If you spend time around the students, faculty, and staff at the College of Charleston North Campus, you’re likely to hear the word “pracademic” used to describe the School of Professional Studies, and more specifically, the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree.
A pracademic is a person who is both an academic and an active practitioner in their subject area. Also, a pracademic is sometimes referred to as a practical academic.
According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, “pracademics are those that communicate, collaborate, and strategize on both the academic campus and in the practice field.”
The instructors in the BPS program are industry experts. Most of them have worked in their specialized field and done very well. But, in addition, they are aware of the academic content and the importance of research and critical thinking.
For example, Dr. Nancy Muller, Associate Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Coordinator of the Healthcare and Medical Services Management program, has her PhD and MBA, but is also a seasoned executive with 21 years of experience in the healthcare sector. She has extensive credentials in both the academic world and the business world. She is a pracademic.
Students in the BPS program are taught by wonderful instructors just like Dr. Muller.
Project Management student Shain Vogelsong noted that his capstone instructor has several certifications, and as an adult learner, that was important to him.
“I really like my professor. I was doing some research on him and he has all of these certifications, which is great because if you are going to be learning something, why not learn from the best,” Vogelsong said. “He knows what it takes to do project management. We don’t sit there and do things by the book. He makes us think about the why. He challenges us.”
There are several fields in which pracademic instructors are especially helpful, and one of those sectors is management.
A certain level of experience in management is needed to understand the complexity and context of management practice. But, these pracademic instructors also have an understanding of the practical, day-to-day problems that should be addressed through academic practices like research and collaboration.
These instructors are preparing their students with the real-world knowledge and applicable skills, but also providing students with the tools to think critically and analytically about problem solving.