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5 Tips on How to Select College Classes

The transition from high school to college entails major changes in a student’s life. Many important decisions need to be made. One of the most critical tasks is to decide which courses to include in your class schedule. A number of factors should be considered when making your selections.

Beyond the general-education requirements, there is a wide array of options that may seem overwhelming at first. The list can be reduced quickly if you know what you need. Here are five tips for picking college classes.

1. Get Some Help
Filling out a class schedule, especially in your freshman year, can be daunting. You are making decisions that will affect your academic future. Advisers are available at colleges and universities to provide assistance.

These counselors help students pick courses, determine the semester-hour load they can handle, and craft their class schedules. You may want to take the bulk of your courses on certain days of the week, or spread them out. You could be a morning person, or one who is more alert in the afternoon or evening. You might have a part-time job that determines when you are available for classes.

Advisers can help you deal with other aspects of college life, as well. Take advantage of this resource.

2. Check Out Classes and Professors
You cannot find out everything about a course simply by reading about it. Visiting classrooms during the early days of your first semester can help you make decisions. If you sit in on a class that you wish you had selected, it may not be too late to add it to your schedule. You also can consider taking it the following semester. Some universities encourage this so-called “course shopping.”

Learn about the people teaching the classes. Reviews and ratings of professors at major universities are available from several online sources. You also can talk with fellow students on campus who have taken classes with professors you are considering. Beware of a small sample size, as negative comments by one or two students do not necessarily provide an accurate picture.

3. Determine the Core Requirements
General-education classes that are mandated for all students are called core requirements. Colleges and universities differ in the policies, but most require successful completion of courses in the categories of science, math, language arts and social studies. Make sure you know all the classes from which to choose, in each category. Select “introduction to” courses, and those that best relate to the major you anticipate pursuing.

Many students want to get these requirements out of the way, to clear their schedule in later semesters for upper-level classes and other academic offerings more suited to their majors. However, if you are not sure which major to pursue, you may want to defer some of the general-education classes. When your major becomes clear, you will know which of the class alternatives within the core requirements are appropriate.

Do not take many electives during your freshman and sophomore years. These courses may not be relevant for the major you wind up pursuing. On the other hand, college is an opportunity to study topics that interest you. Find a balance in these concerns.

4. Choose Varied Courses
Students change their majors often during their college years. Freshmen are the least likely to know for sure the type of degree they will end up earning. By putting together a varied class schedule, you have a better chance of covering your academic bases. This method will expose you to more subjects, expanding your ideas for future classes.

Make sure to take some classes that involve writing, as this is a required skill in most degree programs. You need to be able to compose essays, and present yourself in a professional manner to prospective employers.

5. Focus on Your Degree
Learn early on which courses are required to qualify for the degree you are seeking. While you won’t have to worry about most of these classes during your first couple of years, you must have a plan.

If you feel certain about the major you want, begin taking some upper-level courses even as you are completing the core requirements. Some of the classes you need for your degree may fill quickly, or not be offered each semester. You don’t want to find out during your senior year that you have failed to take a required course.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that the classes you select meet your needs. Picking the right courses, at the appropriate time, is just part of the challenge. You also must create a workload you can sustain, and have a class schedule that fits with the rest of your life. Making your selections wisely can help you reach your goals.

Morning or Afternoon College Classes?

Colleges will schedule classes at various times in the day. You can find a large variety of courses in the morning with some being held as early as seven or eight in the morning depending on where you go. Meanwhile, there are plenty of courses anywhere you go that can be held in the afternoon.

Your decision as to what time of the day your courses should be in can make a real difference. There are many good considerations to think about when choosing courses based on when they are to take place during the day.

When Are You Alert?

Your alertness is a key point to think about when determining the time of day when you should take classes. You might have an easier time thinking or staying alert during the morning hours while some others might be better at it later in the day.

Think carefully about when you’re more likely to be mentally prepared before you take courses at a certain time. Consider how you function in a typical day and set up your class schedule based on that. This is to give you a better chance at doing more with your studies.

Consider Your Other Obligations

Perhaps you might have a job or another key duty that takes place during a certain time of day. If you work in the morning hours then you might need to take courses in the afternoon or later. This is to ensure you have enough of a balance in terms of all the key aspects of your life.

