Who Wants to be a Major-naire!

Rachel Morgan

So you want to be a major-naire!

Okay, okay, so there’s no fanfare or anything when you announce your major. There’s no way we could do that for everyone. As we all know, though, picking a major is extremely important, not only for our major but for our future. Our parents tell us, our high school teachers tell us, our friends worry over it…it’s all you hear when you talk about going to college: “What are you going to study?”

1. Undecided is okay! Most students come to Transy without really knowing what they want to study. Professors are open to discuss what you need for each major, where that can lead, how to think about each. Upperclassmen often encourage students to stay undecided until they are sure of what they want to study. It’s perfectly acceptable to identify as Undecided until you have to declare your major at the end of your sophomore year.

2. It’s okay to change your major. Yes, you do have to declare at the end of sophomore year. However, Transylvania doesn’t consider that the end-all-be-all. You can decided to change your major at any time, add or drop minors, even….

3. Double majoring is a-okay! You can pick up two majors, though triple-majoring is not recommended. If you have the work ethic for a double major, Transy will support you to the top! It’s rough, and scheduling can be a nightmare, but we want you to succeed at what you want to do, not just attend to attend. We encourage learning; as students, we’re expected to ‘question everything, achieve anything’, and we want to put that to use as much as possible!

4. Your advisors do want to help you excel. My freshman advisor was a Spanish professor. I couldn’t get farther away from Spanish due to some bad experiences in high school. Even as I declared a Psychology major and tried to get into Psych courses, my advisor did her very best to get me into the best courses, get me ready to graduate. I only switched to a Psych major this semester, and even still I am greeted warmly and welcomed by my Freshman advisor into her office. She still cheerfully greets me “Hola Raquel, como estás?!” and despite my fumbled attempts to respond, grins and chatters away with me about classes and courses. The professors want to see us succeed, and will help us to get there.

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See the World at Transylvania

Sam Crankshaw

Study abroad is encouraged at almost every university. It is also quite costly at most universities and can often be difficult to transfer class credits back to your home university.

That is not the case at Transylvania University.

One of the reasons I chose to come to Transylvania was the great accessibility to study abroad programs. The University has several partner institutions throughout the world and is a member of the Kentucky Institute for International Studies consortium.

As soon as you become interested in a program, you can get an appointment at our study abroad office within just a couple of days. At that first meeting you can explore your options and finances.

Speaking of finances, study abroad could not be much more affordable than it is here. Regarding semester and year long programs, not only do your outside scholarships and any financial aid that you may have apply to your program costs, but you can apply for additional scholarships through the University and the school you will attend abroad, as well as use up to $5,000 of your academic scholarship from Transy. With all of that said, you can accumulate a pretty sizable budget to take abroad without even dipping into your own pockets. In fact, studying abroad will actually save my parents a little bit of money. Continue reading

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Demystifying the Liberal Arts Curriculum

emilymartin

If you’ve talked to anyone at Transylvania or similar institutions about a liberal arts education, you’ve probably heard it described as a way to educate the whole person.

I like that definition, and I think it fits, but it doesn’t really tell you anything. Sure, the liberal arts experience is about much more than just the classes you take, but wouldn’t it be helpful to see what kind of classes you actually would be taking in order to earn a liberal arts education?

That’s why I’m here.

Our curriculum is broken up into five areas you need to fill, as a way to make things easier.

Area 1 covers general education courses:

  • First Year Seminar and First Year Research Seminar (loved both of those classes way back in 2011-12!)
  • Lifetime Fitness (I’m taking it now, and it’s easier than health/gym in high school. Nothing to be dreading!)
  • 1 Math course (I took Elementary Statistics and, for a person who has never loved/excelled in math, it was great!)
  • Foreign Language. You have to take two semesters of the same language (though you can test out of this requirement). I took Spanish II and III with Profesora Contreras and loved them both!

