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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Advisors suggest students choose electives they enjoy

NE student Angel Rivera practices on a piano in a NFAB lab. Advisors encourage students to choose electives that complement their degrees. Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

By Chase Metivier/reporter

Choosing classes to complete their degrees can be a stressful process for students.

For students undecided on a major, NE academic advisor Marjeanna Burge suggested they take the career test in career services. She believes it will give them a taste of what career field they may want to enter.

Some students with majors choose electives they enjoy to help finish their degree plans, but Burge said they might need guidance with their selections.

“Students could lose opportunity and cost time because instead of taking electives, the student could have taken classes to benefit their major at TCC,” she said.

NE academic advisor David Carrillo tells his students to take care of classes needed to transfer. He recommends students take core curriculum classes with electives. So students can start figuring out what they want to major in.

The state has a drop limit of six classes, and Burge and Carrillo believe students would drop classes less often if they took electives to finish their degree plans.

“If they enjoy the studying, it can sometimes take you into your major,” Burge said.

NW reading adjunct instructor Melinda Maynard echoes those beliefs.

“Perhaps it is a course that may be difficult, but because of an interest in the topic, a student will most likely be successful,” she said.

NW academic advisor Adam McNamee doesn’t think students drop classes because of lack of enjoyment.

“Most of the time when I see students drop classes, it is usually because they are not allowing enough time for studying and get really behind,” he said. “It is rare I see students drop because they don’t enjoy a class. Ninety-five percent of the drops I see are because the student is behind or failing due to time not being allowed for school.”

College may present opportunities for students to find better career paths, but students have their own unique experiences with their classes.

Electives could add to the college experience by bringing enjoyment and add to the career they are getting into, Carrillo said. Maynard agreed.

“By deciding on courses that a student has strong interest in, the enjoyment of the course should be a positive experience,” she said.

College is about exploring, gaining knowledge, making connections and growing as a learner, Maynard said.

Burge and McNamee believe electives may not add anything to their college experience.

“The student could miss opportunities in financial aid and time in taking classes that would apply to their major,” Burge said.

McNamee said some students might get upset if they waste money on unnecessary courses.

“If the students take random, enjoyable classes and find out they have to take extra classes and spend more money, doubt it!” Burge said.

McNamee shared his personal experience choosing such electives to finish his degree.

“I never advise taking random classes unless you only want an associate degree,” he said. “When I tried taking random classes for fun/enjoyment as a student, I really didn’t have that much fun. It was more stressful and expensive because I was taking classes for nothing. Sometimes, I would hit on a class that was fun, but one out of six, maybe seven classes.”

Maynard, however, doesn’t see any negative outcomes from taking enjoyable electives. But she recommends students discuss their choices with an advisor and have a good understanding if the courses will transfer or meet any required coursework for the future.

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