Some Majors See Decline While Others Increase In Enrollment


College is a place for young students to decide what interests them and what career path they want to follow. Some immediately find their calling while others struggle to make up their mind.

Florida Southern College has over 60 majors, minors and pre-professional programs to choose from. The school also offers students to build their own major from existing classes and majors.

In the past five years, the number of students enrolled in each major track has changed; some changes were smaller than others. Some majors remain in the top 10 most popular while other have been steadily declining.

Horticulture science, for example, has been on a decline since 2013. At that time that had almost forty students. In 2017, there are only 10 students left, a quarter of the 2013 population.

The reason for this is that FSC has decided to close off that particular major. The students remaining in the program now are the last of the horticulture science majors. The Ledger did a piece earlier this year where they touched on the declining rate of horticulture students.

However, interdisciplinary and special majors, like humanities, political communication and self-designed majors, have done a complete opposite of horticulture science. In 2013, this category of major has nine students enrolled and has since grown to almost 40 students.

Some change is difficult to pinpoint an exact reason for the drastic change. In the case of the business department, the reason for growth is clear.

Becker Business Building opened its doors to student and professors in the fall semester of 2015. That same semester, enrollment in business majors increased by almost a hundred students and has been consistently growing by about thirty students each year since.

With the introduction of a new building, new technology in the classroom as well as the introduction of a few new business majors, the drastic increase is logical.

The top 10 majors at FSC in the past 10 years as measured by the number of students enrolled in the program mirrors the number of professors allocated to that same program. The largest program at FSC is business and economics with an average of 530 students in the last five years and 22 professors assigned to teach.

The following nine majors, in no particular order, are chemistry, communication, education, English, mathematics, music, nursing, psychology, and biology.

For some students, finding a major and sticking to it was not an issue. For Thomas Armour, a junior Marine Biology and Environmental Science major, the choice was clear.

“I decided my major my last semester of high school, but still wasn’t really sure how much I would like it. In my freshman year I loved the two classes I had in my major and have enjoyed it ever since,” Armour said.

In the past five years anywhere from about 60 to 80 students are enrolled as undeclared students who are unsure what they want to study.

Freshman Nolan Smith started his college career as undeclared and has taken his first year to try different majors to find his calling.

“I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to take my career in, so facing uncertainty was a struggle,” Smith said.

Smith went from undeclared to biochemistry to communications before settling on computer science and business administration. After so many changes in just one year, Smith hopes that he has finally found the right one.

Selecting a major is a crucial part of the college experience and determines the future for scholars.