Today: Apr 12, 2024

University helps students find majors

Caitlin O’HalloranReporter

University students are offered a wide variety of help when it comes to choosing a major.

There’s a lot of different things that we’ll do. I mean I always kind of start with a conversation with students and see where their study interests lie primarily,” said Academic Specialist for Major Exploration Britt Conroy.

There are many different services offered on campus to help students lean towards a direction that puts them on the right path to decide their major.

“I came about my major because I work with domestic violence victims each day and I see the support and resources that they need,” said social work major Valerie Stedner, a senior.

On campus, there are eight academic advising centers for students. Each center has advisers and a faculty coordinator. There, they can help students struggling to choose a major or looking for a new major, students going through challenges that affect their academic success, and provide other support if needed, along with many other services.

“One thing I use extensively is the major elimination tool,” said Conroy. “It takes students through a very intentional process of elimination. So, I’ll direct them to this, and we can kind of talk about major or potential major interest based on things, so this is one tool particularly for brand new students or first and second year students, this is really helpful.”

Conroy noted the importance of students understanding that just because they pick their major in one area, does not mean that in the future when looking for jobs, they are solely limited to that one specific area. They can branch off and go into other fields that interest them as well.

The actual process of choosing my major was simple and easy to do,” said special education major Arielle Eighmy, a senior. “My major is special education, and I am graduating this May 2021. I chose this major because I started working with kids who have special needs in high school, and I basically fell in love with the population.”

One new tool that has been added for assistance to students is the schedule planner. This planner allows students to put in courses they are required to take and add their personal obligations like hobbies, sports, family, work and other obligations to offer them a schedule which works around all of those priorities.

I’m available and I want to talk to students about what they are interested in and if they tell me some classes and things or even stuff that they were interested in high school, that can kind of help me point them in a direction of well ‘oh you like your environmental course, well did you know we have environmental systems and sustainability as a major? Oh no’ so then we can check it out,” said Conroy.

On the Inside Southern academic advising website, they offer other resources to students such as academic maps to help plan their schedules, course registration to give them more information on successful registration, degree evaluations to help students navigate through curriculum requirements, help them get an idea of what courses they need to take and when they are estimated to graduate.

Another helpful tool for students is the academic advising center, students shedule an appointment with an adviser for their major. They also offer a same-day advising option where if students have a quick and simple question, they can schedule an appointment between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a quick 20 minute advising meeting.

“I also wanted to help people but never knew in which way,” said Stedner. “Social work is the major I chose because I can truly have an impact in peoples’ lives.”

Photo credit: Roma Rositani

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