Sep 20, 2019
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The Office of Advising Services is located in the Joyal Administration building. (Roe Borunda/The Collegian)

Blackboard site launches for undeclared students

The Office of Advising Services is located in the Joyal Administration building.
The Collegian / Photo by Roe Borunda

The Office of Advising Services is slated to launch a website accessible through Fresno State’s Blackboard that is intended to assist undeclared students in picking a major they find suitable.

Advising Services’ Blackboard page will feature videos, self-guided lessons, and pertinent information on the declaring process.

The purpose of the new Blackboard site is intended to assist undeclared students by providing them with information to make educated decisions, Fresno State advisor David Levyssohn said.

“In my opinion, when you’re undeclared, it’s because you don’t have enough information to make an educated decision,” Levyssohn said.

“There are over 2,500 documented and defined careers. Each one of those careers has many, many pathways to get to that career. So if a student only knows about 10 careers, how could they possibly have enough information to make a good decision?”

Last semester, Advising Services held undeclared workshops for Fresno State students. The workshops varied in topics and time scheduling. The workshops, however, also had low turnouts.

While Levyssohn said that while workshops will continue to be held around the second week of October in a limited capacity, the new Blackboard site is likely to be a more efficient method for undeclared students to inquire information.

“We’ll still traditionally try to hold some physical workshops,” Levyssohn said. The students do enjoy it and it’s good for them. But all it does is give them a little idea of the big, big picture.

“Some students have started looking through [the site]. They think it’s going to be more effective for them. It gives them a lot more than what a 50-minute workshop could possibly give them.”

The time to soul search for a major, however, is somewhat limited. University policy dictates that students have to declare a major upon completing 60 units.

Levyssohn said that the critical period for a student to declare a major varies on the student and the point in which they engage in the process of researching; however, the university sends a reminder to all undeclared students after they complete 45 units via their student portal in the form of an academic hold.

According to Fall 2011 figures from The Office of Institutional Effectiveness, ‘undeclared’ students are ranked eighth in enrollment among all majors offered at Fresno State. More recent figures from this semester will be released on Fresno State’s census date.

The Blackboard site, however, isn’t intended to be the only method students should use for help in the undeclared process. Levyssohn said the process also should include visiting with an advisor at Advising Services.

“At the end of each lesson, one of the things it says is to follow up,” he said.

“Come to Advising Services. Now you have this big picture. If you get stuck or if you’ve done it and you don’t know what to do now, come to us and follow up.”

Students interested in accessing the Blackboard site can email their Fresno State portal username to Levyssohn at jlevyssohn@csufresno.edu or call the Advising Services offices at 559-278-1787.

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