Majors Welcome Second Years

November 10, 2020

In the weeks before spring pre-registration, every major is welcoming second-year Grinnellians (GrinnellShare). From Nov. 1 through 13, a series of department welcome sessions (PDF, GrinnellShare) with titles like, “Get the right angle on math! Get the big data on stats!,” “Sociological Promise in the Age of Crises,” and “Why Art History Matters,” encourage students to meet faculty and to learn about upcoming courses, faculty research opportunities and the major in general. Many will feature upper-class students, so second years can get the real scoop on the major.

Interested students should check the list of events to find the date, and then the Second-Year events calendar (GrinnellShare) to get a link to the virtual event. Many events will be recorded and posted if a student is unable to attend live.

Last year, second-year students reported that the environment of the events was friendly and welcoming. In most cases students had the opportunity to interact with multiple faculty members, learned how to get a new adviser, heard about the department’s expectations of majors and opportunities within the major, and were able to ask questions individualized to their interests and pathway. In many cases upper-class students were present and talked about their experience in the major, which enriched the conversation. As a result, many students reported that they were more likely to declare that major or that it clarified their decision making.

By the time a student registers for their third year, they need to have declared a major. This process of joining a department often brings students a new connection to Grinnell that reinforces a sense of belonging. In a 2018 study about majors at Grinnell conducted by researcher Georgeanna Robinson, a student interviewed reflected this sentiment, “[My] favorite thing about being [in my major is] I get to know all the people in my major and we form a really close knit community.” Grinnell wants students to make an informed decision about this step in their Grinnell journey, and attending this event, as part of the programming for second-years this fall (PDF, GrinnellShare), may just be the perfect step forward.

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