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The Advisor Spring 2006
 

CHOOSING A MAJOR

In spring students’ thoughts turn to romance, sun-bathing, and choosing a major.  For some students with advancedhours the need to choose is necessary for continued enrollment.  For others being undecided or not being admitted to the major of their choice causes general anxiety or worries about delayed graduation.

When working with undecided or “exploring” students, advisors need to assess their stage of “decidedness”: 

1. Completely undecided students usually have not engaged in any personal or educational assessment of interests, skills, values or majors. When advisings tudents at this point of decision making, advisors may suggest enrolling in EDCE 201, Career and Life Planning; taking one of the assessment instruments available through Career Services, http://www.ohio.edu/careers/students/counseling.cfm ; exploring the University Collegeadvising website, http://www.ohio.edu/advising/index.cfm ; or working with a staff counselor inthe Counseling and Psychological Services Office, 3rd floor, Hudson HealthCenter.

2. Some students may have several majors in mind. When that is the case, the student needs to be encouraged to gather further information about the major or career by either enrolling in courses, talking with faculty or other students in the majors, job shadowing, or exploration of websites, such as What Can I Do With A Major?, http://www.asu.edu/studentaffairs/career/Students/ChoosingAMajor/whatcanIdowith.htm , or the Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm

3. Students who have decided on a major and meet the admissions requirements needto visit the college office of their choice during the first two weeks of any quarter. 

a.Students who do not meet the admission standards for their desired majors needto assess realistically their chances of meeting those requirements before expending a lot of time and money pursuing the major.  More important, advisors need to discuss the myth that each major leads to specific careers. University College has resources for alternative majors to the College ofBusiness, http://www.ohio.edu/univcollege/publications.cfm , and there are many resources foradvisors on the Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources website, http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/clearinghouse/Links/Career-Explore.htm , that discuss alternative ways to prepare for many careers.

For additional information, read “Undecided/Open Students” by Patrick T. Slowinskiand W. Kerry Hammock at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/adv_undeclared.htm

 


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