Finding Your Place at YSU

By Dom Fonce

Youngstown State University’s Majors and Minors Exploration Fair will be held Wednesday, Sept. 16 in the Chestnut Room from 11 to 2 p.m. The fair is a place to help undecided and on-the-fence students discover the best major to suit their passions and skills.

 Crystal Bannon, adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and Justin Edwards, adviser in the College of Creative Arts and Communication, are running the fair this year.

 The duo said it is extremely important for all students who are unsure about their future to attend the Majors Fair.

 “The most important thing for students to understand is that no matter what pathway you have in mind for a major, students always make changes,” Edwards said. “The average graduate changes their career multiple times, even post-college.”

 The Majors Fair is trying to help students find their path as fast as possible.

According to survey statistics provided by Edwards, 95 percent of last year’s fair participants felt they increased their understanding of the opportunities available at YSU, while 50 percent said they were planning on changing their majors after the fair.

 The fair will have more than 50 tables, with a certain number representing each college. It will also offer many other activities and events.

 “Rookery Radio will be DJing, and we will be providing free food as well as a few free giveaways, including one by Dean Kestner — a Jawbone activity tracker,” Bannon said.

 Participation in the Majors Fair has grown over the last six years, but Bannon and Edwards are still making improvements.

“The big thing we’ve made a shift in is to try to emphasize the fact that you can learn more about your minors,” Edwards said. “A lot of majors need that minor, so for first year students that might not have been something they’ve considered yet.”

 Also, the MyPlan test will be available for undecided students to take. The online test is free — it matches a student’s proclivities to a good major. The test will be emailed to all undecided students before the fair.

Members of Pete’s Pride will volunteer their time to provide students with their experiences of change. Business and Honors students, as well as SALSA — the Student Affairs Leadership Support Association — will also volunteer.

 Bill Buckler, associate professor in the geography department and coordinator of academic advising, worked with the provost to find funding for this year’s fair. He said Bannon and Edwards are a good team.

“Justin is creative while Crystal is spunky and responsible. They have the capability, skills and habits to set up this event the right way,” Buckler said. “The students love them too, they’re great advisers.”

He said it’s important for students to graduate as soon as possible.

“While I realize that students have to move at a healthy and comfortable pace, student debt is so high that finding your path, finding a complementary minor to your major, finding a professor to be your mentor and finding your niche in life are essential — the fair can help students achieve that,” Buckler said.