Take a look at your general schedule and prepare your college classes at a time when you know your outside engagements won’t get in the way. Schedule your classes so you won’t feel more pressure than needed through a time crunch that might otherwise be difficult for you to maintain.

What Professors Are You Interested In?

You might want to consider the professors that are available when it comes to taking classes. Think about whether or not it is a good idea for you to take a course at a certain time of day simply because you really like the professor who is teaching it.

You might have to make a sacrifice based on who’s teaching a course. You might have to change your routine if you want to take a course at a different time of day than what you are used to or comfortable with if you really like a professor. Of course, you might also have to skip a course if you find that it’s not easy for you to pull off.

When Can You Handle Your Out Of Class Work?

Don’t forget to think about the time of the day when you can handle the work that you have to complete outside of class. Think about whether you tend to complete outside coursework either during the early or later hours in the day. Schedule your courses based on when it is easier for you to complete those tasks and you’ll see that it is not too hard to get the most out of your coursework.

Be careful when figuring out when you’re going to take college classes. The timing of your classes will certainly be more important than you might think it is. You must schedule your courses at times that are easier for you to manage without being too complicated or otherwise difficult for you to manage.

5 Tips for Comparing Majors in Your School

Choosing a major can be a challenge to do. You have to compare the majors that are available in your school carefully so you can choose the right one. You don’t want to get into a situation where you might regret the decision you make. As a result you should see what types of majors are available at a school and use these particular parameters for finding one that’s right for you.

Look At the Courses

Take a look at the coursework that will be required of you in different majors. Various majors will have their own coursework standards that must be followed. Some majors in the field of science might focus more on math-related courses than computer-related ones, for instance. Check to see if the major you want to take has courses that you might actually be interested in.

On a related note, think about the particular internships, student groups and other resources available for you based on the courses you are taking. You might find different groups that have interests that are similar to you based on whatever you want to study.

Consider Your Talents

Take a look at whatever talents you might have. Perhaps you are a good speaker or you have strong writing skills. Take a look at those talents and see what particular majors in your school might be right for you. A great writer could major in journalism, for instance.

What Everyday Skills Are Involved?

The skills you will learn in your major go well beyond just what is needed for you to be successful in a particular job. Everyday skills may also play a big part in your major.

Many majors will entail courses dedicated to solving complicated problems, how to communicate with others and even how to speak particular languages. The variety of skills that you might learn in your major will certainly make a difference.

Look Beyond Salary

While you might hear stories about the amounts of money people with certain majors make, you should ignore those stories. There is always a potential you could earn more or less than whatever someone says your major is worth. Your total earnings will be based heavily on the market you are in, how experienced you are and whether or not you are an efficient worker.

Don’t Think You’re Limited

The last tip is to avoid thinking that there are limits as to what you can do with your college degree depending on the major you are in. The major might help you get into various jobs but that doesn’t mean your future is limited to just those particular jobs.

Try and compare majors based on the specific types of jobs or lines of work people have gotten into. A person with a mathematics degree could be in a sports-related field or in a space-related industry, for instance. You might be surprised at the jobs that are available to you based on a particular major. Therefore, feel free to look around to see what types of jobs you could get out of your particular major.

You should think carefully when you’re trying to find a major that you can be comfortable with. Comparing college majors doesn’t have to be too hard to do if you use the points listed in this guide to help you along. Take a look at as many of these majors as possible and you’ll see that you might get a great total going for your studies.

6 Steps to Taking Challenging College Courses

Some classes come easy for people and others don’t. When you find yourself struggling with a class in college, there are several steps you can take to try and improve your understanding of the material, and in turn, your final grade.

Voice Your Concerns
Email is one of the most popular forms of communication, but there is no replacement for speaking with someone in person. Most professors have office hours available. Make an appointment and use that time to discuss exactly what you’re struggling with one-on-one. Show them you’re committed to the class. If you have concerns about assignments or exams, bring up those specific concerns and ask if they have any recommendations for you. They may be able to put you in touch with a tutor or study group.

Ask About Extra Credit
Some college professors believe in extra credit and others don’t. It never hurts to ask. If you’re doing your best, but you really need something to bump your grade up, politely ask your professor if there is anything else you can do to earn an extra grade. Sometimes writing an extra paper or doing an extra project can make a huge difference in your final grade.

