‘Fields of interest’ give students more options


Photo by Elizabeth Spearman

Business, science and visual arts are among the fields of interest in a new AACC program.

Alexandra Radovic, Co-Editor

Students who are unsure of which subject they want to major in will get some help figuring that out, starting in the fall.

Those who might have chosen transfer studies as their major will instead have the chance to explore a “field of interest” by taking introductory courses in a variety of related subjects.

Someone interested in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—for instance, could dabble in a number of related courses during freshman year before settling on chemistry, math or another STEM major.

Then, when the student chooses any major within that field of interest, up to 15 introductory credits will apply toward it, according to Vice President of Learning Mike Gavin.

The program will “help students save money and time” and promote equity and an “intentionally designed student experience,” Gavin said.

“When you first come here, it can be totally overwhelming,” explained Dr. Marjorie Rawhouser, the new assistant dean of liberal arts, who will oversee the fields of interest program. “Some students in transfer studies may be better off in a different major, but just don’t know what it is yet.”

Every existing program at AACC fits into a field of interest. Academic advisers can direct students who don’t choose a major right away into core courses in their field of interest.

“It is very exciting,” AACC President Dawn Lindsay told Campus Current.

“The goal is to both improve student success in academic life, and help students feel connected and engaged,” Rawhouser said.

Colby Blodgett, a third-year theater student, called the program “a great idea. When I first started here, I had no clue what I wanted to do, and I felt like I was going in blind. Now, maybe students won’t feel that way.”

“This sounds like a fantastic program that will benefit so many students,” agreed Aubrey Peacher, a sophomore and early childhood education major.

The program’s creators studied the course structures of other colleges to help develop the appropriate number and grouping of classes for the fields of interest program.