A significant amount of effort is put into the freshman year Baylor experience to ensure that students are able to transition into college. Whether it be Line Camp, welcome week, or specialized dorms with CL leaders, freshmen receive a unique and hands-on variety of first-year opportunities to get connected to the school.
An especially important required aspect of freshman year is taking a New Student Experience (NSE) course, which is a smaller, discussion-based class that combines another topic with also learning about adjusting to college and adult life. Some of these courses are specifically a First Year Seminar (FYS) or Freshman Academic Seminar (FAS) course, but the credit can also be reached through a combination course in subjects like business or religion.
This course is not only an opportunity to learn about topics like college life, time management, and living away from home, but is also a time to slow down, take a breather, and talk to others about how you are feeling. It shows a substantial effort on Baylor’s part to make sure the freshman year transition is as smooth as possible. But that’s not the only transition that Baylor students will need to make.
Another transition important in a student’s life is from college to the “real world,” which involves finding a job, making major purchases and more adult responsibilities. To best make this transition less scary for graduating seniors, Baylor should require a senior seminar course.
Like the NSE courses, this course could either be a specific senior experience course or could be combined with another subject, depending on the student’s preference, and it would only need to be one credit. This class should be required of all graduating seniors, and could be combined with elective classes in different colleges so students could take a senior course while also earning an upper-level elective credit.
The first five or so minutes of class could be dedicated for announcement about important opportunities like job fairs, company representatives visiting campus, or new Handshake updates. The class could be flexible and allow specified time for students to work on internship or job applications since it can be hard finding time to squeeze this in.
The teachers of this class could be career center counselors who would be able to answer questions and provide advice about resumes, interviews, best marketing oneself or job opportunities.
A similar class to this already offered through Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences is PRD 2101, a professional development class which covers several topics important for graduating seniors like interviewing, writing cover letters, exploring various career options and more. While all students should take advantage of opportunities like this course, and all of the resources that the Career and Professional Development department has to offer, a class like PRD 2101 should be a requirement for all graduating seniors, and should be offered as a combination elective class for various schools on campus.
Because Baylor puts so much effort into the freshman year transition, effort regarding a required, practical course should also be put into the senior year transition so students can feel adequately prepared to take on the “real world” following college. While most resources that would be available in these classes are already available through the career office, it can be difficult to find time to set up appointments, and some students wouldn’t feel motivated to reach out without the opportunity being made readily available to them.
Freshman year can be daunting, but senior year can be equally as daunting, and a class should be required to offer resources for seniors to more easily transition after college. Something as simple as a time to have questions answered and receive support while also earning class credit can make all the difference.
Correction: November 13, 2019.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: an earlier version of this story did not mention the available PRD 2101 course and the resources and topics it covers. The story has been corrected to include information on this course.