BYU-Idaho is introducing the new Freshman Focus Areas Program to let students get a taste of a major they’re interested in before declaring it. It’s a two semester program for new freshmen who aren’t sure what to major in. Students register for classes relating to a major they’re interested in and learn alongside a cohort of 24 other students in the program.
The idea came from a visit to other universities, such as Georgia State University, University of South Florida and University of Central Florida which all have a similar program. Danae Romrell, the dean of Interdisciplinary Studies at BYU-Idaho, saw the benefits from those schools and wanted to implement it here.
“They’ve seen decreased time to graduation, fewer major changes, higher GPAs, just a lot of benefits to the students,” Romrell said.
The program has seven different focus areas for students to choose from, so they don’t have to sift through more than 95 majors. Each focus area has a broad look at possible majors. These areas range from education to the fine arts to biology, agriculture and health science. The classes you take can either go toward your new major, or toward general education requirements.
“If you’re not really sure what you want to major in, or not really sure if this is the program for you, I would recommend jump in, try it. We think it will help you make friends, find a major, make connections. We just think it will help make a really great first year,” Romrell said.
To participate in Fall Semester, sign up by June 25.
You can learn more and take an interest survey here.