On Thursday, Oct. 17 of Advisement Weeks, the School of General Studies offered an hour of self-assessment and advice to help students at the "Discover the Pathway to Your Major" event. From 3:20 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. in the First Floor Lobby of the Center for Academic Success, students participated in surveys and asked questions that helped them target their academic and professional interests, and start down a more specified journey for study.
Kean's Fall Advisement Weeks began on Monday, Oct. 7, highlighted by a series of events like the Major-Minor Info Fair, the Career and Internship Prep Workshop and Hop off the Struggle Bus: Pathways to Academic Success. With Thursday's "Discover the Pathway to Your Major," students were offered a chance to build on information they had gathered over the preceding weeks, talking to representatives from each of the university's schools in detail.
Peggy Thompson, managing assistant director and office manager for the School of General Studies, remarked, "The number of students that came out today shows that they're very interested in trying to find their passion in their first year," and that "We have some of the greatest advisers...they're always pushing the students, looking at their courses and trying to figure out what their passion is when they're meeting with them one-on-one."
The motivation to help undecided students choose a major and career path that challenges, motivates and excites them is shared by faculty and administration alike.
Luis Tapia, professional services specialist for the Placement Testing Office, said, "I go beyond just saying, 'Here, this is your test results. You tested into English 1030 and Pre-Calculus, bye, see you later.' We always [want to] get the interaction further than that.The professional staff, not just advisers - professors, obviously, are great inspiration to students. It's really a team effort throughout campus."
Thompson said, "The School of General Studies has a partnership with a lot of the other colleges and departments on campus, and [the partnership has] been a very great help in helping to define majors for students, as they faithfully attend these events when we have them."
This partnership includes Career Services which houses many resources for students to prepare for future careers and internships.
"[Freshman students] really want to learn about internships and career development resources," said Laureen Delance, managing assistant director of Internships for Career Services. "Career Services really continues to serve as their liaison to building their tool kit to really help them stand out - and that tool kit being their resume, being their cover letter, being how they present themselves when they're being interviewed. We want them to start navigating that through our [Kean Online Internship and Employment Portal]."
Students crowded around the Career Services table, asking questions not just about their major options, but the career paths involved in each.
"We really find [the portal] to be very critical to their experience," Delance said, "because this is where employers communicate internship and employment opportunities."
The efforts of all administration and faculty were clearly felt by the students, who buzzed through the lobby with curiosity and focus for the whole hour.
Santiago Romero, an undecided freshman, expressed interest in business finance and psychology. She constantly investigates into her academic interests and on campus involvement.
"I definitely go on Cougar Link and apply for a lot. I just try to squeeze time for all these events," said Romero.
Romero is just one of many students on campus that actively pursue and are appreciative of important events such as this one.
Prepared with new advice and direction, curious students should plan to meet with their advisers, as well as professors and deans from the academic departments they show interest in. Departments are more than willing to help students to learn more about the potential career paths and course requirements involved in a student's chosen area of study.
The process of choosing a major, and the opportunities to investigate further did not end Thursday.
Thompson said, "We'll have multiple events throughout the semester - the spring semester as well - that will engage [the students]."
Departments on campus are constantly trying to figure out ways to ignite students' passions and support them in their endeavors. For more upcoming events like these, students can check out Cougar Link.