In 2009, Salt Lake Community College was ranked fourth in the US for associate degree-granting institutions. With more than 60,000 students this year, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a good chunk of those 60,000 students check the undecided box when it comes to picking a major.
According to Academic Advising, researchers have found that as little as 20 percent and as many as 60 percent of students entering college are undecided about an academic major or career choice. The most common major among SLCC students is general studies.
According to SLCC’s 2009-10 fact book from SLCC Institutional Research, 17,135 students are enrolled as general studies majors.
“I don’t really know what I want to do in my life, that is why I’m majoring in general studies to have the opportunity to experience different classes,” said student Mamie Green.
General studies majors are usually uncertain about the major they want to declare or are just looking to complete general education requirements before transferring to a four year institution. For example, those that want to major in law or the field of medicine would be much better off completing general education requirements at SLCC before entering into a more advance program.
There are many students unsure of how many credits they need before they can fulfill the requirements to graduate from SLCC. For these students, Academic and Career Advising offer a workshop every Tuesday at noon until 4 p.m.
An advisor organizes the workshop and information concerning job outlooks is discussed. In addition, the advisors will walk a student through graduation requirements. The workshops run all year long with the exception of finals week of each semester. Appointments for one-on-one time can also be made with the office of Academic and Career Advising.
Sonia Parker of Academic Advising advises students choose a major early, allowing the student to have a clear vision of their career plan and the required steps to accomplish the plan.
Students who have chosen general studies as their major are often overlooked when different career opportunities arise through the college. For example, when a bank is looking for interns, the advising center knows which students would benefit from the experience and sends the information out to various professors to pass to students in the field. However, students in general studies will not receive any information.
SLCC offers students a smaller learning environment and access to Academic Advising to better help them plan their career path. Parker feels it’s important for students to be conscious about their chosen major.
Parker indicates the least chosen major at SLCC is Para Education, with only 12 students registered for the academic year of 2009-2010.