Advising for Students Deciding On a Major

Are you a student who is undeclared, exploring your options or considering a major?  At RWU, we encourage students to explore all of the many options available to them for majors as well as minors and core concentrations.  There are a lot of resources on campus to support students through this process from their faculty academic advisor to professional advisors in the Advising Office and staff in the Center for Career & Professional Development, just to name a few.  

How can The Center for Student Academic Success help me with academic advising?

Professional academic advisors in the Advising Office in the Center for Student Academic Success provide holistic developmental advising to all deciding students as well as any student who may be thinking about changing a major.  These advisors can support students in exploring their interests, identifying their skills and strengths and making a list of areas of study to explore.  Advisors are familiar with RWU's wide array of programs and can refer students to the appropriate faculty in those areas for more detailed conversations about the major.  These professional advisors work with their faculty colleagues to support students in this important decision making. 

During the first year, Deciding Students meet with an academic advisor in the Advising Office as well as a faculty academic advisor who has been assigned.  Together these advisors help students identify the courses they should be taking in their first year as part of the Core Curriculum and identify areas of interest to select additional courses.   Students who are exploring majors are often referred to the Center for Career and Professional Development to meet with a career advisor.  These advisors can provide information on careers, offer interest and career assessments that might provide direction, and guide students in becoming career ready.  Lastly, students are also assigned a Peer Mentor to help them make a successful transition to RWU and provide a peer with whom they can discuss ideas and concerns. Peer Mentors are trained on important transition issues, RWU policies and procedures and how to make referrals to campus resources.

This collaborative advising process assists students in selecting courses and other academic opportunities that will help them explore possible majors and begin the process to decide on a course of study.  Students are encouraged to make a decision about a program of study and declare a major by the end of their sophomore year.  This allows students plenty of time to think about what they would like to do in the future and make an academic plan that supports their goals.

Why do Deciding Student Have Two Advisors?

We believe is is important for students who are exploring majors to have as much support as possible.  Every RWU student is assigned a Faculty Academic Advisor who works with them on creating an academic plan and selecting courses.  All students are required to meet with their assigned Faculty Academic Advisor every semester before registering for classes to discuss their plans and get advice on course selection, sequencing and major requirements.  Deciding students are provided the additional support of an Academic Advisor from the Advising Office to assist them with major and career exploration and to guide them through utilizing all of the campus resources that can assist them with their decision making. 

What Do I  Do to Begin to Decide on a Major?  What Do I Do If I Want to Change My Major?  

Not sure about a major?  Thinking about changing your major? If you find yourself saying yes to either of these questions, please know that you are not alone!  Many students enter college unsure about their future plans and many returning students find themselves wanting to explore other academic areas.  We support this exploration and will support you through the process.  Please let us know that you would like to have a conversation about your options by reaching out to the Advising Office at csas@rwu.edu.  We will set up an appointment with one of our professional advisors and help you begin your exploration.