HHS students participate in college planning webinar

Harlandale High School seniors joined a state-wide webinar hosted by the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) on Oct. 10.

Dr. Cassandre Alvarado, director of Student Success Initiatives at UT Austin, spoke about the importance of choosing a college major and explained the bachelor’s degree system.

During the webinar, the students were able to ask questions through a webcam while also interacting with other high schools across the state of Texas.

Dr. Alvarado discussed why a major does not determine a career and the importance of selecting a major that they are passionate about studying rather than one that they think will lead to a lucrative career.

“Many students pick biology thinking that it is the way to get into medical school to be a doctor,” Harlandale High School College Advisor Julia Cottle said. “Today, they realized that it is not about the major, necessarily, but it is about the skills acquired in college that will lead them to the career field of their choice. The top major to get accepted into medical school this past year was philosophy.”

The students also learned about uncommon majors and the different career paths available at UT Austin.

“The webinar discussed Sustainability Studies for students interested in the environment and engineering, Health and Society – a popular major for students applying to medical school and those interested in being a social worker – and, finally, Arts and Entertainment Technologies for students interested in creating video and computer games,” Cottle explained.

The seniors were surprised to learn about these college majors, which led several of them to think about changing their major.

“They didn’t realize the numerous opportunities available to them at the university,” Cottle said. “A major is only 30 percent of a bachelor’s degree at UT.”

The rest of their degree is comprised of UT’s common curriculum, the Texas Core Curriculum and classes related to their minor.

“I believe this will give them an advantage over other freshman students. Now, they know that they are not limited to the traditional majors of English, Psychology and Business. Instead, they can major in something new and exciting that will give them the skills to be a competitive applicant in the labor pool after their college graduation,” Cottle concluded.

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