New DASSH diploma sells students on employable skills

Program takes note of the criticisms made to social sciences and humanities


Reported by Mathilda de Villiers

Langara College has launched a new diploma program and it is the only one of its kind in the country.

The Diploma in Applied Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH) aspires to prepare students with an employable skill set and the traditional theoretical knowledge about social sciences and humanities. The program is composed of numerous social sciences and humanities courses and two main applied components including an electronic portfolio and an opportunity for students to work alongside an organization in the field as part of their last course in the program.

Program prepares students for the workforce

Laura Cullen, division chair of social sciences, said students “will also acquire the ‘soft’ skills employers look for these days, for example, teamwork, communication, presentation skills, research, and problem-solving.”

Program coordinator for DASSH Colin Mills, said that he is excited about the future of the program.

“The idea with [it] is providing not only the social sciences and humanities but applicable usable skills that students can take with them,” Mills said. He said those skills are important to enhance the student’s employability.

The program is only in its early stages and already has 30 applicants for next year. Mills expects that number to keep growing.

John Russell, a philosophy instructor at Langara, came up with the idea four years ago. “I wanted to design a program that would answer the criticisms that were being made to social sciences and humanities,” Russell said.

It was only when Russell and Mills were put in touch with one another that the program became a reality. “It wouldn’t have happened if Colin and I hadn’t been put together,” Russell said.

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