Staying on Track
Congratulations on successfully completing the first couple of semesters at MDC! Someone once said that a thousand-mile journey begins with a single step. Continuing your career exploration process as you move through college will help you keep going in the right direction and support you along the way.
1. Follow your MAP
Your MAP (My Academic Plan) is a semester-by-semester plan that lists all the courses you need to take and the order you need to take them to complete your program in as little time and at as little cost as possible.
- Check your progress against your MAP on a regular basis and make sure you are still on track
- Review your MDC Academic Requirements Report on a regular basis to make sure you are completing the academic requirements you need to graduate
- Talk with your Advisor or College Mentor to be sure that you are moving ahead toward graduation.
2. Continue to look into a variety of careers choices in your program
At this point in your academic career, it is worthwhile to take another look at what your career options are. New careers and jobs are being created every day because of technology and employers moving to South Florida.
3. Consider Alternate (Career) Pathways if your original plan isn’t leading where you want to go
If your goals have changed, if you’re not as interested as you once were in your field, or perhaps you’ve found that you like or excel in other areas, it may be time to explore some Alternate Pathways Strategies. Alternate Pathways are related career and educational options that match your revised goals, interests and values. These options are designed to maximize the credits for course work already completed. These will allow you to make adjustments to your career and educational choices and to your MAP to help keep you on track on this new pathway. Read about the Alternate Pathways for:
- Information Technology
4. Speak with your College Mentor / Departmental Advisor / Instructors in your area of interest
They have expertise in your career area. They will help you stay on track to completion with academic progress reviews, service-learning and internship opportunities, and transfer and employment options.
5. Participate in civic engagement (volunteering, service-learning) activities related to your areas of interest
Look for co-curricular activities related to your career pathway. Start at the MDC Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy (iCED). This college-wide program provides students with a wide range volunteering and service opportunities. You can also find links to clubs and organizations that offer opportunities to explore activities related to your career pathway.
6. Seek internships or jobs related to your areas of interest
Internships and jobs related to your chosen pathway provide ways for you to get an idea of what working in your chosen field will be like. Your Advisor or College Mentor may be able to help you find an internship.
7. Shadow someone in your career of interest
A great way to get some experience is to shadow someone in your career of interest. Your MDC Advisor or College Mentor can help you find someone to shadow. Take the time to ask questions of the person you are shadowing. Some questions to consider:
- Did your college experience prepare you adequately for your first job in your field?
- How long did it take you to find the right job in your field?
- Is the salary what you were expecting?
- What are the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of working in your field?
- What suggestions do you have for someone who is considering working in the field?
8. Start your Transfer Planning exploration now if you plan to earn a baccalaureate degree
Yes, we know that it seems as if you just got settled in at MDC! However, if you plan to continue your studies at MDC or another college or university, you need to start planning now.
Visit the MDC Baccalaureate Programs webpage to learn about programs designed to prepare you for a specific career. There are a number of Baccalaureate Programs in sciences, technology, business and the arts. For more information about which degrees are offered and what each requires, visit the MDC Baccalaureate website.
Many of our students complete their degrees at FIU, but MDC also has formal articulation agreements with many other institutions around the nation and even in other countries. This means that these institutions will accept all of your MDC credits if you meet their requirements. It is important to understand what each school requires so that you can make sure you are on track to transfer.
Some things to consider are:
- Not all colleges and universities accept transfer students.
- Requirements vary among colleges and universities. Make sure you're well informed.
Visit the MDC Transfer Information site for a complete set of instructions for every step in the transfer process. It is very important that you verify the application deadlines of the institutions you are applying to. Most transfer applications are due between February-April for Fall classes and in September-October for Spring classes. However, many institutions only accept transfer students beginning in Fall Term. Check with the schools you are interested in.
9. Participate in an MDC Community of Interest organized around your program of study
Another way to expand your learning experience at Miami Dade is to participate in a Community of Interest in your field. This will help you get to know other students and faculty in your program of study and give you opportunities for participating in events in your field, both on campus and in the community. For more information, visit the MDC Communities of Interest website.