See the academic calendars, including dates for the First-Year Academic Gathering and Commencement.
Office Location: Kelley Center
Telephone: (203) 254-4000, ext. 2222
The Office of Academic Support and Retention serves undergraduate students who are undeclared, changing majors and/or schools, or in need of advising to help them make a successful transition to a declared program of study. The Office supports and monitors students’ academic progress, offers tutorial programs and learning support resources, and coordinates with faculty advisors, deans’ offices, and campus resources to assist students in achieving academic success. Using a holistic advising model, the Office helps students meet their academic, personal, and professional goals through comprehensive and integrated academic support services and resources.
The Office of Academic Support and Retention works with students individually and in groups on issues related to exploring majors, academic planning, and academic success. This includes meeting with individual students who are identified as "at risk" through early alerts and mid-term estimates, or who are on academic probation. The Office also meets with transfer students who are exploring their interests and various programs upon arrival at Fairfield. In collaboration with offices such as the Career Planning Center, the Registrar's Office, and departments and schools, the Office is responsible for designing programs to assist students in discerning their academic paths.
In addition, the director provides special services that improve academic success:
The Office collaborates with the Center for Academic Excellence, the academic deans' offices, and the director of undergraduate academic planning to develop programs for faculty and staff pertaining to exploratory advising and work with students in transition. The Office also develops retention programs in support of the University's enrollment goals and strategic initiatives.
For academic support services including advising information, University policies, curricular and co-curricular opportunities, login to your My.Fairfield account and visit the Academic Support & Retention Community.
There are two types of internships students can attain: internships for academic credit and non-credit internships. Internships for academic credit must be approved by faculty and are connected to an academic course. Some departments have lists of available for-credit internships and some may approve internships that you find on your own as well. NEW! Read about the City of Bridgeport Internship Program.
In their own words...
Laszlo Bock, director of hiring at Google:
The liberal arts “are ‘phenomenally important,’ he said, especially when you combine them with other disciplines. … Ten years ago behavioral economics was rarely referenced. But (then) you apply social science to economics and suddenly there’s this whole new field. I think a lot about how the most interesting things are happening at the intersection of two fields. To pursue that, you need expertise in both fields. You have to understand economics and psychology or statistics and physics (and) bring them together. You need some people who are holistic thinkers and have liberal arts backgrounds and some who are deep functional experts. Building that balance is hard, but that’s where you end up building great societies, great organizations’.”
Friedman, Thomas, “How to Get a Job at Google, Part 2.” The New York Times, April 20, 2014; (emphasis added).
Apple founder, Steve Jobs- "technology is not enough"
"It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough — it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing ... The reason that Apple is able to create products like iPad is because we always try to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, to be able to get the best of both."
- Steve Jobs (1955-2011). "Steve Jobs Touts Liberal Arts." Humanities Plus, October 22, 2014; (emphasis added).
Corporate recruiter Nick Corcodilos on “Making the liberal arts degree pay off”
“I confess: I was a liberal arts major and it has helped my career. I once worked for a CEO who couldn't write well, but he knew enough to surround himself with people who could. His success rested to a large extent on his team's ability to communicate his great ideas effectively. When I applied for this job, my liberal arts education gave me an edge over other job candidates who couldn't write to save their lives. The simple ability to communicate well can give you an edge, too. The door has opened. As the world of online commerce expands and the scarcity of talented technical and business professionals becomes painfully evident, employers are turning to a relatively untapped pool of job candidates: liberal arts majors. These are the people who majored in subjects like English, art, history, psychology ... you know: the non-business disciplines… ”
Nick Corcodilos, “Making the Liberal Arts Degree Pay Off.” Phi Beta Kappa, March 27, 2014; (emphasis added).
Stephen Trachtenberg, a partner at Korn Ferry International (an executive recruitment firm)
“A discerning mind, one that blends science and Springsteen, is the backbone of the creative spirit: ideas fuel entrepreneurship."
Trachtenberg, Stephen. “Rival Philosophies, Both Compelling.” New York Times, March 31, 2011.
Rick Wartzman, executive director of the Drucker Institute
"The problem is that the broad world of ideas has become largely separated from the world of business," notes Rick Wartzman, executive director of the Drucker Institute, in his article "Management as a Liberal Art" for Bloomberg Businessweek. ". . . I've been reminded how much literature can shed light on a subject that lies at the very heart of management: the human condition.
'I am re-reading each summer--and have for many years--the main novelists,' (management guru Peter Drucker wrote to a friend in 1997. Among them, he said, were Austen, Thackeray, Trollope, and George Eliot. 'I never read management books,' Drucker added. 'All they do is corrupt the style.'"
The Build Network Staff, “Why a Liberal Arts Education Matters.” The Build Network, July 10, 2013; (emphasis added).
