Academic minors a barrier to some students

Since Washington State University Vancouver is a satellite campus, there are certain academic minors that can be difficult for some students to complete. This is partially due to some of the necessary coursework needed to complete certain minors are being offered on a set, semester rotation.

Choosing an academic major and a minor can be challenging. It can especially be a challenge in a smaller university like WSU Vancouver where there 20 bachelor’s degrees, nine minors and 12 graduate degrees currently offered. In addition, certain departments have more difficulty hiring instructors.

Shellynda Michalek, adviser for the college of arts and sciences, says there are certain minors with coursework only offered in certain semesters. If these classes do not fit in to a student’s schedule, the student may have to wait another year in order to take the classes.

Some minors with coursework offered on a set rotation are women’s studies, film studies, zoology, addiction studies and communication.

Students interested in a particular minor which demands coursework offered on a set rotation has to express interest in a minor at least three semesters before a student’s expected graduation date. That way, a student can seek help from an advisor minor, Michalek said.

If a student is interested in a minor in communication and is expected graduation date is May 2017, a student should consult an adviser in the fall of 2015 or sooner. If a student fails to do this, there is a possibility that his or her graduation date can be delayed and the advisor may not be able to offer much assistance.

In the event that a student is unable to complete necessary requirements for his or her minor, the adviser will allow a student to complete that requirement through WSU Global, an online option through which students can take classes not offered through the Vancouver campus.

Although taking classes through the Global campus is an option, Michalek recommended that students keep in contact with their advisor.

Photo Credit: Gregory Walker

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