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Myths About The Exploratory Student

  • Myth: Exploratory students are less prepared for college and are therefore more at risk than decided students.
    Truth: There is no research that links undecided student status to poor academic performance. However, undecided students are more prone to withdrawing from a university as their relationship with coursework, peers and faculty may seem arbitrary. Caring advisors can help to foster a sense of connectedness with the institution. Advisors should gently nudge students towards a degree by the completion or their first year if appropriate. The longer a student persists before selecting a degree program the more likely she is to withdraw.
  • Myth: Exploratory students are further behind in the developmental stage of making career and educational decisions than decided students.
    Truth: Most undecided students are engaged in the normal developmental stage for making career and educational decisions. However, students may feel behind as many of their peers have selected a degree. Advisors can assist students to move quickly in the direction of selecting a major.
  • Myth: Students should get all their general education requirements out of the way first.
    Truth: Some general education class selection is based upon a student’s major. Advisors can assist students as they navigate their general education selection.
  • Myth: Students have plenty of time to select a major. For the first year, it is better that they concentrate on their grades.
    Truth: Students and advisors should take selecting a major seriously. Some students are slow to make decisions and need to begin early. Furthermore, the quicker a student has found an academic home, the quicker she feels connected to her campus.
  • Myth: Picking a major is virtually picking a career.
    Truth: Students are often stuck in the decision-making process as they believe each degree is linked directly to each occupation or lack of. For example, jobs in the humanities offer a wide variety of job placement.