Academic Plan—Multidisciplinary Studies
- Theme: Entrepreneurship and Healthy Living
- Subjects of Focus: Entrepreneurship, Communication/English, Nutrition/Kinesiology
I plan to utilize my Multidisciplinary Studies Degree to run my own business that will entail providing various events and or classes addressing the topics of Nutrition and Kinesiology for the sake of “Healthy Living.”
For the Nutrition component, I plan to connect local growers with my students so they can have access to locally grown, fresh, healthy produce. I will also teach my students simple gardening techniques to utilize in growing their own fresh nutritious produce. The food science class on my plan complements the nutrition courses well since this class explores food, nutrition, and agricultural issues. More knowledge about growing healthy produce will surely help my “Healthy Living” business. Further, I will provide my students with recipes and cooking techniques in order to utilize fresh produce for healthy meals.
The Nutrition course I have selected will provide the foundation of nutritional expertise to use in designing events and or classes teaching proper nutrition for healthy living.
For the Kinesiology component, I will teach my students some simple exercise techniques that they can use to fit exercise into their daily lives. These techniques will focus on exercises that can be done at home or in my students’ neighborhoods so as to stop the argument: “I don’t have time or money for the gym.”
The Kinesiology classes I take will provide a knowledge base in the area of the science of fitness evaluation and fitness management. This fitness knowledge base will enable me to teach my students how to self-evaluate their fitness levels and synthesize a simple home-based fitness program tailored to their individual fitness needs.
The Entrepreneurship component of my degree is necessary to provide me with the entrepreneurial business skills I will need to design and implement an effective, sustainable “Healthy Living” business. The selected entrepreneurial classes will provide me with fundamentals such as financing and growing a new business, skills much needed when I plan to start and grow a new venture after degree completion.
The Communications, English, and Business Administration classes are necessary for effective communication skills in business and teaching. These selected courses will prepare me for effective business communication with the varied people I will deal with, whether they are vendors, colleagues, or customers. I will also learn effective communication through advertising, and develop the successful communication of my teaching topics orally and in media or print, utilizing modern technological business techniques. In this modern world, a business professional must be able to communicate effectively using the technology available to us. Without solid communication skills, I will not be able to finance my business or offer my classes which will teach “Healthy Living” through nutritious eating and simple achievable exercise.
I am absolutely thankful and excited for the Multidisciplinary Studies degree program. My post baccalaureate goals do not lend themselves to a “traditional” degree program that focuses on one narrow field of study. Entrepreneurial classes alone would not prepare me with the Nutrition and Kinesiology backgrounds I need in order to create my business venture teaching “Healthy Living” to people of all ages in my community. I saw the traditional college majors as limiting to me and incomplete for my educational goals, since I have specific goals of running a specific type of business. I need the flexibility the Multidisciplinary Studies degree offers in order to be educated in each facet of my theme so that my specialized end goal business, “Healthy Living” will be possible upon completion of my degree. It is truly amazing that the Multidisciplinary Studies degree exists.
Primary Areas of Coursework
Theory/Application (3 credits): KINES 303 (3 credits) Emergency Care – First Aid/Safety/AED
I will obtain proficiencies to become a certified First Responder in CPR/AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and trained in the American Red Cross - National Safety Council First Aid and Safety course of study. My “Healthy Living” business will include a component of simple exercise training, so it is essential that I have first aid training in the event that a medical problem or emergency should arise.
Communication Skills (3 credits): BA 321 (3 credits) Contemporary Skills for Business Professionals
This course builds a strong foundation of presentation skills for the business professional. It focuses on written, oral, and multimedia communication using modern technological techniques for sound business practice. I will develop skills as an individual and a team member who utilizes face-to-face and virtual modes of communication in the business world. I will gain valuable skills with hardware and software as well as expertise in the varied roles of team members. Technology is in every business these days in some way, so I must be prepared with the skills needed to use technology effectively to advertise, converse, and connect with my customers, colleagues, employees and vendors.
Research Methods/Projects (3 credits): KINES 61 (3 Credits) Fitness Theory and Practice
I will gain understanding in the science of fitness and wellness and use this knowledge to be able to design and implement fitness plans based on individual needs. My post degree goal of a “Healthy Living” business will definitely include teaching my students about fitness and wellness and help them to create and manage their own fitness plans.
Critical Analysis (3 credits): COMM 205 (3 Credits) Gender Diversity and the Media
This class will be very necessary for me when I need to select effective advertising for my business. This class helps one critically analyze, understand and utilize information dealing with diversity issues in the media. After learning about the relationship the media has with gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, and class diversity, I will be able to successfully design advertising best suited for my customers.
400 –Level Courses (15 credits)
ENTR 400 (3 Credits) Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures
This course will give me the knowledge and skills needed to finance entrepreneurial businesses which will have some different characteristics than traditional businesses such as ways to finance and value a said entrepreneurial business. This information and skill set is imperative to helping me obtain financing for my “Healthy Living” business and deal with financial based requirements.
