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Gateway Advising and Major Exploration Center

Ward Edwards 1900
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4721

exploring college majors and careers

Exploring Majors and Careers Course

So, you’re not sure about what you want to do with the rest of your life? Enroll in "Exploring Majors and Careers"!

Exploring Majors and Careers (AE1410) is a one-credit hour student-development elective course designed to introduce you to a wide range of college majors and career options. Special emphasis is given to an exploration of self through the use of career assessments and individual career counseling sessions, as well as individual and group activities, discussions, and interviews specifically designed to expose you to, and educate you about, career options and the academic programs that lead to those options.AE1410 is open to any student, whether you have yet to declare a major, or are in a major but are questioning your continuation in that program.In addition, AE1410 is an eight-week course which is offered four times per academic year. 

First-semester freshmen who are considering this course are strongly encouraged to also enroll in Freshman Seminar (AE1400). This one-credit hour student-development elective course introduces you to university academics and campus life as a whole. You are taught about university services and resources, and you learn how to develop academic skills and build effective relationships. You learn effective time, money, and stress management skills and are taught how to set meaningful goals for yourself as a college student. Some sections of AE1410 are linked with AE1400 through Exploring Majors Learning Communities. Freshman Seminars and Learning Communities are open only to first-semester freshmen.

Will this class really help? Here are some highlights:

  • 50% of the students had declared a major before the end of the course *
  • 45% had narrowed their options down to a few choices before the end of the course *
  • More than 90% had declared a major before the end of the second semester *
  • 3% had made a career decision not requiring a college degree *
  • 85% retention (returned to continue their studies for the next year)*
  • Open Option freshmen who take this course academically outperform all other freshmen *

    * Statistics as cited are on average and typical – similar results can be expected

To enroll in AE1410 Exploring Majors and Careers, contact yourAcademic Advisor.

NOTE:  It is important to understand the Open Option program is not designed to be a long-term academic status or program.  It is designed to be a bridge between being unsure and confidently deciding on an academic program.  At UCM, we are committed to helping every student make continuous and steady progress toward graduation, and to successfully graduate in a program best suited to him/her as an individual.  To that end, the following rules apply to individuals who choose to be Open Option students:

  • First-Time, Full-Time Students (FTFT).  Open Option freshmen may choose to defer AE1410, Exploring Majors and Careers, until their second semester.  However, they will be required to take the course second semester if they have not yet declared a major.  All FTFT students will need to declare their major by the time they have earned 30 credit hours, or before enrolling for their third semester (whichever comes first).  By taking active steps to explore and decide on a major before accumulating more than 30 hours of credit, students greatly improve their chances of making timely progress toward graduation, keeping them on track with the UCM contract for completion.
  • Continuing Students.  Continuing students, who are in an academic program and have determined that program to no longer be a fit, may change their status to Open Option.  Students in this category will need to decide on an academic program prior to their enrollment access in the semester following their decision to change their status to Open Option. **
  • New Transfer Students and Readmitted Students.  New students transferring to UCM, as well as UCM students, who are coming back after a break in their college career, may choose to enter UCM as Open Option students.  Students in this category with less than 30 credit hours earned should refer to the FTFT rules above.  Students in this category with more than 30 credit hours earned, will need to decide on an academic program during their first semester, prior to their enrollment access for the subsequent semester. **

    ** All students with more than 30 hours of credit are required to meet with a Career Counselor in the Gateway Center and complete a “Major Exploration Contract.”  This one-semester, non-renewable contract must be completed prior to enrolling in courses and/or receiving financial aid. 

For more information about the Open Option Program at UCM, or to make an appointment with a Career Counselor, contact the Gateway Advising & Major Exploration Center (WDE1900, 660-543-4721).