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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU should notify students of academic minors

opinion+10%2F11%2F2023
opinion 10/11/2023

When students find interest in a certain genre of classes, they may begin taking more classes in a similar vein. After earning around 18 hours of classes within a certain topic, they could be eligible to claim a minor. However, if they are not careful or paying attention, they might not claim or graduate with the minor they have earned and deserve.
I believe Mississippi State University should implement a system that goes through students’ classes when they are of junior standing to determine if students are close to completing a minor.
In undergraduate studies, a minor differs from a major in terms of course load. A major can require upwards of 120 hours to complete. U.S. News reports the criteria of a minor to be “between 15 and 20 credit hours.”
Since a minor requires far less credit hours to obtain, many students with a special interest in certain subjects could be close to completing a minor by the time they graduate.
The current process of obtaining a minor at Mississippi State puts the responsibility on the student. To get a minor, a student must know they have the correct course load, then submit a form to the corresponding school. After that, they will declare it as the minor and take all the necessary course work. 
MSU has recently updated the system that students use to look at classes, switching from CAAP to Degree Works. I believe since Mississippi State has recently changed the system for students, they should not have any trouble adding a system that can identify possible minors. 
Some students do not see the benefit of obtaining a minor. However, graduating with a minor can take students in different directions and broaden their horizons as they set out on their career paths.
Having a minor listed on one’s resume might help a future employer understand a person’s additional interests and skills. It is a way for students to develop their knowledge and further their understanding of particular subjects without having to change their major. 
An academic minor can also enhance the value of a student’s major and can help a person stand out in the job market. Best Colleges, an online college information resource, states that “there are some clear benefits to earning a minor. Undergrads can complement their major and develop interdisciplinary strengths with a minor … a minor might even help you out after graduation as you look for jobs.” 
It is clear that having a minor can be helpful for students in the long run, though some students may not even realize they have one. MSU’s failure to notify students of possible minors keeps these minors a secret from the students who are unknowingly earning them.
An article from UC Davis showcases their own system for declaring minors.
“In the meantime, check out the “what if” feature on My Degree. It can help you plan for a minor. And, don’t forget to submit your minor declaration form on our Online Advising Student Information System (OASIS) after you’ve registered for the last of your minor classes,” the website reads. 
Minors should not be a secret to students. If a student enjoys studying a certain subject, and they so happen to earn a minor, the university should inform students of their qualifying successes. Otherwise, the student may never know to claim their minor to receive credit for it upon graduating. 
Mississippi State University is constantly evolving and improving. The university is constantly adding programs and incentives that make students choose MSU to pursue their education.
I believe that implementing this system would benefit the lives of the students and offer them the opportunity for greater success upon graduation.
If a student is set and certain on getting a minor, more power to them. Yet, if a student enjoys a certain string of classes and they just so happen to get a minor, then they deserve to know the full details of their accomplishments at this wonderful institution.
I believe a computer program that could view a student’s transcript and identify possible minors that the student has qualified for or earned and has not claimed would be a great service to students at Mississippi State.

About the Contributor
Reed Lindsey, Staff Writer
Reed Lindsey is a junior English major. Reed is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU should notify students of academic minors