Step Up Your Study Time
Dedicate a specific day and time to studying just for the class you are having trouble with. Each study session, review what you did in class that week. Make notes about the concepts you’re still struggling with and discuss them with your professor. Read the material for the following week so you can really focus on the key concepts as your professor covers them.

Study What Is Important
When you’re preparing for an exam, spend the majority of your time studying concepts that were covered very well in class. Spend less time studying those that your professor brushed over. You may need to know them, but you likely need to know less about them if they were only briefly mentioned.

Think Through Your Struggles
Ask yourself why you’re having trouble with this particular class so you can learn from the experience. If the class is too late or early in the day and you’re having trouble focusing, see if it’s offered at a time that’s better for you. If you find the professor to be very hands-off or their teaching style is difficult for you, see if the same course is taught by another professor. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, or are regularly missing the class, make a conscious effort to eliminate those problems.

Visit Your Advisor
Express your concerns about the class to your advisor and ask if there are any resources on campus to help you. He or she may be able to recommend a study group or tutor that your professor isn’t aware of. If the class becomes too much and is not a requirement for your major, you may decide to drop it. Always discuss this with your advisor first. You should be aware of all drop dates, deadlines, any fees and any possible repercussions of your choice.

You may be surprised at what you’re able to overcome and accomplish when you put your mind to it. Use the tips above when you’re met with a challenging course. The lessons you learn from your struggles will benefit you as a professional in the future as well.

Choosing the Ideal Course for Your Dream Career

Deciding which university to attend is difficult enough but you will also need to decide which course to sign up for to get your dream job. If you already know your dream career, you’re halfway there. However, you’ll also need to learn how to get to that dream career. Deciding which course to select will depend greatly on the kind of job you want after graduating. This guide will provide you the help you need to select a course that fits the bill:

Meet a career counselor

One of the best things to do to find the right course is to actually get help from a career counselor or a student advisor. A career counselor will be able to guide you in the right direction with good information as well as personal experiences.

Identifying your abilities and interests

Identify your academic strengths and your interests. Begin with a broader search area to decide which field interests you and then decide on the concrete subjects. Self assessment tests can be found online to help you understand what type of career you are best suited for.

Research

Once you know which career is the most suitable for you, the next step would be to research to learn more about the job prospects for that career. Get more information by talking to other students, professors or by searching online. Learn more about the courses you are interested in by checking the websites of various universities. Talk to professionals working in the industry as well as to graduates to get an insider’s perspective.

Course outline

Before signing up for courses at the university, always check the course outline to ensure that it will cover the subjects you are interested in learning. Learn more about the examinations, types of assignments and learning methodology for the course so you know what to expect. You will also need to learn more about the course duration and whether you want to study part-time or full-time.

Admission requirements

Certain courses tend to be very competitive and it may be very hard to get accepted for those courses. Some courses are also too difficult to complete successfully, even if you have good academic capabilities. Be realistic and honest when it comes to course selection. If you are not quite confident of being accepted into a particular university, check similar courses offered at other universities that might be easier to get in.

Cost

While the course you select might be perfect for you in every aspect, affordability is also a crucial factor to consider. Other than the tuition, there might be additional costs for field trips and text books that you may not have accounted for. However, there are several financial aid options available today that may help you so it would be a good idea to look into these options.

The right course can propel you in the right direction and increase your chances of getting a job you always wanted so it is important to spend a considerable amount of time researching and comparing your options.

4 Most Popular College Majors

College students consider a number of factors when choosing their majors. They assess their interests and skills, and match them to potential careers. Degree programs vary not only in the subject matter of the course work, but also in cost and the number of years required to graduate.

If the potential for earnings was the only consideration, everyone would major in engineering. There would probably be more medical students if the process did not require so much money and time. Equalizing all salaries would quickly solve the teacher shortage.

At last report, 42 percent of students chose one of 10 majors, according to the Business Insider. These degree programs concern business, health care, education, and a few other fields. Here is a look at the most popular college majors, and the top-ranked schools offering them.

1. Business

Eight percent of college students in the United States were majoring in business management and administration, when the Business Insider conducted its most recent survey. Degree programs in general business and accounting each attracted about 5 percent of students, placing them second and third on the list. Another business program, marketing and marketing research, ranked seventh with 3 percent of students.