ENTR 430 (3 Credits) Entrepreneurship New Product Development
This course will guide me through the process of designing a new product and getting this new product truly ready to sell to the consumer. As a part of my “Healthy Living Business,” I will undoubtedly want to sell products that enhance the “Healthy Living” theme. For instance, I may want to create a “Healthy Living Cookbook” that incorporates the healthy recipes I utilize in my business. This class will prepare me to supplement my business with the creation of healthy-themed products to sell to my customers.
ENGL 496 (6 Credits) Independent Study CAPSTONE: ENGLISH and NUTRITION
This 6-credit research class will incorporate both my themes of English and Nutrition. I will be guided and evaluated by Dr. Sandra Petrulionis as I work with Community Studies Coordinator Tom Shaffer and Katrina Weakland (AmeriCorps background) to address the local Altoona food system. I will continue my work started in ENGL 202D, focused on creating a portfolio of the local fresh food producers of the greater Altoona area. This portfolio will be valuable as I assist Tom Shaffer and Katrina Weakland to connect Altoona producers with consumers, and address concerns of equity and food access, in the local area. Tom Shaffer and Katrina Weakland work in collaboration with Community-based Studies staff at Penn State Altoona and the existing Altoona community-based local food system. Assisting with this work is the Iowa State University Local Food System training program. Connecting food producers directly to consumers is a major focus for my “Healthy Living” business. Healthy food travels only a short distance from the farm to the consumer table.
HIST 492 (3 Credits) Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: NUTRITION FOCUS
Dr. Andrews will guide me through historical nutrition research, over and above what he already incorporates into this course. His course incorporates researching the elements of traditional nutrition: why people chose the food they ate and how they came into the knowledge that guided their choices. The course discusses food as both a source of nutrition and also as a source of healing. One book on the course reading list is, “100 Million Years of Food: What our ancestors ate and why it matters today. This course reinforces the nutrition information provided by my FDSC 105 Food Science class and my ANTHR 120 First Farmers class. I have learned that humans were the healthiest when humans were hunter-gatherers. Hunter-gatherers exercised daily and ate mostly plant-based food. The current “Paleo-Diet” uses this historical research. This historical nutrition information is imperative as a basis for choosing healthy foods in the modern world. I can use this research to help my students understand why consuming plant-based foods and doing simple daily exercise is best for healthy living.
Additional Select (9 Credits)
NUTR 251 (3 Credits) Introductory Principles of Nutrition
This additional course is needed as a prerequisite course for NUTR445 and NUTR446 in that it lays the basic foundation for the study of nutrient food sources and physiological functions of these nutrients that are used throughout the human lifecycle. It also addresses current nutritional health concerns such as obesity and heart disease. Nutritional meal planning and implementation is one of the two main focuses in my goal of running a “Healthy Living” business. This course provides a much-needed base of nutrition instruction.
FDSC 105 (3 Credits)
As a part of my Entrepreneurship and Healthy Living coursework, this course explores nutrition, and agriculture issues and policies. Topics in FDSC 105 deal with the production and consumption of nutritious food, and how sound nutrition behaviors and exercise can help a person lead a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. Since part of my “Healthy Living” business goal is to help teach clients how to grow and utilize their own produce as part of a healthier lifestyle, as well as connect clients to local produce growers, a course that explores nutrition, and agricultural topics, will fit right in with my Multidisciplinary Studies plan. My “Healthy Living“ business goal also includes helping clients to use sound nutrition and exercise behaviors to aid in living the most healthful life they can. FDSC 105 will be a wealth of nutrition, agriculture, and exercise information that ties so directly in with my other coursework.
ENTR 300 (3 Credits) Principles of Entrepreneurship
This course gives an overview of the foundations of entrepreneurship (starting with the correct spelling) including generating a business idea and assessing its viability. This course is a prerequisite for ENTR 400 Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures, a course vital to my eventual business of “Healthy Living.”
Senior Capstone ENGL 496 (3 of the 6 Credits)
See description of course above
Career and/or Academic Goals
Again, thankfully, the Multidisciplinary Studies Degree program exists to help students such as myself to attain specific educational goals that are not wholly fulfilled by traditional degree plans. Upon Multidisciplinary Studies degree completion at Penn State Altoona, with the theme of “Entrepreneurship and Healthy Living”, I will plan, implement, manage, and grow a successful and profitable entrepreneurial venture that will focus on nutritious eating fostered by the continual use of fresh produce and daily, simple home-based exercise. This venture is especially important to me as I want to make sure my family and I live a healthy lifestyle, and further, I want to pass on the paramount, important drive for people to take part in being healthy and fit. Our world is so busy and getting busier and we are all guilty in some way of not putting personal health and well-being at the top of our “TO-DO” lists.