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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Undeclared majors allow for exploration

Undeclared+majors+allow+for+exploration

Even students who have yet to declare a major have their own “home,” said Leticia Soto-Delgadillo, director of Center for Exploratory Students.

The center is the academic advising office in the College of Letters, Arts and Science for students who have yet to decide what major to choose. Through the center, students are provided with advisers and resources to help them choose the right major.

Students coming to the UA undecided “should not be concerned because all students have to take the same general education courses the first two years,” Soto-Delgadillo said.

In their general education classes, students will focus on completing their requirements and also exploring introductory topics of potential majors.

The university’s policy requires students to declare a major by the time they complete 60 units, but advisers at the center recommend students to declare by their third semester, Soto-Delgadillo added.

“This way they at least have a home and they are connecting with the faculty and the center that they want to major in,” she said.
During the spring semester and the summer, an optional two-unit exploratory major workshop is offered to students that gives one-on-one time with an adviser and detailed dates and deadlines.

The class is offered online during the summer, while the spring course is a hybrid of online and in-person meetings that includes three assignments.

In addition, students will do self-exploration and decision-making activities to help them assess their values and narrow down their “pockets” of interest, Soto-Delgadillo said.

Through Career Services, students can also sign up to take a free “discover program,” which includes a series of questions that help guide students in the direction of their interest.

“There is no right or wrong answer,” said Susan Miller, marketing and special event coordinator for Career Services, who said the center uses students’ responses to determine “a potential career option for them.”

The average student who comes in thinking they know what they want to do will change their mind three to four times, either in their major or career goal, Miller added.

“People have a problem thinking that their decision at 19 is a once-in-a-lifetime set decision,” she said. “Students need to step away from that mentality and just explore other options and things will come to the surface.”

Tatianna Valdez, a freshman majoring in pre-business, said she chwose business based on what she knew would be the best fit for a career.

“As far as resources, my high school was average but here at the UA, my adviser was helpful and so was the general staff,” Valdez said.

Advisers begin working with students from the second they step on campus during orientation, Soto-Delgadillo said. Students are congratulated at orientation on their bravery and comfort for stepping into college undecided about they want to major in but ready to explore, she added.

“An undecided person is not a clueless person,” Soto-Delgadillo said. “If you are smart enough, plan appropriately and work with an adviser there is no reason for you to not graduate in four years.”

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