Pick your mind to pick your major

Kati Campbell

The Student Advising Center has been hosting a 45+ Program throughout the semester to help advise students who have earned 45 credits and are still unable to pick a major.

These students must attend an adviser-led program or holds will be placed on their transcripts. Advisers discuss with groups of students the issues they have to overcome in order to declare a major.

“I find out what their needs are first,” academic adviser Bruce Mitchell Jr. said. “Then I’m able to provide them with resources that may prove to be beneficial or useful to them.”

The program begins with the students introducing themselves and explaining why they are there.

“I was lazy and never went to class,” said sophomore exploratory major Andrew Polansky, who has more than 45 credit hours . “My GPA isn’t high enough.”

Many students face this problem when trying to declare a major. The advisers are there to explore other options with the students in order to help them succeed and set goals for their future.

“I’m 0.01 away from the grade-point average I need to declare my major,” sophomore exploratory major Meghan Collins said. “Even though I’m really close to my GPA, it’s still beneficial to me to hear what he has to say.”

Advisers want the students to take the initiative to step forward on their own by realizing what appeals to them.

“There are nurses who make an impact on you, and then there are nurses who say, ‘Here’s your medicine – goodbye,'” Collins said. “Same with teachers.”

Advisers ask the students to decide what they want their first career to be. A lot of students get carried away thinking about what they will do for the rest of their lives. Advisers make it less stressful and explain most people have many jobs in their lifetime.

“Many students think, ‘I have to choose my major – this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life,'” academic adviser Maria Robertson said. “When you’re 40, you will be a lot different than now.”

The students discuss their concerns about the majors they are pursuing and some things that may be influencing their decisions.

“I’m worried about job prospects,” Collins said. “Education jobs are hard to come by.”

Advisers ask students to set achievable goals and do things as individuals to reflect upon what they need to do.

“Get out of here as soon as possible,” Polansky said, explaining his goal. “I’m taking out student loans every semester. I just want to graduate.”

Collins said her main goal is to improve her GPA and declare a major.

“I’m going to be taking less credit hours and move at a slower rate,” she said.

Most students in the program have an idea what they want to do but are having problems achieving it and narrowing it down.

“I had to take a couple classes that I wouldn’t have had to take,” Polansky said. “I kind of wish I wouldn’t have screwed around so much.”

On the Student Advising Center Web site, a tab titled “My Plan” is a resource to help students find out what careers are available to certain majors. There is also a salary calculator, assessment tests and several other ways to plan for the future.

The advisers try to help students any way they can. They ask probing questions and try to get to know the situation students are in, trying to help them move on to something they will be happy with.

“We don’t want them to get lost in the sauce,” Mitchell said.

The 45+ Program is beneficial to the students, helping them talk through what they are going through and motivating them to make goals and achieve them.

“The point of this, in my mind, is to turn a negative into a positive,” Robertson said.

Contact undergraduate and graduate offices reporter Kati Campbell at [email protected].