Opportunities to Expand Horizons Abound at Majors and Minors Fair
The Explore the Core Majors and Minors Fair is an opportunity for students to help themselves make more informed decisions about their academic careers. The Fair, expanded this year to include interdisciplinary programs in a more active role in order to give them more exposure to the student body, takes place from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Oct. 23, in Thompson Gymnasium. Faculty members representing all majors, minors and interdisciplinary programs will be in attendance.
The Interdisciplinary Programs include the peace and conflict studies minor, the Anabaptist studies minor and the Asian studies minor. Professor Jean-Paul Benowitz, Directory of Student Transition Programs, said the faculty is excited about this year’s fair.
The fair gives students and faculty members a chance to connect with each other and discuss various courses, reading, projects and research involved in the majors, minors and core courses. Student attendants will have access to members of the departments in which they have interest and the ability to discuss strategies and combinations in person rather than by looking at catalogues and check sheets. The Majors and Minors Fair allows the academic experience to become more of a dialogue between students and faculty than before.
Academic departments will not be the only ones involved with this semester’s Majors and Minors Fair. The fair also includes representatives from various campus offices to offer information about real-world learning options: the Study Abroad office, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Career Services office and the Learning Services office. All options for real-world learning will be represented. Each office will provide information concerning one or more real-world learning options, such as supervised research, internships and placements, community-based learning and cross-cultural experience. “I’m really excited that it will give interdisciplinary minors a chance to interact with a large number of students,” said Dr. Brian Newsome, Assistant Dean for General Education.
It’s like taking the college catalog and opening it for the students to walk through it.”
Students are looking for passion and familiarity with the programs in which they are interested to help them make informed decisions about their academics. Faculty representatives have no shortage of passion for the fair, looking forward to sharing information about their departments and academic projects.
The fair is timed to take place just before the start of the spring advising period to help students form a better understanding of their goals and interests, to aid them in understanding options available to them before meeting with their advisors about course registration. They will have a better understanding of what their goals and choices involve, the type of work required and the contacts they should make to meet their aims.
The fair also continues to provide information about the Core curriculum. “The point is to provide for students here something similar to what prospective students have access to,” Newsome said. The changes to the Majors and Minors Fair make it more accessible for current students, but it will still provide access to information about the requirements of the Core program. “It’s like taking the college catalog and opening it for the students to walk through it,” Benowitz said. The additions to the fair allow students to see the bigger picture of their academic careers while still providing them with what they need to know about Core courses.
The fair is most beneficial to first-year students and sophomores but is open to all current students. It has a similar format to open house programs involving the Core program and academic departments. The fair has grown from a chance to understand the Core program to a program that offers information about many programs that as also beneficial to students.