Area 2 covers more basic general education courses:

  • Humanities (I took Perspectives on Literature with Dr. Taylor, though introductory classes in fields like religion or philosophy could also count)
  • Fine Arts (I took Intro to Fine Arts in LONDON, but there are other classes to fill that one as well)
  • Natural Science (I took Environmental Science and it was probably my favorite class of my first year!)
  • Social Science (I took Intro to Sociology, even though my AP Psychology credit filled this one)

Area 3 requires you take a class from List A and List B — different groups of classes that expose you to different cultural traditions. I took Judeo-Christian Heritage and next year I’ll take Islamic Religious Traditions to fill that one — and both count for my religion minor, too!

Area 4 is where things get really liberal artsy. You take two sets of two upper-level classes in fields other than your major. This allows you to go more in-depth in multiple fields.

  • For my first set, I took two anthropology classes that also count for my environmental studies minor: Sustainable Development and Appalachia and the Environment.
  • For my second set, I’m taking two religion courses that count towards that minor — I’m in Buddhist Religious Traditions now and I’m taking Sustainability and Theology during May term.

Area 5 requires two writing-intensive courses outside of your major. I was strategic and took Area 4s that also counted for Area 5s — Sustainable Development and Buddhist Religious Traditions fill this one for me.

To start exploring requirements for majors and minors, check out the program websites here. As you can see, there is still flexibility within every requirement in our curriculum.

That’s what makes the liberal arts most meaningful – you can make your education anything you want!

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A Passion for Compassion

Rachel Morgan

Volunteering is a big part of my life; it always has been. I love the feeling you get when you go out and devote your time, energy, funds, whatever you can to others, and the look on people’s faces when you give them that help they need is amazing. I’ve been volunteering through MissionFuge and other organizations since I was in eighth grade; it’s a passion that I love indulging in, unabashedly and unashamedly, and here at Transy I have found many others who share my passion for compassion.

Transy offers so many great opportunities for this. There’s Alternative Spring Break and Alternative Winter Break, where groups of students visit different destinations over break in order to donate time and service to projects. They help with many different things, and while I’ve never gotten to attend one of those missions, they’re wonderful and I have heard only good about them.

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What You Want, You Know We Got It!

Lesley Goodaker

As mentioned in my previous post, it was Transy’s intimate campus setting that initially drew me in last fall; however, in spite of receiving my acceptance letter, a considerable amount of trepidation continued to plague my mind. Coming from a small public school in Western, KY, I can recall multiple instances in which I missed out on various events/programs that my friends from larger schools attended. Would choosing a small college mean the same thing? Would coming Transy cause me to miss out on important opportunities? Will there be good on-campus events? Will they have any programs that I am interested in? Will they have all of the resources that I need to complete my work? Of course, with these questions running through my head last spring, I turned to none other than my admissions counselor.

After several emails between myself and my admissions counselor my fears were quelled. She assured me that what Transy doesn’t have, our neighbors at the University of Kentucky do—and Transy students get to reap the benefits! These benefits include transfer credits for programs not currently offered at Transy (such as with our recently acquired pre-engineering program), use of the William T. Young library, co-sponsored sports events (like Battle on Broadway), campus events, and much more!

On Tuesday, February 25th, Transy students took full advantage of this as they got the opportunity to join their neighbors at UK to hear transgender activist and TV actress, Laverne Cox, speak at UK’s own Memorial Hall. Continue reading

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Transy’s Guide to a Student’s Support System

Rachel Morgan

Sometimes classes are tough. We’ve all run into roadblocks on the road to knowledge before. For some it may be calculus, others may struggle with writing papers. Other students yet may have problems understanding biology or chemistry, while their friends can’t learn foreign languages.

Me? I can’t remember historical facts to save my life. I mix all the dates up in my head, and nothing makes sense to me. I also struggle with Chemistry, all the formulas mix up in my head and I can’t remember how to balance ion formulas (is that even what they’re called? Probably not). I am a Psych major, and I understand psychology and math and even many sciences; however, I needed history and chemistry credits as well.

I was certain I was going to fail, but I didn’t – thanks to the help I received from Transylvania. My professors were always approachable, willing to help how they could. I’ve had my math professors go over problems with my, my chemistry professors walk me through certain formulas so I could help my lab partner better. They want students to succeed, and are willing to do what they can to help us excel to our highest potential. Continue reading

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