First Degree Exploration Day to take place

Organizers of the first Degree Exploration Day at the University of Manitoba are hoping to help answer students’ questions about choosing a degree program.

The staff of University 1 is organizing this event and every faculty is participating. During the day, students will be able to attend workshops and explore future career options with advisors from Career and Counselling Services.

They will be able to investigate volunteer opportunities and ways to get engaged in campus life. Students and future students will also be able to explore experiential learning opportunities such as co-op and study exchanges. They will be able to speak to people from academic units who can help them map out the best academic program and course of study to reach their goals. Most of the schools and faculties will have academic advisors there to answer questions about choosing faculty or degree programs.

Susan Gottheil, vice-provost (students) at the University of Manitoba, explained that she decided to help organize the project to combat the challenges students face when choosing their degree.

“The biggest challenge is probably feeling overwhelmed by the choices they have in front of them and feeling some pressure to go into the ‘right’ program,” she said.

She added that she felt students need to take the time to explore what interest them and what topic they get excited about.

“Sometimes students may not know that a field of study exists and may not be sure where a program can lead,” said Gottheil.

Students should come to the event to gather information, ask questions and explore their options, she said.

“We know that when students find a discipline or program that they are passionate about, that piques their interest, they become more excited and involved in what they are studying. This leads them to be successful in their coursework and more engaged in and out of the classroom,” Gottheil commented.

Tina Riggs, academic advisor and event coordinator for the University 1 department, said her office hopes that students who attend the event will leave with a further understanding and knowledge of their academic career at the U of M.

“For example, students may know that they want a health-related area of study or career — but deciding on which faculty or specific area of study may need to be further explored before a final decision is made,” she said.

Kendra Turl, a student in her final year in the faculty of kinesiology and recreation management, feels this event will be a beneficial first step for students who don’t know exactly what they want to pursue.

“It is a decision that affects the rest of your life, not to mention a costly decision,” she said.

Turl said it was not difficult for her to find her way but she thinks the Degree Exploration Day would have helped her perhaps learn more about the different jobs options and opportunities in her faculty.

The event is on Feb. 8, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second floor of University Centre in the Manitoba Room.

Students are advised to download a prep-sheet from the U of M website for guidance as to what questions they should be considering and asking of their faculty of choice.