K-State offers more than 250 majors and programs, which may be overwhelming to some students who don’t know where to get information, but the 14th annual academic majors fair, called Majors, Minors and More, was held yesterday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the K-State Student Union Grand Ballroom to provide this information.
Austin Krug, freshman in chemical engineering, said he was interested in finding out about all of the opportunities offered at K-State.
“I talked with some of the people in microbiology and they were really helpful on different types of aspects or programs that they have available,” Krug said.
Natalie Schmidt, freshman in graphic design, was required to attend the event for her university exploration class but said she still found the information and people helpful.
“It was really comfortable in there, I didn’t feel nervous or anything,” Schmidt said. “They were very friendly and engaging and it was actually kind of fun.”
The event provided information to assist students in planning their academic career path.
“It’s targeted toward students who are looking for a major, a secondary major, a minor, looking for certificate options,” said Michelle Haupt, coordinator for the Academic and Career Information Center. “Mostly just helping students see the unique ways that they can look at their academic programs and create something that’s a fit for them.”
The Academic and Career Information Center was just one of the sponsors for the event. Other sponsors included the College of Arts and Sciences open option Program, the Department of Housing and Dining Services, and the colleges of Agriculture, Architecture, Planning and Design, Engineering, Human Ecology, Technology and Aviation, and Veterinary Medicine.
“Our office, the Academic and Career Information Center, we focus on helping students who are deciding on a major, changing a major or trying to identify what they can do with their academic program here,” Haupt said.
Cherie Hodgson, academic coordinator for the department of agricultural economics, has been supplying information for the majors fair since she started in 1997.
“I think that we’re here as a place for students to come to get information and learn about what their opportunities are at K-State,” Hodgson said. “I think every student can benefit from coming to the majors fair, at least freshman and sophomore students.”
The event was not only targeted toward incoming freshmen or students with an undecided major, but also students who may be looking for a change in major. Haupt said that 70 to 80 percent of students are going to make changes to their career path. While Haupt said that many students come in with the mindset that they won’t be the one to change their major, in fact, a large percentage do.
“I’m looking to be in graphic design, but I’m not really sure I want to do that so I’m thinking of switching majors,” Schmidt said. “I was looking at computer science or computer engineering.”
Schmidt said she is planning on taking an introductory computer science class next fall.
“It’s hard for a student to know every little detail about a major until they start taking classes,” Haupt said.
Haupt said these classes are either an opportunity for students to confirm their chosen career path or to re-evaluate their choices and look for a better fit.
“I encourage my students to come,” Hodgson said. ”They’ve declared their majors but I encourage them to come to look at other things they can add.”
The fair also offered interested students information regarding minors, internships, study abroad programs and other K-State resources.
“We’ve realized that for students, it’s not just about finding a major; it’s about how they can also enhance that major with certificates or minors, study abroad, internships,” said Tami Duch, adviser for the College of Arts and Sciences. “We’re not hoping just to aim at the undecided student but for all students.”
Angelia Perry, adviser for the College of Arts and Sciences, said the current economy makes it increasingly difficult for students to secure employment after graduation.
“We want Kansas State University graduates to be known for the breadth of experience they have gained while they’re here,” Perry said. “Whatever they can do to enhance their ability to get a good job.”
Haupt said that, according to information compiled from a yearly survey conducted after the majors fair, more than 95 percent of students who attend indicate they would recommend this event to other students.
“We just want students to know that there are so many resources here and the goal of every one of us here on campus is for students to be successful,” Haupt said. “If we can help a student have more information about the decisions they make, that’s when they can make the best decisions; information not only about programs and careers, but also about themselves.”