Student Advising Services
Nearly 25% of new students begin college as exploratory. It makes you no less serious about your education, and it places no limits on your chances for success in college or beyond.
MANY HIGH-ACHIEVING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COME TO COLLEGE WITHOUT HAVING SETTLED ON A MAJOR BECAUSE THEY HAVE SEVERAL FIELDS OF INTEREST AND ARE NOT READY TO SELECT JUST ONE.
All students have until the second semester of sophomore year to declare a major. This gives you time and space to explore options, take elective courses, learn more about yourself, meet students and faculty members in various departments, and make sound decisions about your major.
TOOLBOX FOR CHOOSING A MAJOR
You can use the Toolbox on your own or as a basis for discussion with your advisor.TOOLBOX FOR CHOOSING A MAJOR
There are hundreds of websites for exploratory students. We recommend beginning with the following:
TIMELINE FOR CHOOSING A MAJOR
Stay on track to declare a major by the second semester of your sophomore year.
Research various majors and careers by taking courses in majors and visiting Career Development and the Advising Office.
Take MBTI Self-Assessment.
Volunteer or work in a field of interest.
Job shadow through Career Development.
Attend workshops and programs sponsored by various departments on campus.
Join clubs and organizations related to interests.
Narrow possible majors to three.
Talk to upper level students in various majors to get a feel for various courses and their plans relative to their major after college.
Network with Hartwick Alumni, see department webpages and Alumni Office.
Talk to academic and career advisors.
MAJORS AND MINORS FAIR
Student representatives (or ambassadors) from each academic department gather in Dewar Student Union for the purpose of meeting exploratory students.
All first and second year students are invited to mingle, network, and have some snacks while asking questions and learning first-hand about Hartwick’s academic programs. Event details are advertised on campus and invitations are sent by email.
All students are welcome to stop by the Office of Career Development in Golisano Hall to learn about various self-assessment tools and personality inventories (such as Meyers-Briggs) or consider their Strengths Quest results from FLP 101, or see the Personal Style Inventory with in the “Toolbox for Choosing a Major”.
TALKING WITH PEOPLE
Don’t overlook a simple, but effective method of gathering relevant information: talking with people in your life.
Have an intentional conversation with fellow students, college faculty and staff (advising and career advisors are trained in helping students select a major), family, friends and professional connections. When faced with making decisions you are uncertain of, talking with the people in your network can help you make good choices, and can lead to connecting to alumni and professionals with similar majors in various career fields
Students must declare a major near the end of their sophomore year, before they can pre-register in April for their fall courses.
By filling out a Change of Major/Advisor Form, found on the Advising Forms webpage, or the Registrar’s Office Forms page.
Changing your major is always an option. There a few things to keep in mind when contemplating changing your major. First and foremost, are you changing your major for the right reasons? Are you not enjoying your classes? Has an internship or volunteer experience in another field led you to think that a different major may be more suitable for your chosen career path? Is it feasible at this point in your academic career? Get input from your current advisor and from faculty in the prospective major(s).
The cornerstone of a liberal arts degree is its potential to prepare you for life after college in any career. In this manner, the skills gained in a liberal arts curriculum provide many of the skills that most employers or graduate schools expect graduates to possess.
Most liberal arts students graduate with the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, possess strong interpersonal skills, are highly adaptable to change, have developed keen critical and analytical thinking skills, and display well-honed problem solving abilities. These five skills are five of the top 10 qualities employers seek in job candidates.
Yes. Minoring in a field is a great way to diversify your specialization.
Many students decide to declare a minor to either complement their major (political science and history), or to broaden their education (biology and English). To declare a minor, use the same form you would use for changing majors or advisors. An advisor is not required for minors.
Absolutely not. The correlation between academic major and career paths is relatively low. It is not uncommon to find many people in careers unrelated to their major.
The most important point is to gain skills pertinent to your chosen career field. These skills, often referred to as “transferable” skills, can be gained by working hard in any major. And by engaging in the ‘life of the college’ while simultaneously taking advantage of the wealth of experiential learning opportunities (research, job shadow, internship, work-study, community based service and learning, and campus clubs and organizations).
Employers look for…
- 1. Communication skills
- 2. Motivation/Initiative
- 3. Teamwork
- 4. Leadership
- 5. Academic achievement (GPA)
- 6. Interpersonal skills
- 7. Flexibility/adaptability
- 8. Technical skills
- 9. Honesty and integrity
- 10. Analytical/problem solving skills
OFFICE OF ACADEMIC ADVISING
205 Bresee Hall