Academic Services

academics_choosingmajorIt is okay to be undecided! Choosing a major is a process. To find a career or major you will enjoy and succeed at, you will need to know what you like, what you are good at, and what you want to achieve.  You are not alone.  We know that approximately 60 percent of all Quincy University students change their majors at least once. Almost 25 percent of students enter QU undeclared because they are unsure of their major and of their career plans. By choosing to attend college, you have decided that you want a college education. Since you have established this goal for yourself, we can help you explore your interests and skills to find the major and career that is right for you.

 

When do I have to declare a major?

There is no time limit set for selecting a major. Students are encouraged to select a major during their first year because goal-oriented students tend to be more successful. However, you may continue to explore various options until the end of your sophomore year and still maintain normal progress toward most Bachelor degree programs at QU. However, some majors require a four-year sequential program and/or state guidelines that would make it difficult to complete in less than four years if not started very early (e.g. nursing, education).  The key is to start talking with your advisor early and begin learning more about yourself.

 

How Do I Begin Undeclared and Still Graduate in 4 years?

With careful advising you can take courses which meet the Quincy University General Education requirements in many of the undergraduate divisions and majors. These courses will help you explore various areas of study, and because they are a general education requirement, they will count towards your degree no matter what major you choose. Then, when you select a major, you will have completed the basic requirements.

 

Should I Take Exploratory Courses?

Absolutely! There are so many course options at QU. As a liberal arts university there are countless courses in numerous disciplines for you to explore.  You cannot possibly know what each of these areas of study is all about or how much they will interest you until you explore them.  If an area interests you and you want to find out more about it, take one of the introductory courses in that subject. You might just find your major and future career!  By consulting your advisor you can find out what courses in your area of interest are also included in our general education requirements. Do not be afraid to tell your advisor about any courses or majors that peak your interest so they may advise you in the best way possible.

 

What Can I Do to Help Myself Select a Major?

This decision should be based on your own unique abilities, talents and interests.  By completing self-assessments, taking some exploratory courses, researching possible careers, and working closely with your QU advisor, you can find the major that is right for YOU.  You may find this differs from your parents’, teachers’, or neighbors’ expectations; maybe even the expectations you had for yourself 5 years ago.   What is important is that you find out who you are NOW (your interests, skills, strengths, & goals) so that you can select the major that is the best fit for you and your future.

academics_advisingAll first-year students have an assigned mentor to provide guidance regarding their academic program and progress, help with their major choice and career development process, and generally serve as a guide to personal and academic development during the first two semesters of attendance. Once a student declares a major, they are assigned to an advisor in their discipline. Transfer students are assigned an advisor in their discipline rather than a mentor.

Students must have their mentor’s/advisor’s approval for registration and adding or dropping a course. Academic progress reports and mid-term grades are sent to mentors/advisors for all students enrolled in 100- and 200-level courses.

If a student is unsure of who his or her mentor/advisor is, the student may contact the Dean of Academic Support Services in FRH 121 at 217-228-5288. If at any time a student is unhappy with his or her mentor/advisor, the student can request to be assigned to another person.

What is my responsibility as an advisee?

  • Take responsibility for your academic career.  Use STEP (STrategic Education Plan) to begin gathering information to assist you and your advisor/mentor in your academic and career choices.
  • Maintain regular contact with your advisor/mentor.
  • Be prepared for appointments.  Be willing to discuss and review your academic choices and goals, study habits, and academic progress.
  • If you are confused or have a potential problem, set up a time to discuss these issues with your advisor as soon as possible.

What should I expect from my advisor/mentor?

  • Knowledge of college policies and procedures.
  • Help in establishing educational goals.
  • Assistance in scheduling courses to help you attain your goals.
  • Willingness to listen to problems or concerns and provide you with options.

Learn more about our Faculty here.

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