Business majors take classes in subjects like accounting, marketing, finance, economics, statistics, budgeting and business planning, and employee management. The careers they seek require good math skills, as well as strong interpersonal communication.

According to Bloomberg Business Week, the best place in the United States to get a business degree is the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Others in the top five, in order, are the Harvard Business School, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

2. Nursing

The fourth most-popular degree program is nursing, with about 4 percent of all students. Nursing requires a wide range of skills, from the technical to the personal. Nurses must deal with highly stressful, traumatic situations. They are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat injuries and illnesses, while working under the supervision of doctors.

In their freshman year in college, majors in this field take classes in the sciences and liberal arts. As sophomores, they begin clinical rotations to gain training and practical experience. Later, nurses may specialize in oncology, neurology, pediatrics, or obstetrics.

According to rankings compiled by U.S. News and World Report, three schools are tied for the distinction of having the best nursing program. They are St. Johns University in Baltimore, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and the University of Washington in Seattle. Next on the list are the University of California at San Francisco and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

3. Psychology

Psychology degree programs also attract about 4 percent of students. Classes cover complex subjects related to the workings of the human brain. Students learn about intelligence, perceptions, emotions, personalities, and learning abilities. They diagnose and treat mental disorders, and help patients cope with emotional challenges.

Getting a degree in psychology is just the beginning of the educational requirements to work in this field. A graduate degree from a medical school, as well as training and certification, also are required.

The Social Psychology Network reported that Stanford University has the best undergraduate program, based on a Princeton University report. Others in the top five are Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

4. Education

Elementary education majors make up about 4 percent of students, while about 3 percent pursue degrees in general education. While not among the higher-paying professions, teaching provides opportunities for other rewards. Inspiring children to learn can be highly gratifying.

Students majoring in education take mostly general-education courses, with some class work focusing on the grade levels they expect to teach. While in school,  education majors frequently serve as student teachers to gain training and experience.

Michigan State University has the top degree programs in education, according to Campus Explorer. It ranked Pennsylvania State University second, Ohio University third, Vanderbilt University fourth, and the University of Georgia fifth.

These are the most popular college majors, and some of the institutions renowned for their degree programs in those fields. Pursuing these studies can lead to rewarding careers in a variety of disciplines.

Considering choices other students make can be instructive. However, it isrecommended that students focus on their individual needs and interests. Making money is not the only objective. Finding something that you can imagine yourself doing, in a full-time career, should be the main goal.

Tips for Choosing a Major

Attending a college or university entails a significant financial investment and several years of your life. You want to make the most of the experience. Selecting the major that is right for you can lead to a successful and satisfying career. There is a wide array of options, with some universities offering hundreds of degree programs. Here are some tips for choosing a major.

1. Set Priorities

You are in college to learn, earn a degree, and qualify for a good-paying job. In selecting a program, you need to balance your financial ambitions with your interests. If money was the only factor, everyone would be an engineering major. If the salaries of all occupations were equal, there would probably be more teachers and artists.

You need to make enough money to pay off your student loans and enjoy a financially secure life. Research the average salaries that graduates of certain degree programs earn, and the rates of job growth in various fields.

Understand that some professions require more than a four-year degree. To become a doctor, for instance, you have to attend an additional four years of medical school and complete a residency. The fact that this takes a lot of money, as well as time, is a serious consideration.

Remember that, after you graduate, you are likely to be working 40 hours a week or more. If the job is not something you enjoy doing, you are not going to be happy, no matter how much it pays.

2. Identify Interests

Do some self-analysis to identify the subject areas that most interest you. Assess your academic strengths and weaknesses. Consider the subjects that you liked, and those you hated, in high school.

Think about the activities you enjoy doing, and the topics that fascinate you. Identify jobs that would allow you to make a living while doing or studying those things. Imagine what you would like to do every day, if money was not a factor. As much as possible and practical, pursue your passions.

3. Research Programs

Compile a list of potential degree programs. Read the university’s course catalog to learn about the courses, subject matter, and requirements involved with each of the majors you are considering. Take a look at the textbooks and the sorts of assignments you would be expected to complete.

Take advantage of resources like professors, advisors, and fellow students. Ask them about courses and programs. High school and college counselors also are excellent sources of information and advice.

