Finding the perfect fit… Major Selection & Registration Advising

Are you curious about how we are helping your student pick a major in Exploratory Studies? Through our USC 101 class and our advising meetings this semester, we encourage students to identify their proven academic strengths, their interest or passions, and think about how they can develop those areas into a need for the global economy.  While we recognize that NC State is an institution with very strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs, we also have strong majors in other areas. Advisors in Exploratory Studies do not to force or encourage students to pursue majors where they may not be happy or successful.  We have seen that students who are excited, happy and engaged in their academic program be able to transition into the career world and become successful.

Our advisors encourage students to “think outside of the box” because many students are not familiar with many of the majors that NC State offers. Did you know that there are over a 100 different majors at NC State? Examples of great programs that students may have not been exposed to at the high school level are Parks, Recreation and Tourism; Bioprocessing or Food Science; Environmental Technology; Agricultural Business Management; Science Technology & Society; Technology, Design and Education; or Forest Management. Exploratory Studies advisors recognize that sometimes fear can develop from unfamiliarity of these programs, but it important that students discuss their ideas, fears and misconceptions about careers or majors with their advisor. This conversation is essential to the advising relationship, so the advisor can address those fears and can make appropriate recommendations about majors for students.

For example, a student who is interested in a major/ career with Computer Science, but struggles with the coursework to be accepted into the program, may find their strength in the social sciences. Through discussion of interests, it may be revealed that the student is really excited about designing video games. In this case a major in Sociology, with possible minors in Graphic Communication and Computer Programming may give them the skills to seek a career they are passionate about, without struggling through the courses they are not strong in.

As you most likely have heard, your student has had the opportunity to attend events like the Major Exploration Series, college specific career fairs, and events hosted by the Career Development Center. Your student has also taken the Myers Briggs Type indicator to learn more about how their personality can connect to work environments and intersect with their values in the workplace. Looking ahead to the spring, our USC 102 curriculum will focus on the application of majors to the career field, professionalism, and helping our students confirm their major choice. As part of those goals, they will also attend the Career Connections Event in the spring where they will hear from professionals in the career fields they are considering. Lastly, your student will take the Strong Interest Inventory assessment which will give your student specific jobs, majors, and work environments that fit with their interests and skills.  As your student is preparing to come from for Thanksgiving break and for winter holiday, we hope you will continue to discuss the major/s that your student is interested in and overall share in the excitement of their learning process!

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