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Do Interdisciplinary Studies Promote Collaboration Between Professionals
All academic disciplines share a common and primary commitment to serving the society and working toward the ideal of education for all. Although each discipline has its own focus, the scope of collaboration and exchange existing among university students is today acknowledged by professors, organizations, and the society in general, as a prerequisite practice in a person's educational effort and as the necessary step one has to take before pursuing any type of career.
Collaboration emanates from the understanding and appreciation of the roles and contributions each student brings to the overall academic experience. This article argues that the professional socialization an individual will have to demonstrate at some point in life is a direct outcome of this individual's ability to be engaged in a flourishing academic relationship with others inside or outside a class. Being able to work with a variety of people so as to attain a common goal is the first step for someone to demonstrate and advance the qualities and skills that will later be used in the development of a career. The success of a soon-to-be professional is linked with the educational and practical experiences this person receives while in school. Thus, it is rather logical for a researcher to assume that the greater the discrepancy in students' backgrounds is and the more diverse the disciplines one studies are the more productive the academic exchange will be. Contemporary interdisciplinary programs offer the advantages of both.
These past two decades have been a time of robust reform in education. From multidisciplinary education, academic institutions have begun to embrace interdisciplinary educational methods and practices. Multidisciplinary education and practice occur when several disciplines work in parallel, often with independent goals. In contrast, interdisciplinary education may include a variety of study disciplines that collaborate through joint planning, decision-making and goal-setting. Scholars support that students should be educated in an environment that provides such interdisciplinary educational experiences and these are based on mutual understanding and respect and are designed to enhance the student's academic background and future professional role. But in order to succeed in establishing such a flourishing environment for the interested parties, universities have to evaluate the outcome of their efforts frequently and systematically.
Being a vital component of any educational endeavor, the evaluation stage of an interdisciplinary program is considered to be imperative for its ability to assist students, who will soon be entering the world of non-profit or for-profit organizations, to understand the extend and improve the level of collaboration they experience. Thus, it is of immense importance for university administrators to assess the results of their departments' interdisciplinary approaches and use them to advance their curriculum, which will become the base of their students' professional performance.
Numerous social studies have suggested that when collaboration is enhanced between members, the actual delivery of knowledge is facilitated and a student's performance is tremendously improved. Promoting the advantages of teamwork through the universities' contemporary academic practices can prove to be quite useful for a young professional that will be asked to participate in meetings, prepare and present the outcomes of his department to stakeholders and maintain a high level of constant exchange as part of a successful professional life.
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