64.5% of Students Switch Majors During College

Published: September 15, 2015 | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU aviation students during a class in SUU's pilot programWhat’s your major? It’s the defining question for college students — and the cliché that’s launched a thousand friendships and romances. It’s also a question that has become harder for students to answer, causing more than half of all college students to change his or her major multiple times.

Blame it on the growing number of possibilities. Colleges and universities reported nearly 1,500 academic programs to the Department of Education in 2010; and for SUU students it has resulted in 64.5 percent changing his or her major at least once, resulting in a longer path for many to graduation, according to SUU’s Institutional Research Office.

Jared Wilcken, SUU academic advisor, stated, “A big part of college is exploring and trying to decide what major you will like. So for a lot of students they will take general education classes until they decide on what interests them the most, this isn't a problem for all majors, but for others it can be problematic.”

To help students obtain degrees quicker SUU’s Marketing Communication office created a video series featuring professors from each major titled “Major Decisions”. Each video in the series highlights who would be the best fit for that major and who wouldn’t. The professors also speak to what careers stem from each major and what can be expected as a student studying in that discipline.

Peter Sham, associate professor of theatre arts, stated in his video who would be best suited as a theatre major, his response, “They are the givers, the risk takers. The people who wake up each morning and question the world.”

Professors from each SUU department answered that same question and many others all in an effort to be the unbiased opinion on what major and career is the best fit for each individual student.

In response to the purpose of the video series, Ellen Treanor, executive director of brand strategies for SUU, said, “No other campus in this nation gives students such a creative perception to what they’ll be studying while attending college.”

Wilcken said of the new video series, “Hopefully these videos can help students focus in on a major a little sooner and help them graduate on time.”

This series will be featured on the University’s YouTube page as well as each individual major page, ensuring that interested students can be more informed about the difficult decision of choosing a major. 

Photo credit: Upper Limit Aviation

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