Winona State launches brand new “major finder” to assist current and future students

Erich Schweitzer, news reporter

While some students already have their area of study figured out when they begin their college careers, many do not, and it can be difficult for them to figure out what studies suit them. Winona State University has responded to this common conflict with their new academic program finder, or “major finder.”

Winona State’s major finder, available on the school’s official website, will give incoming and current students a more in-depth look at all the academic program the university offers.

Ron Strege, director of the Warrior Success Center, called the system an “extensive and expansive” way for students to find what they are looking for in higher education.

With the university’s old system, Director of Student and Community Engagement Kendra Weber explained how “you kind of had to know what you were looking for” in terms of finding a suitable major to pursue, otherwise, it was somewhat unhelpful in that aspect. The old search function was too specific to be of much help, so when searching with the new system, Weber said it will “bring up more information than what you would have gotten before.”

Strege mentioned one function of the major finder that makes it easier to use: filters. Students can search by entering keywords to get more broad results and filter by interest and degree type too. Some of the interest filters include “being creative”; “crunching numbers”; “help- ing others” and several more.

There are additional filters that let students see classes that are offered online, in Winona at the school’s

Main Campus, or on the university’s Rochester campus. Weber said the new system can give students a “quick, high-level view” of all the academic programs the university offers at just a click.

This system has been in the works for a while; “over a year” according to Strege.

Weber said the addition is part of a “multi-year” redesign of Winona State’s Admissions website. While an outside contractor helped the university with the “look and feel” of the website, she gave much credit to faculty members in the IT and Marketing and Communications departments.

Weber explained the point of creating the major finder was “to showcase all [the university’s] academic programs in a way that’s user-friendly.” Weber went on to say those involved with the project wanted to create it specifically for prospective students who may not know yet what they want to major in.

Strege also said that having such a streamlined system looks good for the university, describing how it represents that “[Winona State’s] got it together.”

For both incoming and current students who are still unsure of what they want to pursue or are interested in different studies, using the major finder is a convenient way that is much more accessible and user-friendly than ever before.