Newsweek Author and Journalist Fareed Zakaria:
“Whatever you do in life, the ability to write clearly, cleanly and, I would add, quickly, will prove to be an invaluable skill. . . . The final strength of a liberal arts education is that it teaches you how to learn – to read in a variety of subjects, find data, analyze information. . . . And given the pace of change that is transforming industries and professions these days, you will need that skill of learning and retooling all the time.”
Zakaria, Fareed, “Why the liberal arts matters.” CNN World, May 24, 2014; (emphasis added).
Edward Koc, Director of Strategic and Foundation Research at the National Association of Colleges and Employers:
The advantage possessed by career-oriented majors is that their college training provides them with defined technical skills that are valued in the marketplace. This is particularly true when the skills are in relatively short supply as they are with computer science majors, who currently make up approximately 3.5 percent of all bachelor degree graduates.
Liberal arts majors, by comparison, do not leave college with a particular set of skills. Their programs are focused on providing breadth in knowledge, skills and understanding, qualities that are harder to identify as unique and much harder to market to employers.
But the advantage possessed by career-oriented majors may be short-lived. Once in a career path, the more general skills of communication, organization and judgment become highly valued. As a result, liberal arts graduates frequently catch or surpass graduates with career-oriented majors in both job quality and compensation. A longitudinal study conducted several years ago by the National Center for Educational Statistics found that the wage differentials that existed between career-oriented majors and academically oriented majors were all but eliminated within 10 years after graduation.
In the end, success in the job market is likely less about the specific concentration a student has in college than the development of a range of skills and knowledge that can be applied to a rapidly changing work environment -- the historic goal of a true liberal education.
Koc, Edwin. “Your College Major Matter Less Over Time.” New York Times, March 21, 2011.
Diane Kuehn, President and CEO of Vision Point Marketing
“I look to hire people who are critical thinkers, who can communicate effectively, write persuasively, build a compelling argument, and make good decisions. I want people with an appreciation for diverse perspectives, an aptitude for learning, and a willingness to accept a variety of challenges. I want people who have a global awareness, a sense of empathy, and a sense of ethical conviction.
To put it simply, as an employer, I want exactly what the traditional liberal arts model strives to offer–and I’m not alone.”
Kuehn, Diane. “Beyond ‘Hire’ Education: Building a New Brand Promise for the Liberal Arts.” Vision Point Marketing; (emphasis added).
Edgar Bronfman, former CEO of Seagram Corp.
“Last month, PayScale released its 2013-2014 report, lauding math, science and business courses as the most profitable college majors. My advice, however, is simple, but well-considered: Get a liberal arts degree. In my experience, a liberal arts degree is the most important factor in forming individuals into interesting and interested people who can determine their own paths through the future.”
“In my own life, after studying history at Williams College and McGill University, I spent my entire career in business, and was fortunate to experience success. Essential to my success, however, was the fact that I was engaged in the larger world around me as a curious person who wanted to learn. I did not rely only on business perspectives. In fact, it was a drive to understand and enjoy life -- and be connected to something larger than myself in my love of reading, learning, and in my case, studying and learning about Judaism -- that allows me, at 84, to see my life as fully rounded.”
“Curiosity and openness to new ways of thinking -- which is developed in learning about the world around you, the ability to critically analyze situations, nurtured every time we encounter a new book, or encountering the abstract, that we deal with every time we encounter art, music or theater -- ensures future success more than any other quality. Learn, read, question, think. In developing the ability to exercise those traits, you will not only be successful in business, but in the business of life.”
Bronfman, Edgar. “Business and the Liberal Arts.” Inside Higher Ed, October 17, 2013; (emphasis added).
Logitech CEO, Bracken Darrell loves hiring English majors:
"It's because, contrary to what most employers think of English majors, Darrell believes those 'soft skills' are greatly needed in today's technical world.
'The older I get, the more I realize the power of words and the power of words in making you think ... the best CEOs and leaders are extremely good writers and have this ability to articulate and verbalize what they're thinking.'
That's the secret: connecting and communicating. That's what English majors acquire after years of critiquing and discussing their thoughts in group settings. Eventually, they become comfortable with sharing their ideas.
According to Darrell, right now is when we need English majors the most."
Giang, Vivian. “LOGITECH CEO: 'I Love Hiring English Majors'.” Business Insider, June 20,2013; (emphasis added).
Addendum: Association of American Colleges and Universities
“Above and beyond what students learn in their major fields—chemists must know chemistry and engineers must know engineering—a high-quality college education for the 21st century also should emphasize:
What Employers Say:
“Leap Employer-Educator Compact- Making Quality A Priority As Americans Go To College.” Association of American Colleges and Universities, April 2013.
Whether you're looking to secure employment, enter graduate school, or join a service program, career counselors are available year-round to make sure you get the most out of your Fairfield education.
Fairfield University has chapters with several academic honor socieites including Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national honor society, and Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society.