Why HSC 4700 Senior Seminar is not a necessary class


Why HSC 4700 Senior Seminar is not a necessary class


As a Health Science major, the majority of the courses we take teach us about the different aspects of the healthcare field. Getting your bachelor’s degree in health science gives you the opportunity to work in the health field. It gives you an opportunity to work in departments such as disease and injury prevention, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and also gives an individual the opportunity to work in their communities to improve the health of their given community. I have my bachelor’s degree in Health Science option Community Health and have taken many classes where I learned a lot. As a part of the health science degree, we are required to take one class which is HSC 4700 Senior Seminar class, and that class focuses on creating a portfolio. I strongly believe HSC 4700 should be removed from the required courses for the Health Science degree due to three main reasons including what employers want in medical practice, the outlook of advanced degrees in health sciences, and insignificance of academic material that is not published.

HSC 4700 senior seminar was a course that involved creating a portfolio of all the papers done throughout the years, Which I believe was not a necessary course. Creating a portfolio for academic papers is good to have, but actually ever using that portfolio in the future chances are not so likely because once out in the real world, employers look at your past experiences. Employers do not read your academic papers, all they care about are internships you have done, and how your experiences in the past will help them be a part of their team. If this class is removed many students will benefit because this way students are able to take another elective course where they can learn a new set of skills, and that will benefit them more in the long term.

Employability and HSC 4700

In general, employers look for experience when vetting potential candidate for jobs. This is also the case in health sciences where first time job seekers get their chances of employability elevated if they have had experiences before including internships or volunteer positions. Therefore, the broader outlook of studies in college, besides theoretical education, should be to create avenues and platforms that supplement the practice experience students have as a way of transitioning them into the job market. Hora, Wolfgram and Thompson (2017) support the idea that internships, work-study programs and volunteer opportunities should be prioritised as they help students increase employability, achieve better academic outcomes and have solid foundation in regard to the career they choose to pursue. In this sense therefore, a class that does not add considerable value in technical academic theory or as in practice should not be part of the syllabus. A critical assessment of the HSC 4700 senior seminar shows little benefits in building up students from a theoretical learning perspective and in practice in the form described by Wolfgram and Thompson (2017). This is because while it involves creating a portfolio of papers written over the years, the individual classes from which these papers belong already instilled the theoretical knowledge required to qualify for an academic degree in health sciences.

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Secondly, HSC 4700 senior seminar does not add value to students in light of transition to higher education. In the U.S., there is low enrollment into graduate studies especially by American students. Evidence by Wingfield (2017) shows that in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, over 55% of graduate students are international. The reasons cited for low enrollment in these graduate programs is that domestic students already have high chances of career success with their bachelor’s degree and also it would not be a rational decision by most students to pursue another degree while still owing thousands in student debt (Wingfield, 2017). The pursuit of graduate studies in the U.S. by students from local schools is thus shrinking. If HSC 4700 senior seminar is thus meant to prepare students for higher level of academic study, it is not relevant since very few students are likely to get to graduate studies. The course would therefore be beneficial if it was preparing students to practice in the field of health sciences in the U.S. as this is the choice a majority of students would make.

HSC 4700 Falls Short

Additionally, even with the argument that HSC 4700 senior seminar is preparing students for higher level studies later in their careers, it still falls short as it does not offer any academic credentials beyond the degree. In academic fields, at graduate and postgraduate levels, publishing articles or research in books, journals or periodicals is the only credential that supports a student’s career. According to Horta and Santos (2016), publishing in the academic world positively affects the publisher’s visibility, accords them collaborations and enhances their chances of knowledge generation in their careers. A critical view of publishing in this case is thus getting recognised as an academic and gaining respect as one pursues graduate studies. The portfolio created under HSC 4700 senior seminar is not published and hence it is irrelevant in terms of gaining career success in academic work.  This is in addition to the fact that the its contribution to the theoretical work recognised in the degree certificate is little. Overall, therefore, the class is not necessary in both undergraduate and graduate level academic credentials.

Works Cited

Hora, M., Wolfgram, M., & Thompson, S. (2017). What do we know about the impact of internships on student outcomes. Results from a preliminary review of the scholarly and practitioner literatures.

Wingfield, N. (2017). The Disappearing American Grad Student. Retrieved 13 May 2020, from

Horta, H., & Santos, J. M. (2016). The impact of publishing during PhD studies on career research publication, visibility, and collaborations. Research in Higher Education, 57(1), 28-50.

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