Students entering college in the fall of 2016 are entering into a setting highly personalized education. Design-Your-Own degree and highly specialized majors are commonplace in more and more colleges and universities across the country. Learning apps allow students to seek supplemental material for course content they struggle with. These are just a few of the aspects of the overarching trend in post-secondary US education of independence, individuality, and specialization.

Students are being called upon to be an active participant in their learning in two major ways. The first is the rise of the design-your-own-major option. Students can create a major based around their specific interests across disciplines. Academic advisors help these students design a major that covers required course content, and has the academic substance necessary to achieve a stated objective. However, students don’t even have to create their own majors anymore to earn a highly specialized degree. College majors are becoming more specific in general, with areas of study such as hospitality management and computer systems analysis. Is this specialization for the best? In many cases, yes. In others, no. For example, if you know exactly what career path you have in mind after college, you can choose or design a major tailored to the specific skills and knowledge required for this path. However, if you are not sure, a broad major that specializes just enough but leaves open opportunities for a wide variety of post-college career paths may be the right choice for you. Broad majors also tend to leave more room for students to take elective courses, and classes outside of their major to further broaden their skill set and knowledge base.

The second way students are now actively participating in their college experience more than ever are personalized learning apps. These apps are designed to accommodate each student’s learning style and learning needs. Textbook publishers make supplemental material available through these apps so students can seek out more information about content that they are confused about or otherwise struggling with. However, this new technology is new to everyone – teachers and students alike. Also, no app alone can replace self-motivation. Students must still take the initiative to seek out help when they need it – be it from an app or from their professors.

Even with individualized course content and supplemental material, students continue to fall through the cracks of US post-secondary education. If you are one of these students, don’t let the credits you have already earned go unaccounted for. Visit us online at to learn how to get credit for the work and college you have already done.


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