This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade
Many universities throughout the country adopt systems aimed to help students succeed. A common program through higher education systems is “major maps.” These major maps are designed to give students a suggested path to follow that helps with the confusion that many people experience.
USU Eastern student services personnel is working on their own variation of the major map that caters to the unique student body that makes up campus. Greg Dart, vice chancellor of enrollment services said, ”We want to give every student a very clear picture before they ever start as a student what it’s going to take to meet their academic goals.”
There are many things that go into helping students to meet their academics goals. USUE plans to set in course a system that helps students identify their academic goals as well as decide their major or area of study earlier than usual. The final piece of this plan is the major maps.
The major maps will not only focus on majors, but areas of emphasis as well. This is helpful for students studying at USUE with the intent of transferring to a university or four-year college. (Programs include communications and pre-med.) The maps allow students to view the best way to get to where they want to be.
“If a student knows their academic goals, we want students to be able to see a clear path from where they are, to where they need to be,” Dart said.
He and other facility members are working hard to get these maps in place by fall 2015. Members of many departments are working specifically on majors and concentrations in their area so the maps are as accurate as they can be.
USUE faculty and staff are looking at major maps from other universities to give them an idea of what they want. Dart said, “We’re pulling major maps from all over the country. Some of the ones we are looking at are very nicely designed, while others are a mess that only confuses students more. We want ours to embody the best maps we have seen.”
Some of the maps that they have looked at include Northern Illinois University and Kansas State University. The hope is that USUE’s map will be easy to use for students and will become an asset that all students take an advantage of.
While the maps are intended to be a path for students to follow, they are to give students an idea of what they need to do rather than confine them to one plan. The maps will also include a job outlook chart as well as connect students to universities and four-year colleges where they can transfer to continue with their plan.