Major options allow ASC students flexibility

(12-18-2009)

While in the throes of assisting disaster relief victims after a hurricane, Erin (Knapp) Schafer realized she wanted to turn her volunteer work into a career. A student at Adams State College, she was grateful when her dream became a reality through the interdisciplinary studies major and the National Student Exchange Program.

Oftentimes Adams State students find themselves torn between two or more interests or, while they enjoy the education they receive at Adams State, are searching for an alternative to the offered majors. According to Associate Provost Frank Novotny, an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies, non-licensure, can provide an option suitable for student and institution.

An Adams State graduate of 08, Schafer, said: "After helping with my first disaster relief, I realized I wanted to go in that direction." With Novotny's guidance, Knapp enrolled in the National Student Exchange Program, a comprehensive, university-level, tuition-reciprocal, student exchange program.

"I was able to attend the University of North Texas and study emergency management, while paying Adams State tuition," Schafer said. She currently is volunteering her time at the Creede School in setting up their emergency relief plan.

The interdisciplinary studies major allows Adams State students increased flexibility when choosing a major. Kelley Miller, Adams State class of 10, said after researching graduate schools, she concluded a geoarchaeology major would best fit her plans for post-graduate studies and future career goals. "I did not want to transfer after being at Adams State for so long." Novotny helped her design a degree plan including courses to best suit her individual needs.

By taking courses in the earth sciences and archeology, Miller was able to target her interest and remain at Adams State. "I was able to pursue my passions in both disciplines."

An interdisciplinary major can benefit Adams State Extended Studies off-campus students as well. Walter Roybal, advisor recruiter manager for Extended Studies, said the degree is popular among adult learners who may have quite a bit of work experience and some transfer hours. "This program allows us to utilize their transfer credit to again satisfy an emphasis in which Adams State College does not offer."