Expo held to connect students with majors and faculty departments
Anisa Jibrell – News Writer
An expo was held in the Adanti Student Center ballroom on Wednesday, Oct. 15 to familiarize students with available majors, and to give students a chance to connect with various faculty departments. A connection that Christine Barrett, associate director of academic career advisement, said is sometimes difficult to form.
“It can sometimes be hard when you’re running from class to class and trying to connect with a faculty member whose office hours don’t match your class schedule hours,” said Barrett. “The expo really provides an opportunity for students to have a connection to the department.”
The main purpose of the expo was to provide students with a solid understanding of what programs offer, and how those programs might tie into their career goals, according to assistant director of academic advisement, Peter Leung.
“We have a significant number students that are undeclared, so this day is really for them to declare a major and really figure out the direction, especially in this advisement period,” said Leung.
Choosing the right degree program to fit personal career goals can be a daunting task for some, but Barrett seeks to remove the stigma that a major determines a student’s future career goal.
“I was a media theory major. I worked in marketing for like, ten years and now I have a masters in counseling and I work in advisement, so your undergraduate major does not necessarily dictate what your career track will be,” said Barrett.
Assistant professor of sociology, Alan Brown, said when students ask him what they can do with a degree in sociology, his response is, “what can’t you do with a degree in sociology?”
“It’s a problem-solving, critical thought kind of major, “ said Brown, “not to put down my colleagues in engineering. It’s not about building a better mousetrap, it’s about thinking, why would we have the mousetrap in the first place?”
Leung said the day is more so to find a direction to avoid taking the wrong classes that might not fit with the major that a student may want later—that way students can graduate on time. For example, some degrees require certain math classes that are not accepted by other degrees.
“Only 17.3% of SCSU students graduate from the university on-time (two or four years depending on the degree), but 43.7% do eventually graduate,” according to CollegeFactual.com a website that uses customizable tools and outcomes-based ranking systems to aid students in the college selection process.
During her State of the University address earlier this month, President Mary A. Papazian announced that as a part of the student success initiative, Southern will be examining the alignment of general requirements and quality advisement—areas that prove to be obstacles.
Freshman education major, Melanie Rodriguez, said she found the expo to be informational and helpful, and that there were many people willing to help her figure out her direction.
“I explored more major options. I was thinking anthropology with a minor in forensic science or a minor in English,” said Rodriguez. “It widens your horizons on what you want to do.”
Jon P. Bloch, professor of sociology, said it is good to see that students are curious yet serious about their search for a career.
“In today’s world, a lot of people say the younger generation is lazy and that they want everything handed to them, and I think this expo shows that that’s not the case,” said Bloch. “The new generation is dynamic, and ambitious, and action oriented, and goal oriented.”
Photo Credit: Anisa Jibrell – News Writer
HEADER PHOTO: From right to left: Assistant Professor Alan Brown and Professor of Sociology, Jon P. Bloch