Friday, January 23, 2015

Getting Involved: Why it's Important and Where to Begin

Although going to class and studying each day may be enough to earn a degree, getting involved outside of the classroom can provide greater reward.

Here are 10 reasons why you should get involved on your college campus:

  1. Pursue your interests
    Getting involved in clubs and organizations related to your academic interest can be a great way to narrow your focus and discover the direction you want to go in.
  2. Gain new skills and experience
    Clubs and organizations provide a type of hands-on experience that you can't get inside of the classroom. For example, broadcasting on your school's radio or television station will allow you to directly practice any skills you may have learned in a broadcasting class.
  3. Make connectionsThe people you meet are just as important as the skills you learn. Peers and staff who are involved in your organization can serve as mentors and they can also point you in a certain direction or connect you with different resources. 
  4. Build a communityBeing a part of a group of people with a common interest can help students feel more acquainted with their peers and campus.
  5. Develop self-confidenceIn clubs and organizations, you may be asked to step out of your comfort zone. This will benefit you in terms of gaining self-confidence.
  6. Share your talentsWhether you have an article published in the newspaper or you just gave a speech at a student senate meeting, there is no feeling quite as rewarding as sharing your talents with your peers.
  7. Explore leadership opportunitiesIf you enjoy your organization and want to push it one step further, consider applying for a leadership position. Being an editor-in-chief, secretary, or vice president of an organization can provide you with even more beneficial skills and experience.
  8. Build your resumeFuture employers are looking for well-rounded individuals who took the initiative to get involved beyond the classroom. 
  9. Learn to prioritizeHaving free time isn't always good. Learning to be on time, work out a schedule, and prioritize time are all things you will learn when becoming involved.
  10. Have fun
    True happiness can be found in an organization that you are passionate about. Once you find something that interests you, it can make your perspective on your major and career much brighter. 

Now you're probably thinking, "That all sounds great, but how do I find a club or organization that is a good fit for me?"
Typically, schools hold campus involvement fairs for students to discover all of the clubs and organizations on campus. Big Future by College Board is also a great resource to find a general overview of activities at different colleges and universities. Once you have searched the name of the school, go to the Campus Life tab and then click on Activities for a general list. 

If you have any questions, please email us at or message us on Facebook!

Monday, January 12, 2015

College Fair: The January Workshop

Get excited for College Fair, the January workshop! This is your chance to explore different colleges, ask questions, and find out what each school can provide for you.

Want to get a head start? Here is a list of the 10 colleges that will be represented at the workshop. Feel free to read up on the basic information listed below and also explore the College Board and college website links to help you formulate any questions to ask during the workshop.

If you are unsure how to navigate the College Board website, check out some of the previous blog posts : The College Search: Step-By-Step and Digging Deeper into Big Future by College Board. These posts give a breakdown of the website's layout as well as the importance of certain college statistics.

  1. Hocking College
    - 2-year public college
    - Located in Nelsonville, OH
    - About 4,000 undergraduate students
    - 100% of applicants admitted

    Hocking College Website
    College Board - Hocking College
  2. Shawnee State University
    - 4-year public university
    - Located in Portsmouth, OH
    - About 4,000 undergraduate students
    - 83% of applicants admitted

    Shawnee State University Website
    College Board - Shawnee State University
  3. Marshall University- 4-year public university
    - Located in Huntington, WV
    - About 10,000 undergraduate students
    - 79% of applicants admitted

    Marshall University Website
    College Board - Marshall University
  4. Washington State Community College
    - 2-year public community college
    - Located in Marietta, OH
    - About 2,000 undergraduate students
    - 100% of applicants admitted

    Washington State Community College Website
    College Board - Washington State Community College
  5. University of Rio Grande
    - 4-year private community college
    - Located in Rio Grande, OH
    - About 2,000 undergraduate students
    - 73% of applicants admitted

    University of Rio Grande Website
    College Board - University of Rio Grande
  6. Marietta College- 4-year private college
    - Located in Marietta, OH
    - About 1,500 undergraduate students
    - 64% of applicants admitted

    Marietta College Website
    College Board - Marietta College
  7. Ohio Valley University
    - 4-year private university
    - Located in Vienna, WV
    - About 500 undergraduate students
    - 38% of applicants admitted

