The following story is part of The Globe’s back-to-school content for fall 2022.
Most college students aren’t sure what they want to do when they start school.
More than 50% of incoming college students in the United States are undecided about their major, according to a 2019 survey from Ellucian, a major software company that focuses on providing services for higher education.
To help students struggling to choose between two different studies, Salt Lake Community College created the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, which allows students to construct their own academic experience and customize it to their needs.
David Hubert, associate provost for Learning Advancement, explained how the new degree program allows students to build their own degree by choosing courses that relate to their specific interests.
“So for instance, if you’re quite interested in, let’s say, business, and Spanish, and we don’t have a degree for business in Spanish, you can craft your own path to an associate degree in the Interdisciplinary Studies program,” Hubert said. “We do want to make that available to them.”
The University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Weber State University, Hubert said, have similar design-your-own-major programs students can then transfer into.
SLCC provides other opportunities for students seeking a degree that will transfer to a career, including Career and Technical Education (CTEC), as well as transfer programs in which students can transfer their associate degrees to another university to complete a full bachelor’s degree and beyond.
The college’s general education courses can also help students prepare for life by providing a more well-rounded education.
Sam Butler, a first-year biology student, said he’s hoping to complete his associate degree at SLCC and then transfer to another university and, eventually, apply to medical school.
“My biology professors so far have been awesome. And [I] like chemistry as well, along with math. All the STEM classes that I’ve been into have been awesome,” Butler said.
For more information about the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and its guidelines, visit the program’s webpage.