1) Practice intentional advising. Beginning with their very first course schedule, encourage students to identify exploration areas and begin ‘testing the waters’ in subjects of interest or prerequisites for majors under consideration. Discourage students from using their general education curriculum to “get classes out of the way”, but recommend this time for academic discovery.
2) Provide a centralized website where students can easily access accurate academic information, including a current and comprehensive list of majors, degree requirements, and course descriptions. Students have told us that they judge the quality of an advising program based on the quality of the program’s electronic resources so be sure to monitor and update sites for accuracy.
3) Offer a Major’s Fair, a Workshop, or Special Event to deliver important educational information to students. These can take place in the residence halls, the dining halls, or even outside under a tent. Free refreshments help attract the crowds.
4) Refer students to the array of Web resources available to help them better understand academic and career information. Some favorites are:
http://MyRoad.com is College Board’s college and career planning website.
http://www.Princetonreview.com/majors.aspx is the Princeton Review’s website and offers access to wide variety of educational information.
http://www.worldwidelearn.com/online-education-guide/index.html is a site that allows students to explore their college major, research areas of study that are of interest, and discover online degree programs and career paths.
5) Assist your students with liking majors to potential careers by visiting these websites:
6) Assign your students the responsibility of reviewing the list of majors offered at your school. Have them identify programs of interest, cross off the majors they know they do not want, and further explore news areas for consideration. This is simple, but very effective!
7) The university or college bookstore can be a great way for students to explore the coursework in a particular major prior to registering for a course. Promote that they peruse the aisles and review textbooks and other course materials affiliated with major of interest.
8) Create a ‘Class Visit’ program, where students can obtain a ‘pass’ to sit in for a day on an upper-division course in a particular major, and then set-up a follow-up conversation with the instructor.