Changing majors can be a difficult crossroads for your student and it may require an extension of time at Baylor, but it's worth it for your student to discover the right career.
The same tools can be used to nail down a schedule that meshes previous classes with new requirements. And when students decide early enough, courses that do not apply to their new major can often be counted as electives.
"It's better for students to find out now that they don't want to continue in that field for the rest of their lives than after they leave college," academic advisor Judy McClain commented.
Overcoming the Balancing Act
At any stage of college, making a class schedule can be a daunting task. There are requirements, prerequisites, electivesdozens of hours to account for. Not to mention the extra-curricular activities, church participation, campus events and new relationships that have to be considered. Thankfully, there are academic advisors readily available to help your student conquer the balancing act.
Follow the Flag
"I'm pre-med, so I should take Neuroscience, right? I may be a freshman, but I want to get a head start." Yikes! Since Baylor understands that freshman and sophomore students most often do not know which classes are the best fit for their schedule, a flag must be set by an academic advisor before students can register for the upcoming semester. Requiring a meeting with an advisor gives students an opportunity to plan, prioritize and move forward in confidence--prepared for success.
The Four-Year Plan
The key to plan for success is to think far in advance--likely an anomaly to your student. In the college world, students struggle to squeeze studying for their Monday exam into their weekend of sports and fellowship, more or less, to plan which classes are necessary to finish their education in four years.
One of the most efficient tools to help your student prepare is the Major Academic Planner (MAP). Whether a student is a freshman or a junior changing his/her major, MAPs allow students to strategically map out their degree plan by determining the sequence in which classes need to be taken, as well as how to distribute more difficult courses to create a manageable schedule.
Reviewing MAPs alongside a student's degree audit, which clearly denotes needed classes with a red x, prepares a student for an effective academic advising appointment. Together with a qualified advisor, your student can develop a plan that they can undertake with self-assurance.
Prioritizing to Avoid Burn-out
Realistic thinking is fundamental when your student sets priorities for the semester. Bombarded by exciting academic and social opportunities from every direction, students are prone to spread themselves too thin. Your student's capacity for extra-curriculars fluctuates according to the season of academics. Encourage your student to consider how difficult classes will be for the current semester and weigh his or her options for social activities rather than diving into everything.
On the flip side, social interaction is highly valuable. When your student spends every waking hour in the library studying, there also is reason to reevaluate his or her course-load.
"Baylor cannot send information to parents about their students. Parents must be proactive and keep open lines of communication--asking questions to uncover red flags," Judy McClain, a Baylor academic advisor, said. "Parents can't afford to wait until the end of the semester to ask questions."
- Frequently miss appointments
- Planner is overly full
- Grades are suffering
- Consistently appears tired
- "Cramming" for tests
- Overly homesick
- Problems with roommate
- Constantly playing video games
- Lack of relationships
- Missing classes due to lethargy
At Baylor, we know your student has a desire for excellenceand we know that with the right schedule, goals will become attainable. As parents, you know your student better than anyone. Discuss your student's degree plan and look for roadblocks, so that you can help your student achieve the best college experience.