Liberal Arts/Undeclared Program
Mary Jo Meehan, LPC, Liberal Arts/Undeclared Advisor
Location: KJS Library-Lower Level
Phone: (906) 635-2189
"Research conducted by Penn State and other institutions has shown that up to 80 percent of entering college students admit that they are not certain what they want to major in, even if they have initially chosen a major. In addition, over 50 percent of first-year students change their majors at least once before graduation, and some change several times." (Michael J. Leonard, Pennsylvania State University, http://www.psu.edu/dus/md/, 2004)
If you are undecided about your choice of major, you are not alone. Being "undecided" about a major or field of study is perfectly normal, and, in many ways, advantageous. You have the worlds of academics and careers at your fingertips and have flexibility to explore many options. The Liberal Arts-Undeclared program is structured to allow you to explore courses, majors, careers and your interests while working toward degree requirements.
You may be "undecided" about your choice of major for any of the following reasons:
- You have no idea "What you want to be when you grow up." You haven't decided on a career path of found a major that interests you.
- You have many ideas and interests as far as majors or careers are concerned and cannot settle on one track.
- You want to explore your options--what LSSU has to offer, your interests and abilities, career choices--before committing to a field of study.
- You declared a major, began your studies, and realized that the coursework required for the degree is no longer of interest to you. (i.e. you want to be a CSI (crime scene investigator), but hate chemistry, mathematics, and science)
The Liberal Arts-Undeclared program at Lake Superior State University is designed to guide your exploration of academic and personal interests and potential majors and careers. Through personalized advising and career counseling, self-guided research and assessment, development of a career planning portfolio, and conversations with faculty, staff, students and employers in fields of interest to you, you will gain a better understanding of the decision-making process and academic and career planning.
Below is a sample of the programs, services, and activites you can take advantage of as you begin the exploration process.
- LSSU offers first-year seminars that assist students with the transition to higher education as well as with career exploration. Students may create career planning portfolios, research various fields of study or career choices, “shadow” professionals who work in the students' fields of interest, complete career testing, and develop skills and techniques necessary to succeed at LSSU.
- Liberal arts advisors assist liberal arts-undeclared students with the selection of general education (liberal arts) courses and introductory courses that will meet degree requirements while allowing students to explore the academic programs offered at LSSU. These advisors--professional counselors and academic staff --will assist you in defining your academic and career goals.
- Career counselors are available for more in depth discussion and interpretation of tests and assessments you may complete. Our career counselors are licensed professional counselors who can assist you in determining which fields of study and career options would be best for you.
- Guided self-assessment allows students to explore interest, ability, achievement, aptitude, work values, and personality traits through completion of assessments that may be reviewed by your advisor and/or a licensed professional career counselor.
- Most majors have introductory freshmen-level courses that provide students with an overview of the major or field of study (i.e. CJ101: Intro to Criminal Justice, TE150: Reflections on Learning and Teaching, PY101: Intro to Psychology, BL140: Intro to Fisheries and Wildlife, BA121: Intro to Business). Taking an "intro" course can assist you in determining whether or not that field is right for you. (Do not rely solely on this method for career exploration. Some intro courses may not count toward general education or major requirements once you do settle upon a major. All intro courses do, however, count as elective credits toward graduation. If you take an intro course and decide that the field is NOT for you, you have ruled out one option, but have not decided upon another.)
- Faculty, staff, students and alumni at LSSU can also be great resources. Many of our faculty have "real life experience" within the fields they now teach. They understand life outside LSSU and inside your field of interest. LSSU faculty, staff, students and alumni may have direct career experience in a particular field of interest to you but may also have direct connections with employers, researchers and employees that you could learn from. It is important that you develop a network of friends and mentors and ask a lot of questions!
- Get involved in student organizations and out-of-class activities at LSSU! Gain "real world" experience while enjoying student life at LSSU. Leadership, communication, self-discipline, time management, teamwork and interpersonal skills can be developed in a safe environment--all skills necessary for success in today's world of work.
- Career exploration resources are available for students wishing to independently research and learn about career planning and academic majors.
Remember, being undecided about your major or career choice is perfectly normal! We can help!
Garret Munro, BA Communication 2010
Major upon entering LSSU: Undecided
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Read Garret's Success Story
Scott Perkins, BS Psychology 2010