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Choose your interest, set your goals, and you will be one further step along the route to finding the college that suits you best.

Four Important Things To Consider When Choosing A College

6 Things To Think About When Choosing A College | HuffPost

There's a lot to think about when choosing a college, but you don't have to do it alone
I can see this being, however useful to many students and academic departments, harmful to majors, departments, and fields that are incredibly intensive and require full use of those four years of undergraduate learning. Not all departments would be able to participate in this, or if they did, would require a major reworking of their academic framework and required courses. A project like this would be huge and I personally, don’t see any easy way around this issue. However, for majors that don’t have as many requirements, I can see this being very helpful. One way this could be done is by having “General Education” classes taken during the first year of college be intro classes to umbrellas of similar majors or majors with similarities. These classes could have guest lecturers from the different majors and departments that fall under them. This could familiarize students with the departments on campus and help them make a more informed decision about their major of study.

The Student's Guide to Choosing a Major - Best Colleges

Despite these challenges, school administrators must decide where the priorities are. As shown by the statistics previously mentioned, the current timing of choosing a major negatively affects a majority of students. It would be difficult to implement such great institutional changes, but not doing so might constitute a disservice to the student body. Furthermore, a structured freshman year that focuses on student exploration and deliberation will provide the student with tools and skills useful for long-term application, including the inevitable job search and other higher-level personal decisions. Therefore, even those students who are developmentally ready to choose a major before or in the first year of school will still benefit from undergoing a structured period of self-reflection. Ultimately, a student who makes a more informed major decision in his or her second year of school based on personal goals and values will be more engaged in the college experience and more successful academically, personally, and professionally.


Choosing a Major in College — Advice to Help You Pick …

As an undergraduate student, I have changed my major multiple times and have wished I knew more about these majors before switching into them, so I could make more informed decisions and switch my major less. If I were an incoming student, a system the one proposed in this article would have been very helpful!

There are many challenges to implementing a system in which students delay major choice until the sophomore year. Funding would be needed to change advising structures, including updated physical environments for institutions in which a total intake advising model is not currently utilized. Furthermore, it takes time and effort to make even the slightest change in campus culture. This is partially due to the fact that administration, faculty, staff, and every department on campus would have to be willing to adapt to an institutional change. Lastly, there is a small possibility that these changes would not apply to all students, who may be developmentally prepared to make the decision before entering college. Although there are few students statistically in this category, those who do may perceive the first year as a misuse of time.

Major Decisions: Choosing a College Major

Most students will not be developmentally ready to make effective decisions based on identity and self-reflection, such as choosing a major. If we look again at Perry’s stages of development, the earliest point at which students may be able to effectively choose a major is not until the stage of multiplicity (Evans et al., 2010). Multiplicity signifies the ability to recognize that various options exist when one right answer is not known. In this stage the student may be ready to narrow their major preferences, but it may not be until even further in development (the relativism stage) that students can truly begin deciding based on what they know about themselves. Furthermore, Tiedeman’s decision-making process argues that after the exploratory phase is the crystallization period (as cited in Harren, 1976). Here the student can begin making progress toward a decision but does not actually make one. For example, the student can effectively begin weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a particular decision, consider other alternatives, and understand some of the consequences of these alternatives. Clearly, there is a serious disconnect between where traditional freshmen students are developmentally and the level of development needed to make a successful choice in major. If choosing a major actually means choosing one’s goals, values, and interests based on intentional self-reflection and understanding of one’s self, then first-year students simply are not ready.

Choosing a College | Focus on the Family

Since they are in the dualistic stage of development, first-year students also need assistance navigating a decision-making process. According to Tiedeman’s approach to decision making, these students will begin college in the exploration stage, considering random, exploratory options (as cited in Harren, 1976). Little to no progress is made toward a choice, because knowledge of one’s self and the professional world are needed but not yet understood, and students may feel anxiety about making life choices. Since incoming students are both dualistic and in the exploratory process of decision making, they may not yet be developmentally ready to make important life decisions without a structured period of self-reflection, learning, and growth. When making decisions independently or based on the opinions of those with whom they have a personal relationship, such as family members, students will most likely make an uneducated, unrelated, and ineffective decision not based on their true personal goals, interests, and values.