Speak with professionals who have careers in fields you are considering. Find out about the joys and drawbacks of their jobs. Picture yourself doing what they do, and try to determine whether it looks like something that would make you happy as well as financially secure.

4. Take Your Time

Relax and realize that you do not have to make a decision right away. College freshmen face enough of a challenge in adjusting to their new lives, dealing with academic and social pressures. You don’t have to decide upon a major until your sophomore or junior year.

Until then, start completing general-education course requirements. In addition, take math and science classes, because many majors require them. Select electives that you find interesting. If a course intrigues you, there’s a good chance it will be relevant to the major that you eventually choose (or to a job that you get someday).

5. Change Your Mind

Selecting a degree program does not set in stone what you are going to be doing the rest of your life. Few students end up graduating in the field they initially chose. Nearly everyone changes majors at least once.

You may find that the work is too difficult, or that the subject matter does not spark your interest to the extent that you expected. It’s possible that you will discover another subject area that seems more promising. This is called learning and growing, so do not resist it. Don’t feel trapped in your major; you can always change your mind.

Your options do not end upon graduation. People frequently change careers. at some point in their lives, because their passions change or the demand for their services decreases. This is why it is important to take some college classes that you find interesting, even if they don’t apply to your major. They may teach you information you can use later in life.

Choosing a major that leads to a career is one of the most significant actions you will ever take. Though the advice of parents and others can be helpful, it is a personal decision. You need to take a hard look at your interests, abilities, and financial goals. Then you can pick the degree program that is right for you.

Transfer Credit Evaluations

Transfer credit evaluations are complex scenarios, each different according the school’s policies. Transfer credit evaluations come into play when a student transfers schools midyear or decides to enter a bachelor’s degree program after completing an associate’s degree. To make sure that your transfer credit evaluation goes as smoothly as possible, consider the following steps:

1.Check to See if There is An Articulation Agreement

Many different colleges have articulation agreements with other schools throughout the country. Community colleges often have articulation agreements or guaranteed acceptance agreements with many different schools throughout the state. If a school has an articulation agreement than that means that it will accept courses from other schools that are comparable to their own courses that they offer.

2. Check the Rules of the Agreement

Often times many schools will only accept courses with a grade of “C” or higher. Make sure to check if your college will accept “Ds” or you could be in dire straits when it comes to actually choosing a major and planning out how the rest of your semester will go. Another thing to consider is whether the institution is religious or secular. Many times religious schools will not accept religion courses that are taken at secular school. At the same time religious schools do require students to take courses in religion. This rule could affect you greatly so pay attention!

3. Check Your Transfer Guide

Check your transfer guide to see what course is equivalent to what. Transfer guides are often published directly on school admissions websites but many times a hard copy can be obtained through an admissions counselor. Transfer guides can be very confusing. Make sure you have a copy of your degree requirements open when going through the transfer guide on your own. This way it will be much less confusing.

4. Mail in Your Transcript

Some schools will accept electronic transcripts or unofficial transcripts but most schools still prefer the traditional official transcript which has to be mailed in an official sealed envelope straight from the school. Some schools will also have you fill out a form that allows them to obtain the transcript directly from your previous school. Make sure to follow all of their instructions by filling out all of the necessary forms in a prompt, professional manner. It is important to be prompt in this because transfer credit evaluations can take a significant amount of time. Most colleges will require the evaluation to be completed before you pay your deposit or register for any classes.

5. Meet With Your Advisor

This is one of the most important steps in the entire process. All of the research that you have been doing all leads up to this point! Make sure you study the manuals backwards and forwards before you reach this point. Much of it is the same whether you are a traditional student attending a brick and mortar university, or a nontraditional student going to school online. When you meet with your advisor do not hesitate to bring up any questions that you may have. Bringing up these valuable questions will save time, money, and effort later. Your advisor is a qualified, experienced professional. No question is ‘too stupid’ for him or her to answer, so ask away!

6. Evaluation Agencies

if you transferring credits to an institute in another country (International students) getting your credentials evaluated form an internationally recognized evaluation agency is the best way to go about it, it might save you a hefty amount in tuition fees in the form of credit waivers.

Lastly, be sure to have fun at your new school. This is a new school filled with new opportunities. Chances are, you are not the only one that is a frightened transfer student about to embark on one of the greatest adventures ever in your lifetime!

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