F.Y.E: The Academic Home for Undeclared Majors

Ashley Jones

The First-Year Experience department (FYE) is creating new and effective ways to help students with undeclared majors declare a major by the end of the academic school year.

The F.Y.E program is used to help students adapt to college as well as to expand potential career opportunities after college. The program consists of a one-time meeting with the professor a day before classes start, F.Y.E 1220 is a seminar class given during the first semester and F.Y.E 1410 Global Citizens is a seminar given during the second semester.

Chris Caplinger, the head of the First-Year Experience department, shared what F.Y.E is doing to help students declare a major.

“When you come in undeclared we have 30-minute appointments for students. Every appointment has a major exploration component,” said Caplinger “Every appointment we’re asking some questions, essentially what is it that you need in order to make a good decision about declaring a major.”

Caplinger described the conversation with undeclared students as simply asking them about their interests as well as giving them self-assessments and doing research.

“There are some risks in being undeclared long term, because no one graduates undeclared. However, it is actually developmentally appropriate to be undeclared upon entering college,” Caplinger said. “In some cases, the student comes in undeclared, makes a better first decision.”

The F.Y.E department stresses that students be proactive in declaring a major and have provided sources that many students have found useful.

The department offers walk-in appointments and is working on a pilot program that will also be offered to students with declared majors who are looking to change their major.