At a liberal arts college like Trinity, academic advising forms a vital part of teaching and learning. This is why all faculty, formally and informally, mentor students outside of the traditional classroom. Since frequent contact between a student and his or her faculty adviser is essential to effective advising, the first-year seminar instructor also serves as the pre-major adviser. Once a student declares a major (no later than the Friday after Spring Break of the sophomore year), he or she is assigned a departmental adviser. Each academic department and program of the College maintains its own system for advising its majors.
Pre-major academic advisers guide students in selecting courses that will fulfill general education requirements and allow them to explore possible majors. Advisers also help to connect students with all of the resources and opportunities of the College, making sure that each student is well placed to succeed academically. The advising relationship is a collaborative one, based on mutual respect and a commitment to learning.
Trinity students who wish to continue study in their academic field for a master’s degree or Ph.D. are supported by a network of faculty advisers from each academic department and program. Questions about strengths of graduate schools and their suitability to the student’s interests and strengths should be directed to the graduate study adviser in each department or the department chair.
Recognizing that many of its students consider graduate study in professional schools, the College has designated advisers in particular fields who can support students preparing for professional study. The staff of the Career Development Center and other members of the appropriate committee also are available for specialized guidance. We recommend consultation early in a student’s career at Trinity.
Preparation for health careers
Trinity students interested in a health career are not required to select a specific academic major but are encouraged to choose a major that intellectually challenges and inspires them. For acceptance to most health professional schools (medical, dental, nursing, veterinary, etc.) students must complete a number of specific courses in biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, and physics. In addition, particular professional schools or programs may require other courses specific to that discipline. We recommend that students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions enroll in biology, chemistry, and mathematics courses in their first year. However, since the backgrounds and needs of students vary, we highly recommend that course selections be made following consultation with the chair of the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC). This consultation should be done by first-year students prior to registration for the first-semester courses and continue throughout the subsequent semesters.
The HPAC provides students interested in a career in the health professions with advice and information about course selection and career selection. The committee’s policy is to counsel and support any student expressing an interest in pre-professional education. The HPAC cannot guarantee admission to a professional school. The director of the Pre-Med Program and chair of the HPAC committee is William Church, associate professor of chemistry and neuroscience.
Preparation for law school
Students enter law school either directly from Trinity or within a few years after graduation. While no specific undergraduate course work is required, the competition is keen and the quality of academic work submitted by the student must be high. Since law school applicants must demonstrate a strong background in writing and research as well as critical analysis, students are urged to include in their program of study such courses as English, American history, logic, mathematics, political science, sociology, and economics. Advisers on legal careers are Adrienne Fulco, associate professor of legal and policy studies, and Kevin McMahon, John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science.
Preparation for graduate business school
Graduate programs in business management attract a large number of Trinity graduates, most of whom enroll after several years of work experience. In general, business schools evaluate applicants on three measures: (1) academic record, which may include Graduate Management Admission Test scores; (2) postbaccalaureate work record and work recommendations; and (3) leadership potential. Although graduate business schools have no preference for particular undergraduate majors, students should develop good oral and writing skills and undertake undergraduate courses that develop and demonstrate quantitative skills: calculus, microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, etc. Those interested in pursuing international business should present mastery of at least one foreign language as well as significant experience living or studying abroad. The adviser for graduate study in business and management is Gerald Gunderson, Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of American Business and Economic Enterprise.
Preparation for graduate study in architecture and related design areas
Trinity College students have entered programs of graduate study in architecture, planning, urban design, landscape architecture, and related design areas and are practicing professionals in these fields. Since graduate programs vary from school to school, the student interested in any of these areas is advised to consult an adviser early in his or her college career to determine requirements. Recognizing that studio arts provide a model for artistic practice well suited to the pursuit of a career in architecture, the studio arts major may be modified to provide a “focus in architecture.” Interested students should consult with the director of studio arts before their third semester. In general, a broad liberal arts curriculum is suggested, including courses in studio art, art history, science, mathematics, and engineering. See p. 346 for more information.
Students considering a career in these areas are encouraged to consult an adviser early in their college career. Advisers are Kathleen Curran, professor of fine arts; Kristin Triff, associate professor of fine arts; and David Woodard, lecturer in engineering.
Building on the solid and wide-ranging foundation of a liberal arts education, the Career Development Center at Trinity provides students with valuable resources and tools to assist them in uncovering their interests and strengths, pursuing opportunities that augment their classroom experience, and launching successful careers. Students are encouraged to visit the Career Development Center throughout their time at Trinity, beginning in their first year.
All students have access to a full complement of academic internship opportunities and job resources, individual career advising, skill and interest assessments, résumé and cover letter preparation support, practice interviews, career seminars, and graduate and professional school application assistance. Students are connected with potential employers through on-campus interviews, off-campus recruiting events, a robust electronic job posting system, electronic résumé collections, and videoconferencing services.
In addition, and perhaps most importantly, Trinity students are connected to an extensive and powerful network of Trinity alumni in all sectors of the global economy, who willingly share their time and talents both on and off campus on a consistent basis.