By: Meg Kiernan

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Students’ time is precious and often occupied to the brim. And the College of Liberal Arts gets it.

Last week, CLA hosted its first-ever Minors and Certificates Fair at Charles Library. The event was attended by faculty and staff from most CLA departments and a team of academic advisors. All of them were available to answer students’ questions and guide their discovery of the possibilities surrounding the addition of a minor or certificate to their program of study.  

The fair’s unequivocal appeal (taking the cake ahead of the warm, Philly pretzels) was in its one-stop-shop design, founded on ease and convenience for students. Department representatives were on site to answer questions, and CLA advisors were available to pull students’ academic histories, check their DARS and—ready?—help them to declare a minor or certificate on the spot, no appointment necessary. 

Yes, students could wander into Charles during a break between classes intending to grab a coffee at Stella’s and instead leave with a declared minor. 

Now entering the year 3000.

As a student, to have a group of experts instantaneously available at your fingertips while navigating the expansive world of minor and certificate programs (or anything else, for that matter) is invaluable. 

We CLA Owls more than understand the hustle of life as a student—we live those bustling schedules each day. Personally, I have a precious 10 minutes to make it from Anderson’s 11th floor to Weiss’ basement on my class days. All too often, those 10 minutes turn into five when I get caught up chatting with classmates or when the elevator has to stop at every floor on its way up and down. Similarly, I know what it’s like when classes end at noon and you have but an hour to eat something and make it to the far end of the city for a job or internship. 

And, of course, no Owl is a stranger to the mid-semester phenomenon of having two papers and a project all due on the same date at 11:59 p.m. This produces a willingness to give just about anything (limbs not excluded) for an extra hour in the day. 

The Minors and Certificates Fair cultivated convenience and genuine connection, breaking down barriers that may have discouraged busy students from exploring possible minors and certificates. There was no abundance of flyers or paperwork dotting the fair tables—rather, advisors and department representatives sought face-to-face, verbal connections with students, not wanting anyone to walk away uninformed or overwhelmed by a pile of grab-and-go flyers.

Students didn’t hesitate to seize the moment and take advantage of the fair’s on-site resources, as over a dozen declared a minor or certificate on the spot, with another handful intending to do so in the near future. 

Whether a student is interested in a certain certificate or unsure how to start thinking which minors would be best suited to their studies and goals, the fair is the ideal place for said students to end up. 

Have you declared a minor or certificate? If not, chat with your professors and peers about your interests and thoughts about your future career. Supplementing your degree with a minor or certificate is a sure-fire way to show employers that you’re a well-rounded individual who can think, work and problem-solve from different angles with varying approaches.

Missed the fair this time around? Don’t worry, there will be another one next semester.

Be sure to stop by; what you leave with may surprise you!

Meg Kiernan is a senior English major and student worker managing social media for CLA’s Office of Marketing and Communications. Send her a message via or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Related Articles

Recent Media Mentions