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Youth Advocacy and Educational Studies Major Comes to Campus

By Michelle Ross for TCU 360

Choosing a major is something all students go through at one point in college.

At TCU, there are over 100 undergraduate majors for students to study. However, junior Michelle Nguyen said she still struggled to find a major that she was passionate about.

“I’m a person that is interested in a lot of things,” she said. “I thought I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer and then a teacher.”

When Nguyen enrolled into TCU as a first-year student in Fall 2015, she declared herself as an early childhood education major. Now, she has recently switched her major from early childhood education to TCU’s newest major, youth advocacy and educational studies.

Associate dean of undergraduate studies and an associate professor of professional practice in the College of Education, Cynthia Savage-Williams, said the major is designed to support individuals who want to serve in the larger, interdisciplinary field of education, but who do not wish to be certified classroom teachers.

The Switch

When Nguyen was an early childhood education major, she said her classes prepared her for the Texas Teaching Certificate, which is an online certification test given in each state, and she also got to spend 50 hours this past semester observing teachers at local schools.

However, five semesters into the major, Nguyen said she realized she wasn’t passionate about teaching in a classroom because of the amount of disparity she saw in the education system. Instead, she wanted to work in education policy to make a change.

“I realized I didn’t want to be a teacher because I believe a lot of issues with the education system are systematic and start with laws,” Nguyen said. “Early childhood education taught me how to teach when I wanted to learn more about why we teach and how the educational system works.”

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