Changing Majors Graphic

(Graphic by Samantha Tonarelli)

COVID-19 has changed the way students see education and students are finding that perhaps their choice of majors may not be economically feasible or provide as many career opportunities in a post-pandemic world.

With the rise of remote learning in many educational institutions including Stanislaus State, many students feel they are not getting the college experience they had hoped for.

In addition to this, the constant discussion of unemployment rates has continued on and students are paying attention in order to understand what they can expect upon graduation.

While students changing majors is not a new occurrence, some may wonder if this is more commonly happening now compared to the past.

“It’s not that those students are changing majors more than in previous years, it’s that there are less students attending college. I estimate it’s about 10 percent fewer students,” explained Harold Stanislaw, professor at CSU Stanislaus.

With remote learning impacting what students are familiar with and expecting, there appears to be a drop in attendance from students as well as applications to be students.

Stanislaw also said that in general the school has always had a trend of students changing majors in their freshman and sophomore years, meaning it is common and normal for this type of major change to occur.

Some students currently attending CSU Stanislaus are contemplating changing majors as they continue to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic.

"I haven't changed it yet, but I'm definitely thinking about it. I would say it does have to do with the pandemic," said Rigo Maldonado. (junior, Economics)

Where we see the most impact of students changing majors is in STEM related majors. Stanislaw weighs in on this by adding, “Students tend to leave STEM majors because they don’t sense or see a sense of belonging”.

There is concern that this trend may be mirrored in other majors due to the pandemic. Since some students haven't been on campus in some time, they may not feel a sense of belonging in their current major, leading them to be more willing to make a change.

As more students gain access to the campus, resources, and financial opportunities, the potential for disconnect may lessen as campus continues its return to what many consider normal.

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