A distinctive academic environment
Otemae College's Department of Life Design is a new style of academic department that was officially recognized as a community studies department* in 2003. The new department is characterized by its support for a diverse array of learning styles wherein students are permitted to choose their subjects freely without the need to select a major or a particular course. This means that students can design their own individual curriculum to best suit their own individual needs. We call this our Customizable Unit-based Elective System. This system has proven very popular amongst prospective students and classes are regularly filled to capacity. The Customizable Unit-based Elective System is also notable for its ability to respond to the needs of students and the local community by going beyond the bounds of conventional academic fields and by allowing the creation of new subjects. We currently provide a varied choice of academic disciplines including fashion business studies such as apparel, bridal fashion, and cosmetics; architecture and interiors; essential modern skills such as business and computers; social welfare; food culture; and confectionary, art, and other fields that aim to simultaneously develop students' sensibilities and techniques. The most distinctive characteristic of our academic program is the flexibility it grants students in selecting and combining fields of study to create their very own tailor-made curriculums.
*Community studies department (chiiki sougouka gakka): A collective term used to describe new kinds of academic departments within Japanese junior colleges that offer a diverse range of subjects and courses without restriction to a specific field. These classes are matched with a flexible selection process and varied forms of study, which strive to meet the diverse needs of both high school graduates and the wider community, for example through the recurrent education of adult students and through meeting community demand for lifelong learning.