Exploratory Studies Workshop: A Preview of Science, Math and Health at Rowan

While the Exploratory Studies program at Rowan is being chosen more by freshmen undecided about their educational paths, many within the major do have a general idea of what fields they are drawn to, but they want a closer look before committing to a major. The workshops held by Exploratory Studies provide students with an insider’s look at each specific College within the university.

These presentations, led by professors in the field, are broken into individual modules based on the College they represent. This way, students who have a general idea of what they want to study (for example, STEM or Communications) can learn more about the College that will guide them down the right path toward specifying a major.

I recently checked out the presentations by  The College of Science & Mathematics and The School of Health Professions. This was a special opportunity session to give students a better picture of the requirements and ample opportunities pertaining to these majors. Advisors and professors spoke passionately to the room full of freshmen eager to learn about their potential field of study, covering possible career options and recommended courses.

students handle lab materials in an organic chemistry class lab.
Science students take many interactive courses, such as this Organic Chemistry class, to get a hands-on experience in their field of study.

It was clear that the speakers truly cared about the future of these students, as they surveyed the room of their interests and suggested possible careers to which their passions could be applied. A PowerPoint for the Physics program, for example, declared, “If you are interested in some or all of the following, then a degree in physics may be for you!”

Representatives for each major covered in detail the curriculum for each field of study, possible degrees that could be earned, and even encouraged students to look into cross-disciplinary careers (such as science journalism) if they were torn between two areas of study. They called on a few students in the room as examples, sampling their interests and making personal recommendations as to what major best suited them.

The Rowan faculty at the workshop truly wanted to make a positive impact on the success of each and every student, informing them of potential careers within each field that are currently in high demand and laying out options for accelerated and dual-degree programs. A representative of the psychology department listed an extensive range of careers that a degree in psychology could be used for, explaining the versatility of the major. Representatives also explained the difference between different degrees students could pursue (in response to a student’s question about BA’s and BS’s), and used examples of career paths each certification could apply to.

a photo of the front of Science Hall, showing students walking in and out of the building
Science Hall

Some professors even went so far as to name various concentrations, minors and double majors that could be combined to strengthen student’s degrees and resumes to secure a better job. This valuable advice is difficult to find elsewhere, and serves as a sort of “cheat code” to help freshmen make the most out of the next four or more years they spend at Rowan.

By the end of the workshop, students were visibly more relaxed and content, having answered their questions and moving one step closer to determining their major. The pressure of declaring a major had been lifted off of their shoulders, and they were ready to begin their journey to the right career. Not only did they exit the presentation feeling prepared, they were even more excited for what their futures at Rowan have in store.

By: Nicole Cier,
Sophomore writing arts major

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