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Assisting Undecided Students: Graduating Undeclared is not an Option


College 101 for Parents Series: Choosing a College Major. Newsletter ... Misconceptions about the world of work. Too much parental involvement ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Assisting Undecided Students: Graduating Undeclared is not an Option

Assisting Undecided Students Graduating
Undeclared is not an Option
  • Presented by
  • Sally Barton Dingee
  • Concurrent Session/345
  • 2005 NACADA National Conference
  • Monroe Community College

How many times have you heard?
  • I came to Monroe Community College because I
    dont know what I want to major in.
  • I came to Monroe Community College because my
    parents did not want to spend money at a 4-year
    if I am undecided about my major.
  • I think I will get my Liberal Arts degree from
    here and decide my major at the 4-year school.
  • My real plan is to attend Syracuse University,
    so I just want courses that transfer from here.
  • What do you mean I cant graduate undeclared?

Why do students decide to attend community
colleges (especially undecided students?)
  • Affordable
  • Under prepared in high school
  • Close to home
  • Not ready for a four-year college (i.e. maturity,
    self esteem)
  • Parental influence
  • Easy application process/rolling admissions
  • Accessible faculty and professional staff

Characteristics of undeclared students at
community colleges
  • Lack career awareness (i.e. options and how to
    explore them)
  • Multiple interests and skills
  • No clear interests and skills
  • Complex educational and personal histories
  • Uncertain about decision-making techniques
  • Fearful of making the wrong decision
  • Short term planners

Monroe Community College
  • Founded 1961
  • Approximately 17,000 students enrolled
  • Serve on board of directors for League for
  • Over 70 different career, transfer, and
    certificate programs
  • Four campuses Brighton (main campus), Damon
    City Campus, Applied Technologies Center, Public
    Safety Training Center

Assisting Undecided Students
  • What is the responsibility of community colleges
    in assisting undecided students with career
    direction and educational planning?

How can you begin to examine your services for
undeclared students?
  • Assessing your Advising Program for Undecided
    Students from The Undecided College Student by
    Virginia N. Gordon

How it all began
  • How the LA67 code was developed
  • Theoretical framework used to start the program
  • Initial services offered in the program
  • Name Change
  • How we have grown

Advisement/Counseling services for Undeclared
Students at Monroe Community College
  • Program Advisement and Registration Sessions
  • Individual Academic Advisement Appointments
  • Advisement Center Walk-in times
  • Liberal Arts Faculty Mentor Program
  • Career/Personal Counseling available at the
    Counseling Advising Center and Career Center

Services and Resources for Undeclared Students at
Monroe Community College
  • The Undeclared Option Brochure
  • Parents Brochure
  • Guide to Major Decisions Manual
  • Speak at Orientation
  • College 101 for Parents Series Choosing a
    College Major
  • Newsletter
  • Exclusive Workshop for students in the program
  • Career Forums
  • 30 Hold
  • Career Development Course CDL 110

Career and Life Planning for Undeclared Students
CDL 110 (2 credits)
  • Objectives of the course
  • Units in the course
  • Inventories
  • Enrollment trends
  • Other CDL courses

Training Opportunities for Faculty and Staff
  • ADV Workshops
  • ADV 101-Introduction to Advisement
  • ADV 125 Career and Personal Counseling Center
  • ADV 166-Careers R Us
  • ADV 169- Enhancing Career Advising
  • ADV 170- Transfer Advising
  • ADV 200 210-Human Developmental Models As
    Applies to Developmental Advisement I II
  • Faculty Advisor Handbook

Institutional Support
  • Counselors and Advisors
  • Career Center Staff
  • Faculty
  • Honors Program
  • Campus Center Staff
  • Admissions Staff
  • Administrative Support
  • Clerical Support

External Support
  • High Schools
  • Career Forum Presenters
  • 22 dual-admission programs which accommodate
    undeclared students
  • Transfer Advisor-in-Residence Program

How can you generalize our practices and program
philosophy to your campus?
  • Examine your current practices
  • Decide what takes priority
  • Institutional Support
  • Clerical Support
  • External Support

Advising Undeclared Studentswhy is it so hard
  • Lack of motivation
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Immaturity, unable to transition into college
  • Misconceptions about academic majors
  • Misconceptions about the world of work
  • Too much parental involvement

Strategies that work Assessing Undecided vs.
  • Undecided Students who were unwilling, unable,
    or unready to make educational and or/vocational
  • Indecisive unable to make any type of decision
  • Suggestions examine how past decisions were
    made, assess non-verbal communication, pinpoint
    immediate decisions, and praise progress.

Strategies that work Using a decision-making
  • Student centered process
  • Involves change challenge the student
  • Balance between the process of decision-making
    and a decision
  • Encouragement of goals
  • Models to consider Gordon's Decision-Making
    Model, Schein Laffs Decision-Making Model or
    Becks Decision-Making Model

Strategies that work Using subtypes
  • Use Gordons 7 subtypes to better understand the
    student and provide intervention ideas
  • Subtypes lie on a continuum rather than as
    separate states

  • Thank you for attending our session today!

  • Gordon, V.N. (1995). The Undecided College
    Student An academic and career advising
    challenge, 2nd edition. Springfield, IL
    Charles C. Thomas.
  • Steele, George. (2003). A Research-Based
    Approach to Working with Undecided Students A
    Case Study Illustration. NACADA Journal,
    23(12), 10-20.