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1 Alex Chediak Choosing a Major and a College TCCCC – April 26, 2014.

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1 1 Alex Chediak Choosing a Major and a College TCCCC – April 26, 2014

2  It sets the path of what classes you’ll take and what jobs you’ll most readily access.  Though many students change majors, this can come at the cost of taking longer to graduate.  The cost of one year at a four-year college is now so high that graduating promptly is increasingly important. 2

3 Work at identifying interests, talents, and their intersection. 3 Talents Strengths Interests Delights

4 1. Competency: What I do well, what I’m good at. 2. Passion: What I believe in, what motivates me. 3. Demand: What the market wants, needs, and is willing to buy. I’m looking for the sweet spot where God wants me to be: If God’s not in it, I don’t want it. 4 Competency DemandPassion Credit: Tony Chung

5  Talent is a multiplier. The more talent you have in something, the stronger the feedback.  So you improve more (and do so more quickly) if you put your time into something you’re naturally good at. 5 Doing it More Doing it Better Enjoying an Activity

6  Favorite subjects or classes  Passions – things you talk about a lot  Work that engrosses you  Classes you’d like to take  More empathic/creative or logical/analytical?  Computers, equipment, equations, words/books, library, laboratory? 6

7  Areas where success has come more quickly  Areas where you’ve gone further than your peers  Things parents and other adults say, “I could see you doing [fill in the blank] when you’re older.”  Things coaches, teachers, or mentors say are your strengths. 7

8  Financial motivations are common but dangerous.  Be motivated to glorify God by using your talents and skills to serve others with excellence.  If you’re committed to (a) doing good work, (b) developing skills, and (c) lifelong learning, you’re going to be employable. 8

9  Professionalism  Communication  Reliable work ethic  Willingness to learn new things  Work well with others  Financial skills  Critical thinking 9

10  Confidence should be grounded on objective accomplishment.  Self-esteem  performance??  Expectations  performance  self-esteem  Talents revealed in crucible of experience  Clubs, teams, summer camps, internships, volunteering, shadowing adults in the work force, and so on 10

11  Find out what it’s really like.  What skills are needed?  What classes are required?  Bachelor’s degree?  Or need an advanced degree? 11

12  Accurate assessment.  Finding opportunities.  Don’t force them in a certain direction.  They’re often not like us.  Each teen is unique.  Don’t fight their battles. 12

13 Five things to consider 1. Affordability 2. Size (Large vs. Small) 3. Academic Excellence 4. Job Prospects 5. Christian Community 13

14  Commuting saves $$.  Find your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in advance. (  For specific colleges, check their net price calculator and their historic net price per income quintile. ( 14

15 Shows what kind of aid different schools give, and how much. Allows you to search for schools by affordability. For example, you can search for colleges in up to 16 states that have (say) 10,000 students or less, meet at least 75 percent of applicants’ financial need, and where students graduate with an average debt load of $20,000 or less. 15

16 ADVANTAGESWEAKNESSES  More programs and course offerings  Faculty that stay active in their fields  Wider brand recognition  Less expensive (state universities) More “contingent” faculty Huge class sizes Curricular disintegration Easy to get lost in the crowd 16

17  More interaction with faculty  Professors’ heart is in teaching undergrads.  Less dependency on part- time faculty  Curriculum Cohesion.  Cons: Fewer programs, alum (to pave the way), academic resources (sometimes). 17

18 A college that delivers an all-around high-quality education, with faculty who love teaching and care about students and whose curriculum is excellent so that graduates become strong critical thinkers, good communicators, skilled problem- solvers, and lifelong learners who can continually rise to the challenge of new professional and personal responsibilities. 18

19  Reach, Match, and Safety Schools  Learning Environment vs. Party School?  Core Curriculum/Liberal Arts 19

20  Accreditation & reputation matter.  Quality of student matters most!  Instructional resources matter.  Curricula matters.  Inquire about job placement rate.  Websites &, seek to measure “ROI.” 20

21  Assess nearby churches in advance.  Ditto for on-campus Christian organizations.  Atmosphere towards Christianity?  Single-gender dorm options?  Advantages of Christian colleges.  (Faith commitment should still be evaluated.) 21

22  Assess interests/talents.  Gain accurate information about their potential majors.  Choose a college. Finances Size Academics Job Prospects Christian Community Final thought: Don’t wait for a voice from heaven. Exercise wisdom, but trust God. 22

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