Majors Fair and Ex Ed Expo Set for Early October

Scheduled Date May Change in Future Years

default article imageTwenty-nine.

That’s the number of academic programs offered at the University. All of them will be represented at the Majors Fair and Ex Ed Expo next month, which is designed to help students find the right career path by choosing the right major and/or experiential education program. The fair will take place from 11 am to 2 pm on Wednesday, October 5, in Anacon Hall in the student center.

Each academic program will have representatives at two tables; one will be staffed by faculty members who can provide overviews of their specific programs, while the other will be occupied by students who have already completed their experiential education requirement and can speak of their experiences in that particular field.

Jean Judge, Associate Dean for Support Services and Articulation in the Center for Student

Success, coordinated the organization of this year’s fair. She said that students should take advantage of this rare gathering of all academic departments in the same place.

“It’s not a time commitment that’s a killer; just 10 or 15 minutes and you can hit most of the tables,” she said. “They provide them not only written material, but also answer [students’] questions and they can talk about the various careers that would be within that specific major.”

The 22 academic programs are inclusive of concentrations within majors, as well as minors that are not offered as majors. Experiential education programs to be spoken of will include class projects, cooperative education, internships, service learning and study abroad.

Lorna Schmidt, Director of Advising for the Communication Department, will represent the department at this year’s fair for the ninth time. She said that changing the timing of the fair could further benefit students.

The fair could be more effective if held in the spring after students have taken introductory courses to several disciplines and found something that interests them, she said. After gathering further information at the fair, students could then declare their major by the end of the year and register for the necessary classes the following year.

Judge said she wants to see the results of this year’s fair before making a decision about its future timing.

“We are open to suggestions for the timing and, after this fair, I’ll talk with faculty in other departments to see if we should deliver the program in a different time or a different format,” she said.

Kae Crede, a junior majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in information technology, said she has attended the fair in the past and still found it helpful regardless of its timing.

“They were very personable and loved to talk and answer questions in a way that made it easy for students to understand,” she said. “It is very helpful for undeclared, or even declared, students because it gives them insight to real professionals in their field.”

The fair targets first-year students and students who have yet to complete their experiential education requirement, Judge said.

Undeclared students should tell the academic representatives about their skills, abilities and interests. Then, they should ask if those characteristics fit with that particular major and why, Judge said. Even if a student does not necessarily belong in that specific major, he or she should ask about taking it as a minor and look for related fields.

When it comes to first-year and sophomore students looking for the proper niche, Schmidt said she addresses their questions with an overview of her department’s clusters and job prospects.

The fair also may pique the interest of already declared students who are looking to double major or choose a minor, Schmidt said.

“With the new health studies minor, people are coming in and asking us about learning those interpersonal communication skills and ‘How do I deal with a patient?’” she said. “We do get the science folks coming in and asking ‘Could I do a TV show dealing with this particular topic?’”

Students interested in experiential education should ask their academic representatives about experiences that are required and what opportunities are available to them, such as studying abroad, Judge said.

Should students have any lingering questions about majors or experiential education following the fair, Judge said that they can visit the Center for Student Success on the lower level of the student center.