Declaring a major is one of the most important decisions in a college student’s academic career, and for that reason the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies and the College of Arts and Letters have developed the Major & Minor Exploration Fair to help students make an educated decision about selecting a major or minor at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Student Ambassadors, faculty members and academic advisors will be available from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 24 in the R.C. Cook Union Lobby for prospective or current students to ask questions and talk about academic possibilities.
“There are so many exciting things to study at Southern Miss,” said Dr. Jeanne Gillespie, director of interdisciplinary studies and associate dean in the College of Arts and Letters.
“Many students are not sure what to study or they just haven’t found something that suits their interests. We help students find a major or minor that connects with their interests and passions so they’ll be successful at the university and later when they move on to the real world.”
In addition to current Southern Miss students, Hattiesburg and Petal High School students attended past fairs, proving it is never too early to start thinking about a major. According to Meghan Sheehy, a graduate assistant who serves as an advisor to undeclared majors, more than 400 students at USM are currently classified as “undeclared.”
“We love helping college students through the process of choosing a major or minor. This fair presents a variety of options to explore in one location. We also invite high school students to participate, in the hopes that they will be able to make a more informed decision about a possible major and/or minor,” said Sheehy.
“For many students, this is the first time they realize how many choices they truly have here at Southern Miss. During the fair, each college and department has faculty, staff, and students available who will be able to answer questions and guide potential majors. This fair is truly a one of a kind opportunity.”
Gillespie’s office uses a program called R.A.P. (Resource and Advising Protocol) for undeclared majors. R.A.P. is a four-step process that helps undeclared majors narrow their choices and move toward the selection of an academic major as well as focus on their career possibilities.
This program, run by faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Letters, helps students in all areas of the university by providing referrals and support for majors in every academic college.
“The R.A.P. program is something we offer year-round. The Major & Minor Exploration Fair is our attempt to bring the information to the students, so they can see everything that is available and decide for themselves,” explained Gillespie.
The Major & Minor Exploration Fair is a free resource to current and prospective students. For more information about the Major & Minor Exploration Fair or the R.A.P. program, please call 601.266.6891