To promote the advancement and improvement of academic advising of undecided and exploratory college students through the greater dissemination of resources and research pertinent to this educational endeavor.
Rationale for Creation of the Community
Undecided/exploratory students represent a significant proportion of the entering student body at most colleges and universities. Many other students (between 60% -75%) who begin university studies as declared in majors, change their majors at least once before they graduate. Retention becomes an issue if programs are not available and strategies are not developed to help students understand how to progress from being undecided to declared in a major that fits their abilities, values and interests. Strategies developed for undecided students will ultimately impact the majority of students on campus. The number of students who are undeclared and who have a high attrition rate is even more dramatic at community colleges and open-access institutions.
Advising students who are undecided is a challenge because of the variety of reasons they are undecided. Students may be feeling pressure from family and friends, they may not be at a developmental stage to make a decision of this magnitude, they may be 'good' at and interested in many things, or they may not be able to find anything that holds their interest. It is important to try new approaches and tailor approaches to the individual needs of the student.
Developing a community to address the challenges that undecided and exploratory students present will provide a forum for discussion of new strategies and an opportunity to network with individuals who have responsibility for advising this significant group.