Evolution of major reflected in name change
July 12, 2021
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The Consumer Journalism major in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences has been changed to Social Entrepreneurship for Consumer Well-being, effective fall semester 2021. 

The change was first presented to FACS administration and stakeholders by a group of undergraduate students who engaged in a rigorous study of the major two years ago involving alumni, faculty and employers of past graduates.

The group recommended the new name as it more accurately reflects the evolution of a major that prepares students for careers focused on enhancing consumer well-being. 

“Students choose this major because they want to address opportunities that promote well-being for individuals, families, communities and society,” said Dee Warmath, assistant professor in the department of financial planning, housing and consumer economics. “At its core, this major is about how you use design thinking and strategic storytelling to make a difference.”

The student-driven name change reflects the experiential learning and innovative spirit of the major, as well as students’ educational and professional career goals. 

“This evolution in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences reflects a broader movement under way at the University of Georgia, a movement to expand entrepreneurship and to build a vibrant innovation ecosystem across campus,” said Kyle Tschepikow, who leads UGA’s Innovation District initiative.  “Entrepreneurship, design thinking, strategic storytelling—these are the skills our students need to become innovative leaders, problem solvers and change agents.”

The major offers four core classes: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship, Strategic Storytelling, Social Impact Communication, and a Social Entrepreneurship Capstone. These courses are accompanied by 15+ credit hours selected from courses across the university that reflect the substantive area in which the student plans to work. 

“Although each student's classes and applications of the major will be unique, social entrepreneurs set out to solve consumer problems using a human-centered process and an open mind,” said Leah Greenberg, one of the students who drove the name change in 2019. “To me, one of the main draws of the major is the flexibility to choose your own focus areas to achieve your desired goals, and I think the new major name embodies the possibilities.”

Social Entrepreneurship for Consumer Well-being welcomes students who have a vision for the future and are ready to learn about how they can turn that vision into a reality, said Sheri Worthy, FACS associate dean for academic programs.

“Innovation to promote well-being is built into the DNA of FACS, and Social Entrepreneurship for Consumer Well-being gives students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and experience to design, implement and evaluate innovative approaches that allow them to make a difference in the world around them,” Worthy said. 

The University System of Georgia approved the name change on June 21.

This article was written by FACS student Maddy Tillery