NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Online Doesn’t Mean Limited Options

Posted on Mar, 29 2014

For many students, selecting a major is a very difficult task. With so many options, how do you choose? Students often feel pressured to begin their freshman year with a clear major in mind without giving themselves the time to let their interests grow and change during their first year of classes. Though Amanda Moore had taken classes through NDSU as a part-time student for a few years, the decision to choose a major did not emerge immediately. In fact, it took multiple moves around the country before finally landing on a major.

Moore began her time with NDSU about a decade ago, taking classes part time as she worked full time with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota in Fargo, North Dakota. Part way into her academics, Moore’s husband received his PhD in chemistry and they began moving around the country for post-doctoral positions before finally landing in Lubbock, Texas, where she once again found herself working in the medical field. Throughout the moves, Moore put her education on hold but always had a desire to continue her undergraduate degree. Once she and her husband stabilized in Texas, Moore was ready to start taking classes once again. “I wanted to continue my degree,” Moore states, “but I really didn’t want to leave NDSU because I liked the school and more importantly, I was worried the credits I had already worked towards wouldn’t transfer to another school.”

Luckily, Moore discovered that NDSU had online degree options through The Distance and Continuing Education (DCE) office. She was thrilled! “Taking classes online was perfect for my lifestyle because we move so much. Online courses meant even if we moved again, I’d be able to continue my degree,” says Moore.

The further she got into the program, the more important it was for her to select a major. Moore was a little concerned that an online degree meant limited options for major choices and she would have to “settle” for a major rather than choosing something she was truly interested in. However, after reflecting on her interests, it did not take long for Moore to land on the Health Communication major through the Department of Communication at NDSU. A major in health communication will prepare Moore for a career in hospital administration, health care promotion and assessment, and media relations.

 “I had been in the medical field since living in Fargo, and it just seemed to fit perfectly with what I’ve always had an interest in,” reflects Moore.  

Additionally, the field of psychology intrigued Moore, so she decided to “test the waters” and take Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 111). Moore enjoyed the class so much that she decided to declare a minor in psychology.

While students may feel pressured to choose a major immediately or give up on school when life changes, Moore is proof that with a little patience and determination, things can fall into place.

Visit the health communication program webpage for more information about the health communication degree through NDSU DCE.