A growing number of first-year undergraduate students are entering university without declaring a major. At York, some 400 students started their university education without declaring a major or minor area of study.
In an effort help students who may be considering a career in the public service through a bachelor’s degree in public administration, the School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA) in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies held the first in a series of information sessions Feb. 5 to let students know about public service careers available in the municipal, regional, provincial, federal or international levels of government.
The students learned that the single largest employer in Canada is the Canadian government, with more than 3.5 million employees. In fact, nearly a quarter of the labour force in Canada (23 per cent in 2014) is employed in the public sector.
The SPPA Information Session took place in the Founders Assembly Hall in Founders College on the Keele campus. The program featured welcome and introductory remarks from Professor James Simeon, director of the School of Public Policy & Administration. Two leading members of the school’s alumni, Fausto Natarelli (BA Spec. Hons. ’84), director of the Windsor Border Initiatives Implementation Group and recipient of numerous public service awards and Corey Davidson (MPPAL ’13), president of the SPPA Alumni Association, made presentations about their work experience in government. Both presenters emphasized the skills and abilities they acquired as SPPA students.
Professor Alena Kimakova, undergraduate program director, spoke to the students gathered for the day, and her remarks outlined the features and the requirements of the school’s undergraduate degree and certificate programs. There were also presentations from two of the Public Policy & Administration Students Association (PPASA) representatives, Munisha Basiram and Sanura Daniel, both members of the PPASA Executive. The information session concluded with a lively Q&A segment that addressed points that were raised by the six presenters.
Students had an opportunity to meet with the Faculty teaching in the program, key SPPA staff and Tanya Cora, student academic adviser in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, along with a number of undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in SPPA programs. Students considering SPPA had an opportunity to discuss different aspects of the school’s programs in an informal and relaxed atmosphere, and from the vantage point of those who are responsible for delivering the degree and certificate programs, said Simeon. They also had an opportunity to explore the many career options in government and the prospects for pursuing more advanced studies in professionals schools and graduate programs.
The feedback from the students with undecided majors was very positive. They not only left with information packages on SPPA’s degree and professional certificate programs, but they were also sent copies of the presentations made at the event and they received an invitation to contact Kimakova if they had any further questions.
For more information, visit the SPPA website.