Complications with changing her major ended up being one of the main reasons Waller transferred to UNC-C this year.
To help students in similar situations, university administrators at NCSU are considering a change that will alleviate the pressures put on students like Waller when they change their major.
In his first few months as chancellor of NCSU, Randy Woodson is trying to create a new, more efficient process for students who wish to change their major.
“He’s listened to students, listened to faculty,” said Gerry Luginbuhl, assistant director of academic programs in the college of agriculture and life sciences at NCSU.
But Woodson does not have a specific plan in place yet.
“I think it’s always a good idea to look at our programs and make things easier for students,” Luginbuhl said.“I think he’s looking for guidance at this point.”
Currently, students enter NCSU already enrolled in a college. And every major has its own curriculum, she said.
“I think in the university, we try to balance power and responsibility to try to get students through as soon as possible,” she said. “But it depends on the individual situation.”
For some students, a change in majors could result in a delay of graduation plans.
NCSU has a 72 percent six-year graduation rate compared to UNC-CH’s 88 percent six-year graduation rate.
Bobbi Owen, senior associate dean for undergraduate education at UNC, said the higher percent could be contributed to UNC’s simpler process of changing majors.
Students entering UNC have until the second semester of their sophomore year to finalize their major, she said.
“Once you get here, I think a lot of students discover new possibilities, and I hope that’s what they do,” Owen said.
UNC’s general college system allows students to explore new options for their majors, she said.
“Half the students who come in want to major in biology,” Owen said.
“Second semester sophomore year, we know better about what students are going to continue to study.” Gina Vaccaro, a junior at NCSU, said the biggest problem arising from changing majors is the credit amount needed for each individual major
“If they made classes more easily transferable, it would definitely help a lot of people,” Vaccaro said.
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