||Self-designed majors reflect students' unique interests
RELEASED: September 24, 2009
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY— At Centre College, a student's choice of major is virtually unlimited.
Every student has the opportunity to design a major, combining courses from various disciplines and engaging in independent study.
Centre encourages its students to be creative and design majors that appeal to them and their plans for the future. This is part of the College's promise to provide personal education leading to extraordinary success.
This year, a number of Centre students are taking advantage of the opportunity, and several sophomores will likely choose this option when it comes time to declare their majors.
Audrey McBride, self-designed modern languages major, and Nick Gowen, who designed a major in communication arts, say that the College's self-designed major option attracted them to Centre during their college searches.
"I had a strong feeling that I would try and create a self-designed major before I came to Centre," Gowen says. "I knew I was interested in some kind of communications-related major, be it broadcasting, media studies, foreign language or writing. I knew Centre didn't have a standard major that would exactly suit my interests, but Centre's overall academics were something that I knew I couldn't pass up."
McBride too was impressed with the option to design her own major, though she says she had no definite plans to pursue this avenue at first.
"My decision came about after I'd been accepted to Centre and had a conversation with a faculty member who suggested it due to my interests," she says.
Both McBride and Gowen believe that the most significant aspect of the self-designed major opportunity is the fact that their unique majors allow them to concentrate fully on subjects that are most compelling to them.
"This allows me a great deal of flexibility and choice in how I pursue what interests me most," McBride says.
Gowen feels the same. "I decided to design my own major because I was interested in too many things," he says. "I wanted to take a little bit of a lot of subjects. When I stepped back and looked at all of the classes I was interested in, they fit together accidentally, but well. I would recommend that students who are interested in a self-designed major visit the registrar's website and start wading through the course listings to find classes they're truly passionate about. They might find that these classes unite themselves effortlessly."
Although McBride is currently applying to law schools, she is unsure where the future will take her.
"My goals when it came to designing my major were to keep it flexible and to have a variety of choices available for after graduation," she says.
Gowen's self-designed major will be of help to him in his chosen field, be it communicating in print, film or radio.
"I know that I want to interact with people as much as possible in my future career," he says. "My major focuses pretty heavily on sociology and anthropology so that I'll better understand what makes up an 'audience.'"
Wherever the future may take them, McBride and Gowen—as well as other Centre students completing their own self-designed majors this year—will be well prepared.
"I think the process of creating a major has already started preparing me for the future because I had to argue for something I genuinely had a passion for," Gowen says. "Having confidence about what you're doing and proving to others—co-workers, bosses, skeptical moms—that you believe in what you're doing is a skill that will likely come in handy down the road."
To read about other self-designed majors at Centre, click here.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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