College offers the opportunity to specialize your knowledge, but for some students, a first-choice major might not be the best fit. Knowing this, the Advising Community — a joint collaboration between Advising, Housing and Career Services — is offering a workshop to help students hoping to switch majors develop a plan.
“We found that when Cal Poly made the formal change to individual agreements, students were kind of lost when it came to changing their majors,” Orfalea College of Business academic adviser and event organizer Kelly Brusch said. “Students going through the process were sent around a lot. This is going to be a very basic first step, as every major has a different policy. It’s a developmental approach.”
The event is targeted toward sophomores, which explains its location in Poly Canyon Village, but Brusch said she expects a high freshmen turn-out as well, since second-quarter freshman are allowed to begin the major-switching process.
The university is also working to individualize the major selection process for incoming freshman, helping ensure that they pick a good fit from their first day.
“Applicants can access their portal, and from there we offer a VIP Page — a prospective student search engine,” admissions adviser Rosie Pico said. “From there, we can send them information and links to the departments they might be interested in.”
For students who do end up finding themselves wanting to switch into one of Cal Poly’s 68 undergraduate programs, help from the administration is always appreciated.
“I came into Cal Poly not really knowing what I wanted to do,” business administration senior Alexandra Daveta said. “I took a chemistry class and liked it, but three or four lectures in, I knew I wanted to switch. I think a program like this would have been helpful, since for me the process was really stressful.”
Every college differs when it comes to transfers, and students transferring to a different program within the same college generally have an easier transition than those moving to an entirely new college.
Kamryn Hall, a general engineering sophomore, is in the process of changing her major to liberal arts engineering studies, a hybrid program that combines two different fields of study.
“If you haven’t found your fit yet, it can be hard to find it, especially with Cal Poly’s ‘get-in-and-go’ curriculum,” Hall said.
Though Hall is in the middle of her own switch, which took approximately one quarter, she said the workshop is a good idea for those starting out on the process.
“I’m switching into a shiny new program, something not impacted, so far, it hasn’t been too bad,” Hall said. “Starting with a blank slate would be difficult, especially in the intermediate stage between new and old majors. I’m sure I’ll still need help.”
The workshop is aimed to provide the help Hall, and other students, may need while switching.
“This is a good idea for students who know they want to change, but may not know exactly what to,” Brusch said.
The event will familiarize students with the “Change a Major” tab on their Cal Poly Portal, and direct them to the best ways to get started with their search.
The workshop is on Jan. 18 in the Poly Canyon Village Conference Room (171A). Dinner will be served. Interested students can RSVP at email@example.com.