    Ohio Valley University Website
    College Board - Ohio Valley University
  8. Ohio Christian University- 4-year private university
    - Located in Circleville, OH
    - About 3,000 undergraduate students
    - 97% of applicants admitted

    Ohio Christian University Website
    College Board - Ohio Christian University
  9. University of Cincinnati
    - 4-year public university
    - Located in Cincinnati, OH
    - About 24,000 undergraduate students
    - 73% of applicants admitted

    University of Cincinnati Website
    College Board - University of Cincinnati
  10. Ohio University 
    - 4-year public university
    - Located in Athens, OH
    - About 24,000 undergraduate students
    - 73% of applicants admitted

    Ohio University Website
    College Board - Ohio University

If you have any questions, email us at or message us on Facebook!

Majors, Minors, Certificates and Your Path to a Career

The Basics

A major is a specific subject area that college students choose to specialize in, and it will help prepare students for their careers after college.

When applying to college, do not panic when it comes to selecting a major. Many students go into college undecided. At most four-year colleges, students have until the end of sophomore year to declare a major. This gives students plenty of time to take a range of classes to find an area of interest.
However, if you know what you would like to focus in, go ahead and declare your major, and if your mind changes later on, that's okay too. Most students switch their major during college.

There are two different general categories of majors; career-oriented and liberal arts.

Career-oriented majors:
Students in these majors are being prepared for a very specific career. Nursing is a great example of a career-oriented major. These students learn explicit skills needed to pass a licensing exam and to ultimately become a nurse.
Career-oriented majors typically have specific course requirements. Most classes will be related to the major.
Some other examples of career-oriented majors are:
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Commercial Art

Liberal arts majors:
Liberal arts is an umbrella term -- meaning that a wider variety of classes fall under the decided major. Students who choose liberal arts majors aren't necessarily on a narrow path to a specific career, rather they are open to more variation.
Some examples of liberal-arts majors and careers that they may lead to are:
  • English: editor, writer, playwright
  • History: museum registrar, researcher, archivist
  • Political Science: consumer affairs, international relations, elected public official
  • Psychology: counselor, laboratory assistant, psychologist
Career Center is a great website in which you can learn about the various careers that different liberal arts majors can lead to.

At most colleges, students have the opportunity to double-major, add a minor, create a new major, and earn a certificate.

Taking on two majors is a lot of work, but has potential for a greater reward.
Students who choose to double-major must critically map out their four-year plan. Each class must be chosen wisely -- some classes may overlap and count for double credit. It is important to set up a meeting with an advisor to map out a precise schedule if you want to graduate on time.
** Do not declare a double-major if you are just unable to decide between two different majors. That's not the point.
A double major is meant to give students a broader base and a potential for a more competitive advantage when it comes to searching for jobs. Students who double-major tend to pick two majors that can work together for a desired career.

A minor is similar to a second major, but requires fewer classes. Some departments even require students to select a minor to go along with their major. Adding a minor is important if a student with a liberal arts major want an area of focus.
For example, a student with a dance major may want to consider a minor in business administration if he or she would like to start up a dance studio after college.
Some other examples of minors are:
  • Film
  • World Religions
  • Business
  • Applied Nutrition
Create your own major
This opportunity often goes unnoticed. If you really are passionate about something, but your college doesn't offer a major for it, see if you can create your own -- some colleges allow this, but some do not.
When creating a major, students have the freedom and responsibility of selecting a variety of classes that fit to the desired outcome.
**Creating a degree requires an application process -- this will vary depending on the school. Talk to an adviser or school official to see what is needed to be done.

Certificate Programs
Getting a certificate is not the same as getting a minor. College certificate programs are designed for students who are interested in learning a specific subject or skill in a short amount of time.
Some examples of certificates are:
  • Diversity studies
  • Political communication
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global leadership
See how these are more specific than most majors/minors? Once you're accepted into a certificate program, you will be taking a few very specific classes that pertain to the certificate title.
**Some certificate programs require application.

When planning for the future, remember that it is important to truly enjoy what you do. Making a hefty salary is great, but what's not great is having to dread going to work every day.
Too many students pick a major based on the money and wind up working jobs that they wish they weren't. College is a time for you to explore -- take classes that interest you. You will know when you find the path that is meant for you.