveys and pre-analyses before opening classes for a diverse range of non-traditional students. Throughout this process, however, the Extension College has maintained lofty academic standards in building its programs, with a goal of providing useful education for people who come to the Extension College with a desire to learn. “The main criteria is to ensure that the objectives of the teacher are matched to the needs of the learner,” one Extension College representative said.

The institute comprises the Department of Professional Education, the Department of Civil Education, and the Department of Planning and Cooperation. The Department of Professional Education, for example, hosts programs to increase job competency, such as training courses for Korean language teachers and professional music teachers. Professional qualification courses are in particularly high demand.

Other popular courses include those tailored to high school students looking to explore their academic interests. In taking classes in their favorite subjects with SNU professors who are experts in the field, high school students are able to focus and deepen their academic passions, while getting a head start in the college admissions process, and in exploring their future career options.

Opportunities for growing sharing in Parents, Citizens, and the Youth

In addition to SNU faculty-led civil education courses open to the general public, the Department of Civil Education offers a unique Youth Vacation Program, which provides young people opportunities to explore their career interests in communication with their parents. One course in this program, “Communication Camp for Parents and Children,” offers strategies for families facing communication barriers to learn ways to speak, listen and open up to each other. Students who take these courses often go on to become SNU Extension College mentors.

Extension College teachers feel a great sense of gratification when students who have taken classes in the institution go on to find fulfilment in their life and careers, in whatever path they end up following.

For many instructors, the true significance of sharing knowledge -- and of the SNU ideal -- is revealed when giving educational opportunities to a diverse student body that extends far beyond the boundaries of the traditional campus.

As one instructor put it: “Those who teach at SNU bear both pride and a sense of responsibility. We feel that it is our mission to share knowledge, and we will carry it out.”

Source: SNU People
Written by Yu Young Jin, SNU English Editor coin1234@snu.ac.kr
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, tlsmith@snu.ac.kr