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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Retail Industry

Can You Hear Me Now? Developing New Courses in Response to Industry Needs


The primary mission of the University of South Carolina is to educate the state's diverse citizens, providing all students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills and values necessary for success. Toward that end, the Department of Retailing is working to better prepare its graduates for management positions in the retailing industry. Many of the 28 million Americans working in the retailing field hold positions that include multiple aspects of loss prevention and risk management.  Both industry practitioners and academia agree on the importance of retail managers being educated and informed regarding current issues in risk management. In fact, our industry partners have articulated a general need for more instruction in this area.

The new undergraduate retailing course Loss Prevention for Retailers (RETL 330), developed in collaboration with various industry partners, incorporates integrative learning processes, providing students with important experiences and skills they need to be prepared for and competitive in the retailing industry. The collaborative process used to develop this course is significant because it can easily be adopted by numerous departments across the USC campuses in their efforts to update and enhance the curriculum.

About the Facilitator

Karen Edwards is the Faculty Associate Director for Distributed Learning Pedagogy at the University's Center for Teaching Excellence. She is also is a senior instructor in the Department of Retailing, where she teaches retail- and law-related courses in both online and face-to-face formats. Through USC's Center for Teaching Excellence, she develops and facilitates workshops and individualized coaching on effective teaching techniques and other issues affecting higher education. Ms. Edwards is certified by Quality Matters® to review and assess the quality of online courses offered by higher education institutions. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and her Bachelor's degree from Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina.

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