Alexis Marchitte—Well folks, it’s that time of year again, registration for the next semester. If you know me, then you know that I have a strict four-year plan that I tweak here and there every single time registration comes around. The future scares me a little, but it calms my nerves when I sit down and plan out exactly what I need to get done each semester, each year, before I apply to graduate school, etc. If you ask my roommate I have these extra large Post-It notes that are larger than my head that I write all my courses on and I have a whole folder full of plans. My next idea is to make a dream board, a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal.
Although I might have made it sound easy, planning the next couple years of your life or even planning your next semester isn’t a piece of cake. It definitely isn’t something you can do alone. Fortunately at Brockport every student is assigned an adviser, that is in your major department, to help you pick the right classes in the right order. For you potential students, Brockport has something called a Degree Audit which is essentially is a list of every class you need to take before you graduate. At the top it lists your majors, minors and concentrations. It states your GPA and your adviser at the top as well because your adviser will change as you choose to switch majors. For example right now I am a kinesiology major, athletic training intent and biology minor. My degree audit shows all the general education requirements, prerequisites and requirements for kinesiology, required classes I would take if I do get into the Athletic Training Program, and the requirements to obtain a biology minor. This is extremely helpful because it checks off what you’ve already taken or what transferred over from your high school credits, and it shows what classes are in progress. If you click on each class as well it will give you a description of the class, how many credits it is, if there are any prerequisites and what times the class is being offered next semester.
The best part about Degree Audit is its “What-If” option. If you are interested in seeing what other majors/minors offer that aren’t your own, then here it’ll show you. This is perfect for students who aren’t quite sure what direction they’re headed yet or if they want to change majors like the majority of most college students. I, for example, have to make a back up plan schedule just in case I don’t get into the Athletic Training Program. I use the “What-If” option to see what other majors are out there for me like Exercise Science. Here is an example of a degree audit below.
It may seem confusing at first but honestly it is a life saver. You don’t want to get to your senior year and realize you forgot to take a couple classes. Those of us who are planning to continue on to graduate school must be really paying attention to these as well because sometimes graduate school programs require classes that aren’t going to be required by your major. It is your responsibility to know those graduate school prerequisites and make sure you’re taking them even though it might not show up on Degree Audit.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our advisers, professors and even peers like RAs are here to help us understand these things. They want us to succeed, especially here at Brockport. Good luck to all the current students registering for classes! May all your classes have spots open for you!