Like piranha streaking toward a fleshy human leg in the Amazon River, colleges and universities in 2018 are engaged in a frenzied search for degree programs that will guarantee students a successful financial future. To be sure, the schools’ torrid romance with the MBA seems to be cooling. Unless you obtain that credential from an elite institution, pretty much all you’ll get from your MBA these days is the assurance that you’ll be promoted from your daytime cashier job at Taco Bell to the position of drive-thru manager for the midnight-to-6:00-am shift. It’s hardly worth it.
But watch out, here comes Chokecherry College. A small liberal arts institution located outside of Wheeling, West Virginia, it will launch the nation’s first M. A. Program in Shoplifting in the fall of 2018. According to Chokecherry President Nisbet L. Fwitz, “this is — literally — a hands-on program that will provide students with real-world skills. It’s not a program for kids born into entitled networks that connect them with the spoiled spawn of their rich brethren. This is a program for the rest of us, the ones who are just one forged prescription away from opiod addiction.”
The Shoplifting program is interdisciplinary, and will prepare students to enter the fast-growing, multi-billion-dollar field of customer-initiated retail theft. The curriculum includes:
PHILOSOPHY 604 Situational Ethics
METALLURGY 617 Tin-Foiling Your Tote Bag
ARCHITECTURE 743 Introduction to Retail Floor Plans and Air-Conditioning-Duct Escape Routes
FASHION 532 The Getaway Sneaker: Current Topics in Pivot Design
FINANCE 511 Pawn Shop or eBay? Selling What You Pilfer
THEATER 310 Interacting with Security Guards: Alibis and the Oral Tradition (cross-listed with the Communications 428)
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 594 Posting Bail: Cash, Check, Money Order, or Barter?
LEGAL STUDIES 424 Securing an Attorney: Evaluating Ads on the Sides of Buses
PSYCHOLOGY 681 Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Developing Intimate Relationships in Prison (online only)
INTERNSHIP 701 Convenience Stores
INTERNSHIP 702 Shopping Malls and Big-Box Venues
INTERNSHIP 703 High-End Retail Establishments
“We’re especially proud of our three-semester internship program,” Fwitz notes. “Students will learn the basics of grab-and-go in convenience stores like 7-Eleven, and then move on to low-risk shopping malls. Finally, they will participate in our Midtown Manhattan program, which includes such prestigious sites as Tiffany’s, Prada, Bulgari, and Hermès.”
All program faculty have at least 10 years of shoplifting experience, and 40% have served time in prison. “These folks know the field, inside and out,” Fwitz asserts. “Let other colleges train the next generation of front-desk reception clerks at the Marriott. At Chokecherry, we’re providing graduates with rewarding careers right from the start.”
The Revenge of the 99% has begun.