The role of elective courses is a hotly debated topic among college students. Some view these classes as an easy way to boost their GPA, while others enjoy the opportunity to try something a little different than their typical coursework. Still others seek out classes that give them practical knowledge for home or career. So, which one is it?

In reality, electives are whatever you make of them. These classes can help improve your job prospects after graduation, enhance your college experience, and even make it easier to balance all of your responsibilities. It’s all about how you approach these electives that determines how they impact your academic life.

To help make the most of your choices, here are some things you should consider when choosing electives.

Explore different subjects

On average, 75% of students change their major at least once while in college. If you’ve decided to return to school but still aren’t sure what degree to pursue, electives are a great way to explore different subject matters while still earning credit. After taking a course for a semester, you should have a good idea of whether or not it’s something you want to pursue further. Feel free to “test-out” a wide range of courses to see what piques your interest.

Improve your career prospects

While many students view electives as blow-off classes, there are many subjects that can provide students with practical skills to help improve their career prospects. Whether you’re returning to school to transition into a new field or progress in your current career, electives can give you practical experience that employers love to see. Some special skills you can gain from these classes include data entry, familiarity with certain programs (MS Office), record-keeping, writing abilities, and more. Adding these skills is a great way to improve your resume.

Make the most of your college experience

Electives are a great way to make the most of your time at college. There are some really exciting and interesting opportunities that shouldn’t be passed up. While you can network in more of the “buttoned-down” classes, there are some more enjoyable electives where you can let loose, have fun, and meet some new friends. After all, nobody said returning students couldn’t have fun in college too.

Pursue that special interest

Do you have a special interest you’ve never really explored? Maybe work and family ties kept you too busy, but electives just might be your chance to finally pursue this interest. You’ll get credits towards your degree while testing out a hobby you’ve thought about for a while. It could be a floral design course at MSU or a poetry workshop at Ole Miss. You might be surprised by what kind of interesting electives your school has to offer.

Brush up on your language skills

vIn 2017, the nationwide demand for bilingual workers doubled from the previous 5 years. With this trend continuing today, foreign language electives offer a great opportunity for adult learners to brush up on their language skills. Learning a new language opens up so many doors in your social, academic, and professional life. Whether you’re interested in learning Spanish, German, French, or even Japanese, universities and community colleges throughout Mississippi have the electives to help you along the way.

Find “dual-purpose” electives

While the specifics differ between MS colleges, there’s generally a separate requirement for elective course and degree-related classes. In other words, a class that’s unrelated to your degree might only count towards your elective requirements and vice versa. One of the best ways to use elective courses is to find those that serve a dual-purpose: fulfilling both your elective and degree requirements. This is something that will have to be discussed directly with a C2C Coach due to the varying requirements of each college in MS.

Achieve a physical and mental balance

It’s not uncommon for adult learners to experience bouts of stress or anxiety when balancing education with work and/or family. While your core classes require a little bit more work and concentration, electives can be the perfect way to keep you both physically and mentally balanced. All those self-care activities that you’ve been meaning to implement but couldn’t find the time throughout the day can finally be achieved - even while earning credit!

Explore electives at different MS colleges

Here are helpful links to undergraduate catalogs for some of the state’s most popular universities and community colleges. Here, you can find specific information regarding the required coursework for specific degrees.

  1. University of Mississippi

  2. Mississippi State University

  3. Jackson State University

  4. University of Southern Mississippi

  5. Holmes Community College

  6. Hinds Community College

  7. Copiah-Lincoln Community College

How a C2C Coach can help

C2C Coaches have years of experience helping returning students just like you find the quickest and most sensible path towards graduation. These planning experts have been through the gauntlet many times and understand what it takes to help adult learners make the most out of their college education.

These coaches will work with you one-on-one to understand your strengths, personal needs, and goals. With this information, they’ll be better equipped to help you choose electives that will enhance your college experience, improve your resume, and work towards your degree. C2C Coaches are also familiar with the requirements of your chosen university or community college.

The C2C Program is the beginning

The Complete 2 Compete program is a unique initiative designed to help MS adults return to school to finish their degrees to secure a brighter future. Whether you never stepped foot on campus or left just before graduation, the C2C program can help you finally achieve your degree. Here are some benefits of the program:

  1. C2C Coach - All participants in the program are matched with a personal C2C Coach who will help devise a custom plan for graduation. You’ll receive one-on-one guidance from these coaches from enrollment all the way to graduation.

  2. C2C Grant - The C2C Grant is designed to make it financially easier for adult learners to afford their tuition.

Reach out to a C2C representative today to see if you qualify for this excellent opportunity.