Should I or should I not have a minor?
This is a question most students consider at some point in their college career. Many majors allow for a minor, but for some, the question is already answered when they choose their major.
Comprehensive majors such as education, studio art and engineering have so many required major classes they don’t allow for the extra 18 hours of coursework needed to complete a minor.
Some students that fall into this category use the few electives they do have to focus on a specific concentration, even if they can’t complete a full minor.
Stephanie Booth, a middle school education major with a principal in math and science, has used her electives to take four English courses and one writing class.
Booth said she chose to focus her electives on English to improve her written communication skills and to expand her knowledge beyond the focus of her major.
Since Christian schools often ask their teachers to teach subjects outside of their specific areas of expertise, Booth said having a broad foundation in math, science, and English makes her a more desirable hire.
Bradley Arnold, a freshman cross-cultural service major, is working toward a minor in aviation.
Arnold said he chose the aviation minor because he wants to work in evangelism, and he believes learning to fly will help him reach remote parts of the world.
Ashley Anderson, a senior exercise science major, has chosen a minor in communication. Anderson said she decided to add communication as her minor after taking Fundamentals of Speech because she enjoyed the course and wanted to pursue the rhetoric side of communication.
Because her major is very people-centered, Anderson said learning good communication skills will be helpful to her working in athletic training rooms and sports medicine.
Dr. Darren Lawson, dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication, said having a minor gives you the advantage when applying for jobs.
“If you can demonstrate multiple areas of competence and expertise, then [that] puts you ahead of your peers,” Lawson said. “A lot of employers are looking for employees who have various skill sets.”
Lawson said many students don’t think enough about their future careers when choosing their electives.
“I would encourage students to fast-forward into the future to when they’re having to market themselves and manage their impression in front of other people,” Lawson said.
Dr. Renae Wentworth, dean of the College of Arts and Science, said a minor adds to a student’s overall academic program.
“A minor can bring courses into that program that the student wouldn’t normally have taken, but still complement what the student is getting in that program,” Wentworth said.
Wentworth said the benefits of having a minor or a focus for your electives include strengthening your transcript for graduate school or your profession, and in general can open doors down the road.