Morgan Jeffery. Empowering Students To Find A Career Direction

March 08, 2021

By Adhil Naidu

Selecting a career path can be confusing for students today no matter how motivated they are to pursue their dream career. With extensive experience in her career as an academic advisor, Morgan Jeffery plays a pivotal role in helping students make sound career choices. During her time at the School of Criminology, Morgan has developed a rapport with students by providing them with the resources, course plan structure and clarity to make informed decisions as they work towards graduation.

Read about Morgan’s SFU journey and how she can help you with your course planning.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

After working for many years in the non-profit theatre industry here in B.C., I realized that I thrived in a helping role. I took a leap and made a career shift into advising by completing the Career Development Practitioner Certificate at SFU Continuing Studies in 2016. I started advising at a high school (shout out to Delview!), and later moved to my current role as Undergraduate Advisor here in the School of Criminology. I truly love my work. I enjoy working one on one with students, getting to know them, help plan their studies, and be here as a listening ear when they need one.

Why is meeting with an academic advisor important?

It is important to meet with an academic advisor periodically over the course of your undergraduate career in order to make sure you are on track towards your goals. Even a quick email exchange with a progress check can catch any requirements you may have missed reading the academic calendar, and save you some stress at the end of your degree trying to catch up. An academic advisor can also inform you of various minor or certificate programs to complement your major. These can be incredibly easy to plan into your undergraduate programs without taking additional courses. Lastly, and probably most important, an academic advisor can help you navigate the various resources SFU has to offer students. Career Services, Health, Counselling, Accessibility Services can all be daunting to navigate if you don’t know where to start. Your academic advisor can set you off in the right direction.

What should a first-year student interested in criminology take?

I always suggest that students should take their first semester to adjust to the changes that come along with the shift to university education from high school/college. Lower the number of courses you take in your first semester to three (ideally), and then add courses as you feel comfortable in the semesters that follow.

Criminology offers some great suggested plans for first year students.

How can I choose, declare or change my major?

First, take a look at the various checklists Criminology offers for all of its programs. Then once you have completed the declaration requirements, you can get in touch directly with me to make your declaration. Remember to always attach a current advising transcript to your advising email! It will cut down on response time, especially in the busy weeks of enrolment.

What can I do to ensure I graduate at the right time?

I would ask the student when the right time is for them? Many students begin their undergraduate degrees with the idea that they will finish their studies in four years. Statistically, the average undergraduate degree in Canada takes approximately five years to complete. This is because life happens. Students need to work, take care of family, take time off to travel, or lower their course load to support their mental health. These are all valid reasons to be more flexible with that four-year degree ideal, and perhaps take a couple semesters longer to complete. An academic advisor can help you plan your courses to support your own personal timeline.

To what extent can I pursue my own interests in the form of electives and explore the offerings of different departments?

A Criminology major student has plenty of space to branch out and complete electives in other departments. Even a minor can be completed within the 120 credits overall needed to graduate, if planned accordingly. I would encourage students in their first year to take a couple of courses in another subject that interests them to see if this leads towards a minor there.

What’s the best way to reach out to you?

I am happy to communicate via email, or set up a Zoom advising appointment. I also have drop in Zoom advising on Thursday each week. It is best to start your contact with me by filling in the contact form.



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