[Focus] Sookmyung Women's University's project for fostering human resources customized to social demands

[Focus] 숙명여대 사회수요 맞춤형 인재 양성 프로젝트


In light of the 4th industrial revolution, Sookmyung Women's University is keeping pace with changes such as flexibly changing the school system so that students can practice self-directed learning by designing educational goals and curriculum on their own, and by introducing curricular and extracurricular programs that can increase the competencies required by society regardless of the students’ majors.


Dreaming of a revolutionary school system

“Student-designed major”

Since 2020, Sookmyung Women’s University has launched the “student-designed major” system to foster self-directed and multi-talented human resources. Student-designed major is a type of a multiple major, where instead of completing existing curriculum by department, students can complete their own designed curriculum according to their interests or career path.

A systematized curriculum counseling program, “student-designed major ABC program”, will be added to the student-designed major system. This includes three stages: consulting with an advisor to outline the design of a major (Advisory), provision of materials on detailed majors offered by in-campus faculty and the entire major curricula (Browsing), and consulting with a dedicated counselor who provides practical advice on student-designed majors (Counseling). 



“Self-directed career design project” allows students to create their own curriculum

Sookmyung Women’s University started operating the “self-directed career design project” last year as a part of educational services to develop integration, creativity, autonomy, and introspection, which are important for future society.


Self-directed career design project is a program that allows the students to design their own course for one semester based on their major competencies required for their career. When the student completes the relevant activities and submit the results, the relevant credit is awarded by the program. Students can set educational goals, set up 15-week plans and specific initiatives, and personally liaise with academic advisors. Sookmyung Women's University plans to further expand the range of credit recognition and develop the program into a leading career development program that supports self-directed growth.



School system centered on education consumers

“WISE flexible semester system”

Sookmyung Women’s University launched the “WISE flexible semester system” to apply the social needs of the 4th industrial revolution to the school’s curricula.

WISE flexible semester system is a new school system that allows the students to design their own undergraduate course for one semester. It introduces the Intensive, Exploratory, Growth, and Plus semester system into the formalized education system of 4 years of schooling comprised of 8 semesters.

The “Intensive semester system” divides one semester of an undergraduate course comprised of 15 weeks into intensive first and second half semesters comprised of 8 weeks each. The “Plus semester system” is an innovative program that allows students and students on leave of absence to earn credit by attending large-scale online public classes (MOOC). The “Exploratory semester system” also provides reassurance as it provides career search and competency development for new students, career curriculum per major, and extracurricular programs. Students are also attracted by the “Growth semester system,” which integrates curriculum with onsite training for experiencing industrial practice, startup semester for an entrepreneurial challenge based on their own ideas, and student-designed semester.



Fostering creative problem-solving skills

Converged curriculum system such as “converged liberal arts curriculum” and “converged capstone design curriculum”

Capstone design classes, which cultivate creative problem-solving skills, have been expanded. Sookmyung Women's University introduced capstone design classes to regular courses since 2014 and expanded to a total of 51 subjects last year. 

The “converged liberal arts curriculum” comprises of courses that provide the students with an edge to become the leaders of the 4th industrial revolution such as creative humanities and arts, creative design learning through origami, the world of coding with Arduino, and my own 3D printing.

The “converged capstone design curriculum” is a curriculum for performing tasks that require two or more professional knowledge derived from industry or society to cultivate practical skills, teamwork, and leadership skills for converged tasks.


Sookmyung Women’s University plans to create and reform such future-oriented school systems and operate various educational and innovative programs to help students accumulate the necessary competencies through self-motivation and spirit of challenge. Through this, the school plans to contribute toward the happiness and growth of the students, and provide the best efforts and support to nurture prepared human resources that society demands.