Feels Like A Really Big Decision!
Considering the University of North Florida offers a multitude of degrees; how is one to choose? Most students begin college with some idea of what they want to study, but it is not uncommon for them to change majors. I have three kids and none of them really knew what their major would be before they started school. Picking a major was a little easier for them during their orientation and first session with their advisor. My daughter did, however, change her major midway through her freshman year after looking at all the science classes she would have to take.
Changing and choosing a major isn’t always easy. There are several ways you can support your student as they are trying to decide or consider changing a major. One of the main reasons students reconsider or hesitate to declare a major is because they do not understand the career options associated with it. Encourage your student to search the undergraduate catalog to see what courses are required in majors that are interesting to them. They should also meet with an academic advisor and visit the Career Center. There are multiple resources to help them. I am also attaching a link to a page that I found very valuable while exploring different majors with my daughter.
Students at UNF are encouraged to choose a major upon admission, but there is also an option to choose Exploratory as a major, which means students can take a variety of classes and declare during sophomore year. This allows students to literally explore their interests. Students interested in this option can visit the Academic Advising Center. Make the most of all interests and skills while taking the required general education courses and use that time to uncover avenues that may lead to a new study and career choice.
Should they decide to change their major during their time at UNF, they will need to speak to an academic advisor in the new department of that major to see if it is possible. If a student is changing majors to a different college (ex. College of Arts and Sciences), they must consult an academic advisor at that college. Bottom line, as a student progresses further into their time at UNF, it becomes more difficult to change majors (and graduate on time).
You can support your student by encouraging them to get involved on campus or in the community. Student organizations, part-time jobs, or volunteer roles are all good ways for students to investigate career options and network with professionals. HaveUHeard there are a great many clubs and organizations at UNF that students can get involved in? (See our blog on that here.)
Job shadowing is another great way to explore. During my daughter’s first class in her major, early education, she was invited to shadow a kindergarten teacher. This was an excellent way for her to decide if the major was one that she enjoyed. Many of the colleges offer some type of shadow program. Your student should ask the professors if they have a shadowing program.
There are so many classes out there that may change their lives, but they won’t know until they take them. Spending a little time surveying, investigating and exploring can lead to some eye-opening adventures and life-changing discovery. Choosing the correct major and making some adjustments along the way will lead your student hopefully to the job that they want or at least in the field of their choice