College of Liberal Arts to implement new method for major changes

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Policy changes in the College of Liberal Arts will force students to spend more time meeting with advisers before making any changes to their majors or minors.

After March 30, students wishing to change degrees within the College of Liberal Arts will no longer have access to online major change forms and will be required to meet with advisers within the College to make those changes.

This change is specific to liberal arts and ensures that students have the best information before they make the decision, said associate dean for student affairs Marc Musick.

“The College of Liberal Arts advising leadership teams visited colleges around the United States to see how they worked with students and promoted graduation rates,” Musick said.

“Based on those visits, the thought was that adopting this system would be a help to students.”

The extra time with advisers should be a great benefit to students for multiple reasons, Musick said.

“It helps ensure that they have the best information possible, and it also provides advisers the opportunity to meet with students to discuss larger academic and career goals,” Musick said.

David Spight, assistant dean for advising in the School of Undergraduate Studies, said he believes this will help advisers make sure students are choosing the major that is best for them.

“While this creates more work for the student, in the end it compels students to check out their desired major more,” Spight said.

Before the change was implemented, undeclared students in the School of Undergraduate Studies simply had to go to the dean’s office of their desired major and fill out a form, but now students will be required to not only go to the college, but the actual department for that major and have their form signed off, Spight said.

“Ideally all of our students met with advisers in various colleges before making their decision, but this change helps enforce something our advisers originally wanted,” Spight said.

Many students in Undergraduate Studies end up transferring into the College of Liberal Arts because of the large number of degrees offered, so even though this change is only with one school, it’s a good step, Spight said.

Engineering junior Daniel Choi said this change would hold students more accountable for their degree progress.

As a student contemplating adding a liberal arts degree to his graduation plan, Choi said this change is something that will help him in the long run to be responsible during this process.

“Decisions like this are really important, but sometimes we don’t take the time to put in the necessary effort and this makes us do just that,” Choi said.

Printed on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 as: Liberal Arts policy forces advisor aid