By MARISSA RIVERA, Staff Reporter |
More than one-third of all college students change their majors at least once before graduation, according to a U.S. department of education report.
Some students change majors multiple times, the report said. While changing majors is common, Amarillo College advisers say switching majors can become a major problem
“Changing majors without verifying how it affects course work, financial aid, transfer and time to completion can cause problems,” Ernesto Olmos, director of advising services and coordinator of transfer services, said.
“If students have completed courses toward one major and then change to a completely different major, those courses may no longer apply. This can cause excess credit hour issues that can affect financial aid eligibility and also transferability,”
Advisers encourage students to talk to them when thinking about changing majors. Depending on the student, there are some who will go to the adviser of their next major choice.
“I know that a lot of my students will most times stick to what they’re doing, but I occasionally I get people from other majors that come to me,” Ruth De Anda, an academic adviser, said.
De Anda said there are pros and cons to major changes, but the main consideration is that the classes they have already taken might not fit into the new degree plan.
“I do have students who change completely, and I like to pull the degree plans from wherever they are going and see how this will impact you,” De Anda said.
When transferring to another college or university, there are some credits that may not transfer and major changes at AC can lead to multiple AC courses that will not count toward a particular bachelor’s degree.
“An Amarillo College major may be selected that best fits the transfer university’s bachelor’s degree requirements. If students change their majors before visiting with an adviser, they may have completed courses that no longer apply to their ultimate bachelor’s degree goal,” Olmos said.
Changing majors also forces students to get used to working with a different adviser. “The thing I liked about my nursing adviser was that she actually mapped everything out for me and explained everything. My business adviser was different,” Geovanni Ramírez, a nursing major who changed to businesses administration, said.
Major changes are available to all students, but advisers say they want the students to talk to them so they can help with planning and make sure the students don’t cause other problems by making a major change.
Students should take the initiative to make sure their own education is mapped out properly, but talking to an adviser can prevent issues that could arise when transferring.