4 years was well worth it


Photo courtesy of Finley Chapman

Graduation Regalia and honor chords, West Haven, CT

Finley Chapman, Contributing Writer

After four years of college, I am going to be graduating this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, concentrating in digital media. If you were to ask me if I feel prepared for life after my bachelor’s degree, I would say yes. I was accepted to my first choice of graduate school, have gotten all of my classes in order and am well on my way to starting my future career. The University of New Haven played a large role in helping me achieve this.

I have had many fantastic professors throughout my time here, with some considered experts in their fields, contributing to my knowledge with their expansive real-world experience. I was also able to take a wide range of classes in multiple disciplines. Being able to take an introduction to healthcare course, for instance, helped me figure out that I wanted to pursue a career in public health. As a member of the honors college, I was able to experience unique courses that covered topics I wouldn’t have been able to take otherwise. I also gained experience in writing a professional thesis, which will help me while pursuing my masters degree.

But such feelings of preparedness did not come without struggle. I changed my major to communication after my first semester freshman year, but I wasn’t aware of the drastic changes the communication program was about to have. For those of you who are unaware, the communication degree used to be split into six concentrations: digital media, interpersonal communication, public relations, film production, TV/video production and journalism. This was changed during the 2020-2021 school year, which was my junior year. The current degree is now split into three concentrations: film production and media entrepreneurship, multi-platform journalism and media and public relations and digital media.

This means my concentration no longer exists. The issue with this is that several of the courses that were required for me to graduate were discontinued. As a result, I had to substitute these courses with different ones in order to meet the requirements to graduate, with some of them not even being in the communication field. I wish information for these were made more public, as I feel like I did not get the same degree experience as communication students before or after my time here. If I had known beforehand, I would have either enrolled in a different degree, or at least been able to better plan my schedule in advance so I wasn’t rushing to find course substitutions for courses that were still in my degree audit, but hadn’t been actually taught in ages.

All in all, I am grateful that the university helped prepare me for my future education and careers. I was afforded unique course experiences, met amazing professors and was able to be intellectually challenged through the honors program. At the same time, the university needs to be more transparent to students whose degrees or concentrations may be changing part-way through their time here. I should not have had to make as many substitutions as I did for my basic concentration path while, at the same time, fearing being unable to graduate in time.