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It’s not uncommon for a college student to change schools or to change their major. It’s also not uncommon for both of those changes to occur at the same time. Neither situation necessarily forces someone into starting from the very beginning. Strayer University South Raleigh Campus Dean, Kimberly Williams, shared some insight on what to consider and how to approach transferring schools and changing majors simultaneously.
“Before a student switches their major, they need to review and
confirm a few things,” Williams says.
“They need to be certain that the new major is of great interest to them—that they’re passionate about it. Then they need to research the school they plan to transfer to so they can understand the new things like completion rate, persistence rate, placement rate, and salaries, specifically in the newly selected field.”
Additional research should include potential career outcomes for the new major and demand for graduates of that field. When possible, students should interview people who are in the career areas of interest. Resources like Strayer’s admissions officers and student services coaches can help guide students as they conduct the research and apply it to their situations.
Students should also do research into any possible overlaps between courses they’ve completed and courses required for the new major. In some cases, those overlaps can reduce the number of courses needed to graduate with the newly chosen degree. There’s also the possibility of testing out of some courses or receiving credit for work experience.
Williams says, “Transfer students need to understand whether their new school will accept credits from the school they’re leaving, and whether transferring will help or hinder their progress. Not all completed courses may transfer.” Credits that don’t transfer may need to be earned again at the new school, which requires both time and funding, so it is best if students go into that fully informed.
Laura Chase is a Strayer student who came to the university with a nearly completed bachelor’s degree from another school. She’d left school to go to work, but wanted to complete her degree. Talking with one of Strayer’s admissions officers helped her get answers to the numerous questions she had. School staff helped her apply for financial aid, and she began to explore the coursework related to an Information Systems degree. She was able to test out of some courses and transfer numerous credits from her previous school.
Chase ultimately finished in less than two and a half years—and could have graduated more quickly if she had gone to school full-time. In the end, she found the effort worthwhile. Earning a bachelor’s degree helped her get a promotion at her job, and more recently, the degree allowed her to apply for positions where a college degree was a hiring requirement. She currently works for a government contactor that handles retirement benefits for federal employees. “Strayer was the right place for me,” Chase says.
Ms. Chase’s experiences are her own and are not necessarily representative of the typical Strayer University student. Learn more about earning your degree with transfer credits at Strayer University.