On behalf of the College, the Newnan Academic Advising Center organizes an annual Majors/Minors Expo which brings together representatives from all the departments and programs in the College, as well as many other schools, colleges, and units at the University. This fair serves two primary functions:
- it provides students with an opportunity to meet with these representatives and gather information to help them decide which majors and minors they would like to pursue; and
- it also affords the various units an opportunity to recruit and disseminate information about current programs and upcoming opportunities.
Department advisors, faculty, staff, and students from the departments and programs are encouraged to attend, staff their table, and talk with prospective majors and minors. The Fair is usually held on one day at the end of March from 11am to 3pm. In 2014, the Major/Minor Expo will be held on Wednesday, March 12th in the Michigan Union Ballroom and that registration information will be coming in January of 2014.
The Fair is the centerpiece of Majors/Minors Week during which many departments offer related events such as open houses, information sessions, etc. See below for events from previous years.
Register if your department or program would like to have a table. The deadline to register is Friday, March 7, 2014.
What is the Majors/Minors Expo?
- a place where undergraduates can do a kind of one-stop shopping for majors and minors (it is not just for first and second year students but also for juniors who might want to pick up a second major or minor)
- a chance for non-LSA students to explore LSA minors
- a chance to talk with department advisors and faculty about major/minor requirements
- a chance to talk with undergraduate majors in a department (why did they choose this discipline? what do they enjoy most about the department? what kind of work do they do in the major/minor? The student perspective is very helpful, so if possible, see if your majors can take shifts at your table)
- a chance to find out if courses from study abroad might ever be included in that major
- a chance to find out what opportunities exist in that department (Biological Station, Camp Davis, New England Literature Program, etc.)
- a chance to find out about any internship/career-related opportunities available through that department, or simply if it's possible ever to get academic credit from that department through an internship they find on their own
- a chance to find out what kinds of career paths the department's alums have followed (not every department has this kind of information, but more and more departments are realizing its value and working to keep in touch with their alums, both for future department programs and to show students how their discipline has launched other undergraduates into a broad range of professions)
- a chance to consider interesting disciplines to look at for meeting certain general requirements (cool ways to meet humanities or natural science or race and ethnicity, etc.)
- a chance to talk with people in general advising, the Career Center, some of the learning resources such as Sweetland Writing Center, Language Resource Center, Science Learning Center, representatives from the Ed School about teacher certification, non-LSA units, pre-professional advising ( law/business/prehealth advisors), etc.
- a chance for them to broaden their thinking about disciplines they might explore, directions they might try
- a chance for them to shake up some assumptions about certain kinds of fields
- a chance to walk away with helpful materials/handouts from departments
Guidelines for Participating Departments and Units
- The person or people at the table should be friendly (accessibility is extremely important).
- The person or people at the table should be able to answer the kinds of questions students are likely to ask (see above).
- You should be as creative as you want in your department’s display, particularly if you are less likely to be on the students' radar: creative use of space, interesting objects, a poster posing questions that may "hook" students enough for them to wander over (Interested in__? Looking for skills that are a perfect foundation for this or that career? Wondering how you can do ___ and ____? Ask me about ____ , etc.)
- You will be provided with a table and a table cloth. You are responsible for bringing all other display items and handouts. If you need electrical outlets, please check on the Registration site.
You might poll your majors and ask what drew them to the major or minor, what they wish they had known about the major earlier, what surprised them most (in a good way!) about the major, what might entice undeclared students, etc.
Really get into the minds of undergraduates: what are they thinking about? They are interested in choosing a discipline that is both interesting and (for many students) "practical". So look at the heart of your discipline and think about it with that in mind. What should students know about your discipline? What kinds of thinking will they be doing in your discipline? What kinds of valuable skills will they develop through studying your discipline (skills valuable in themselves and valuable in their application to careers)? What opportunities does your department offer for interesting off-campus experiences? What might students be surprised to learn? These questions are important to think about, whether you have a lot of majors or are looking for more. If your department helps with finding internships or is willing to consider giving credit for internships or help weave them into the student's academic experience, make that clear. If your department encourages or allows for study abroad opportunities/credit, make that clear, too. However rigorous your department may be, what makes the discipline fun or intriguing? This isn't about dumbing down or winning a department popularity contest: it's about educating students, finding a way to connect with their lives, meeting them where they are. Also, the Majors/Minors Expo is a golden opportunity to present your department/program in any way you like, so enjoy thinking about that!
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