Fair offers chance to give majors a whirl

By James Green

Students only have a week to prepare for the Exploring Majors Fair.

All academic departments will be represented at the fair, which will be held Sept. 24. NIU’s history, environmental science and non-governmental organization leadership and development (NGOLD) majors are being highlighted at the fair this year. There will be special break-out sessions with information about the three majors.

Steven Barleen, associate director of the Academic Advising Center, hopes the presentations will pique students’ interests in what he and others feel are somewhat overlooked majors.

The presentations are expected to emphasize career possibilities and allow for question and answer segments. The NGOLD department plans on inviting current and former students from the program to speak about their experiences.

Ben Bingle, program coordinator for the NGOLD center, believes the community leadership and civic engagement major offered by NGOLD will catch the eye of any student who wants to make a difference.

“I often hear students talk about how they want to make an impact,” Bingle said. “The CLCE major helps prepare students to do just that through nonprofit, social enterprise and public service careers.”

Barleen believes career options will draw students toward history and environmental science.

The fair’s not just for those with undecided majors, either: Students who are already set on their majors are also encouraged to attend, as the fair gives students a chance to get connected with faculty and academic opportunities like the honors and tutoring programs.

“It really is in students’ best interest to learn as much as they can about everything NIU has to offer as early as they can,” Barleen said.

Attendance has been increasing ever since the fair began in 2005 and it has grown to incorporate every academic department at NIU. Last year 700 students attended.

“The exploring majors fair was designed to provide a one-stop shopping experience for anyone looking to learn about majors, minors and other academic opportunities,” Barleen said.