right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We have changed the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

3 majors, 4 semesters

dadof4kidsdadof4kids 756 replies75 threads Member
Title pretty much sums it up. I'm REALLY hoping the changes are done.

S18 changed majors this fall, along with schools and long time girlfriend, there is a long thread about it here:

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/2151227-surprising-conversation-with-son-saturday-night-p1.html)

This time he is changing back to what he said he wanted to do when he was 15-16. So I'm hoping this change will stick. He wanted to teach and coach, and then had a bad experience with a teacher in his area. He also had a girlfriend who thought he should be doing something different. So he tried going a couple different directions. Didn't like the business classes she thought he should take, so switched to communications when he switched schools. His strength is talking to people, but the coursework in the communications major was more writing focused. He actually isn't bad at that, but doesn't enjoy it. So he's drifting back to education.

Surprisingly, he might still be able to graduate in 4 years. His new advisor was optomistic, I'm not so sure. Maybe with a couple summer classes. 4.5 is probably more realistic. He did have to completely scrap his schedule, because there were a couple of classes that he absolutely had to take no later than the 4th semester. Fortunately the advisor got him into the right classes, one of which was closed.

I reminded him every day of break that if he makes any more changes, he is almost certainly adding time (and money). My sister was on the "different major every semester" plan for a while and took 6 years of full time studies to graduate. I'm sure she had more hours than she needed for a masters, just in random areas.
14 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: 3 majors, 4 semesters

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8291 replies70 threads Senior Member
    If finances are an issue, you may want to have a conversation about what happens if he does add time, in terms of your willingness to continue funding school.

    Sounds like he has a shot of finishing on time though.

    Too bad that the ex influenced his major :(
    · Reply · Share
  • doschicosdoschicos 21990 replies232 threads Senior Member
    edited January 12
    At some schools, it isn't hard to graduate in 4 years while changing majors although some major would be an exception to this. Many colleges don't requite a student to declare their major until the end of sophomore year and students still graduate on time. In fact, those schools often have the highest 4 year graduation rate.

    Many schools require a number of core and breadth classes so students often spend the first years fulfilling those then concentrate on requirements for their major during the last two years. It's likely your son took classes that helped him meet those breadth/core requirements.
    edited January 12
    · Reply · Share
  • calmomcalmom 20688 replies168 threads Senior Member
    First of all, my son did fine with a transfer & major change that did require taking some summer courses to fill the gap for some general ed requirements -- he was able to find online community college courses that qualified, and cost was very low. (He paid, not me -- and this was in California which does have pretty clear guidelines about transferable units --- but the point is that it is doable).

    But my main point is to agree with @momofsenior1 -- a parent is under no obligation to finance all of that. The main thing is to make that part very clear. My son's actually had a 3 year gap between the first 2 years and final 2 years of his college at the school where he transferred, and that meant that he had run out the clock on parental financing. (I basically had set an expiration date on parental-college support.). He did fine and actually graduated debt-free.

    I also had a sibling who had an erratic educational course -- so that is one reason I placed clear limits on my son. It is much better if your son graduates with a major that fits his goals, whenever he graduates --- but it doesn't mean that you have to bear the financial brunt of all his mistaken choices along the way.
    · Reply · Share
  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 756 replies75 threads Member
    There will be a point I stop helping, I'm guessing 5 years is my limit. I discussed it with him generally but didn't give him a hard deadline. Partly because I want him focused on getting himself where he needs to be, not just doing whatever is quickest and cheapest. He is my kid who really doesn't like school, so I'm not worried any him trying to be a permanent student.

    @doschicos is correct about the general requirements. He has pretty much ALL of them done, but at least most of his classes will still count for something. He went from Agribusiness to Ag communications to agricultural education. So besides the normal gen eds he also had a decent number of Ag classes that all 3 majors require. Which is definitely helpful.

    One thing that could hold him up is the transfer policy on a couple of his ag classes. For the AG communications major he just needed a certain # of credit hours in any ag class. For the education major he needs specific classes. So he needs the department to accept his classes from the other school. Otherwise he has a couple he will retake basically the same class. On one of them the hold up is the old school also had a lab as part of the class. So they currently are saying he has to retake the class without the lab because that makes it not exactly the same. His advisor was hopeful that he could get a waiver but not certain. If he can't, definitely will need the extra half year.

