Prof Akanno: How Academic Advising Can Help Course Choices

Prof. Samuel Akanno of SBE has advised students considering a double major, or adding a minor to their major, to use the services of the Academic Advising & Retention unit.


 

“It will be good to choose in such a way that your General Education courses will help you a lot.  You do not want to do a double major and end up staying six or seven years.  Go to the academic advisors, go to the department chairs of those majors that you would like to double in, and gain some good advice.”

Prof. Akanno spoke at College Connections, a segment of the fall 2017 orientation program on August 17.  The students were curious to know whether it was possible to graduate with a double major or to have a minor in more than one discipline.  Akanno agreed that such options are possible, considering the flexibility in course selection of the American curriculum that obtains at AUN.  “If you are doing a double major in the same school, you will end up graduating with one certificate; if the majors are from different schools, then two different certificates.”

The 2016 Faculty-award winner and Chair of the Finance & Accounting program, Prof Akanno explained that in the US educational system the minor is that course of study a student would have taken as a second choice.  “It is usually good advice to take a minor where your interest is…  If you are coming here to read accounting, and other than accounting you would have loved to be a psychologist, they advise you to take it as a minor.”

College is rigorous, Akanno said, and graduating from any academic program requires diligence in one’s studies.  Therefore, for a student who wants to take courses above the 120-credit requirement for a double major/minor, said Dr. Osho Ajayi of Mathematics Department, there is a cost associated with the decision.  “There is a time factor, there is a cost factor.  You will get to understand all this as you move on.  It is very important that you begin to prepare yourself until you have a solid footing.  With our system, if your GPA at the end of the semester has a problem, you would have to work very hard to correct it.”

“It is not the intention of the University to put you in a little box.  The intention is to open up your mind to such an extent that you will begin to identify your own strengths and weaknesses….One thing that will also help is to start well, because your result at the end of the Fall semester, and subsequently, will help to tell you about your own strength.”

SBE instructor Ifeatu Uzodinma encouraged the students to develop the determination to succeed.  He said it is the key to graduating from college.  “And if you work very hard, even if you don’t have the ability to be a software architect from the start, you can actually get better at it.  You may not be best graduating in Software Engineering, but you can graduate with a degree in Software Engineering, even if you are not born a genius.  All it takes is hard work, determination, and dedication.”

In the American system of education, a student need not declare a major right from the first year.  Director of Career Services, Grace Nwokoma, said if students preferred to explore before choosing, they are better off.

“From the career point of view”, Mrs. Nwokoma said, “we advise students to leave their minds open because here at AUN, in your first two years, all of you will be taking almost the same courses…Your first and second semester results will tell you the truth.  However, just be prepared to learn.  In addition, any degree from AUN is very powerful.  So don’t underrate anyone at all.”

The AUN Advising & Retention unit now has dedicated advisors for students in every school.  Making good use of this academic resource could be the determining factor in a student’s success at AUN.

 

By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa

American University of Nigeria
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Adamawa State, Nigeria

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