    Mostly I'm happy he isn't running into prerequisite problems. He would have added an extra year if the advisor didn't get him into the full class, because he needs it for the upper level classes and it is only offered in the spring.
    · Reply · Share
  • doschicosdoschicos 21990 replies232 threads Senior Member
    Seems like his advisor is helpful and cooperative. That will help a lot.
    · Reply · Share
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9225 replies344 threads Senior Member
    It's too bad he had so many problems with his ex and that she was able to influence the course of his studies, but it's great that you can help him get back on track. If your budget limit is an extra year, make sure he knows. He may be able to cut down on time and cost by taking summer courses at a cc.
    · Reply · Share
  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 546 replies1 threads Member
    Agree with above, it's good you can help him and his advisor is a big help. So glad to hear how you're both doing.
    Sometimes there are delays through no fault of student and the advisor is the key for waivers. Cheering for you both to keep going.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35106 replies398 threads Senior Member
    I'd double check his advisor's confidence, if you haven't already. Be aware of classes that may fill fast ot potential schedule conflicts. Just after some tales on CC. And to sleep better.
    · Reply · Share
  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 295 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I'd tell him that this major has to stick, but after graduation he can use grad school (on his dime) to pivot. To be honest I'd still help him with grad school because I'm a softy.
    · Reply · Share
  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 756 replies75 threads Member
    edited January 13
    He will need a few things to fall into place for it to work, including getting 2 classes at the old school transferred in as their equivalent class, not as a general ag class. Plus technically it should work schedule wise when classes are offered but if there are 2 required classes meeting at the same time that messes him up too. Normally that shouldn't be an issue, but he will take some required classes with freshmen next year, which could conflict with his normal Junior required classes.

    He has a bunch of info about what semesters which classes are offered, I'll go over that with him before he has to sign up for fall classes. Right now he is all signed up for what he needs this semester.

    He has an internship with inflexible hours this semester, which did make the class selection more limited. Fortunately the two true must happen this semester classes were not during the hours he has to work. One of them he is actually missing the prerequisite, but they're going to let him make it up in the fall. The advisor didn't think it would be a problem for him to do them in that order.

    When he gives me the information he got from the advisor we will go over it all and try to set out a plan. My guess is he takes one or two summer classes and still has to take an extra semester. Fortunately he is not at an expensive school and he is also working which helps offset some cost. If he was a full pay student at a private university, this will be a very different conversation!

    edited January 13
    · Reply · Share
  • bgbg4usbgbg4us 1427 replies44 threads Senior Member
    hey @dadof4kids - our D16 transferred from an LAC to a state U after 1.5 years. A big part of it was due to a boy in her life. It was hard. They added on an extra year to her program. AND - getting syllabi from courses to prove equivalencies was hard; the teachers wouldn't share their info after the fact.

    but she told me the other day how besides the money factor (she left her scholarship) it's been a good thing and she's glad about the transfer. Sounds like your son is doing fine; keep encouraging him to finish.
    · Reply · Share
  • wis75wis75 14214 replies64 threads Senior Member
    edited January 13
    Thanks for the update. Looks good, even with potential course repeats. I think you need to step aside now and let your adult son manage things without you worrying. Your son has had some good life experiences that will serve him well for his future path. In some ways this bump in the road will may him much better off. He learned about himself and gained skills for his social-romantic life and he now knows his first major is the one for him. These are the intangibles of a college education. Better to have to take an extra semester now than to finish earlier and either keep in a profession he doesn't really like or spend a lot more time getting back to his preferred major.

    My son had an excellent experience with his large U honors advising. The system also allowed him to skip and reverse orders of classes with prerequisites. It is a myth that large public U's can't offer good personalized services. The key is to have enough self direction to choose a major and be plugged into its small world. Professors care just as much about their students at large U's as they do at small.

    Again- time to start distancing yourself from the nitty-gritty of your son's college life. It was great that he opened up to you and you offered needed support. Now that is is now back on track with a major and good advising he can have confidence in his choices. "No news" becomes good news.

    I'll bet no one here has had the perfectly straight path, even if for small course deviations. Life is a real world experience and your son is doing well.

    PS- thanks for relating your son's experiences. I'm sure it will help other parents.
    edited January 13
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity