Undecided

College of Arts and Sciences

Location: Crete
Degree Type: 
Undergraduate

What’s your major? 

A common, yet unfair question asked of every student in high school and college. In reality, 20% of Doane students admittedly enter the first year “exploring” their academic interests while another 30% who indicate a major will most certainly change within the first two years. Students who begin college exploring (some colleges refer to students as “undecided”) are realists. Doane faculty applaud students for recognizing the value in exploring variety in college. 

The idea of exploring for too long in college can be nerve wracking. As a result, Doane’s Exploring Pathways program is a collaborative effort between faculty and staff which leverages a flexible curriculum, purposeful engaging conversations, and resources all aligned to connect individual student interest to academic success.

Exploring Pathways is a program initiated with new students during enrollment days prior to fall enrollment and continuing throughout the exploring process which may continue into the second year.

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The Doane Difference

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Purposely

Graduating students in four years or less is part of Doane’s DNA. With 20% of incoming students admitting to exploring their academic interests, Doane embraces the challenge to create a path for students to find their passion in the first two years so they are are able to stay on track, regardless of their major.

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Connecting

Doane’s approach is intentional and personal. Our goal is to help students find the connection between interest and aptitude. The faculty and staff advisors understand that students are anxious, stressed, and under pressure to make academic and ultimately career decisions. As a result, our process is predicated on active listening and engaged discussion while also creating campus connections that help trigger student interests.

Students talking on cement steps

Student Interest

From the moment you step on campus, your Exploring Pathways experience begins with intentional connections facilitated by numerous organized opportunities. These consist of 1-on-1 personal advising with multiple people addressing important topics such as life after sports. In addition we provide a multi-year seminar series dedicated to personal and academic growth, the intentional development of soft skills (i.e. emotional intelligence test), academic majors fair, and College to Career Center (C2CC) resource.

Program Information

The Liberal Arts Seminars (LAR) progressively address the essential learning outcomes of the CORE Connections curriculum.

LAR 101: Inquiry Seminar: Learning the Art of Inquiry (First Year)

A course designed to introduce students to college-level writing, discussion, critical thinking, and critical reading. Faculty will choose a topic for each section in order to help students learn information research skills, to work collaboratively, and to gain an appreciation for interdisciplinary study and multiple perspectives.

LAR 202: Integrative Seminar: Democracy and Diversity (Sophomore Year)

In a collaborative setting, students will apply and integrate knowledge and experiences to examine complex questions related to democracy and diversity from multiple perspectives. This course can address far-reaching issues that are enduring or contemporary in areas such as culture and values, science and society, global interdependence, citizenship, or human dignity and freedom.

LAR 303: Impact Seminar: Connecting Knowledge to Choices and Actions (Junior or Senior Year)

This course will develop students’ teamwork and leadership skills to prepare for citizenship or work as they connect theory, practice, and experience. Students, drawn from multiple fields of specialized study, will collaboratively analyze a complex real-world problem, develop an empathetic understanding of multiple perspectives needed to comprehend the issue, and propose possible solutions. Students will be engaged through experiential pedagogies such as service learning.

CORE Connections

The undergraduate experience at Doane is an immersive environment, a community of students, faculty, and staff who motivate students to take responsibility for their ongoing academic and personal growth. It is a defining experience that serves as a catalyst for students to develop intellectual skills, to build connections among diverse sources of knowledge, and to adapt their liberal arts education to serve and to lead at all levels of social, civic, and professional citizenship

There are four essential student learning outcomes of the CORE Connections:

  1. Understand foundational areas of knowledge
  2. Develop crucial intellectual skills
  3. Build connections of knowledge across various disciplines
  4. Adapt their liberal arts education to serve and to lead at all levels of citizenship.

Students will also develop the following three habits of an intellectual and balanced life: communicate effectively, use information wisely, and pursue a healthy lifestyle.

College to Career Center (C2CC)

The C2CC supports and empowers students and alumni to be active participants in their career development process. The C2CC collaborates with the campus, local community, and employers to provide a multitude of services and resources that ensure the lifelong professional and personal success of Doane students. The C2CC is easily accessible for all students located in the Perry Campus Center directly across from the cafeteria.

PATHWAYS Majors Fair

Doane holds an annual majors fair in early October in the Perry Campus Center. Students gain easy access to professors, engage in informal conversations about careers and associated academic major opportunities.

Becky Hunke

Becky Hunke

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
Academic Affairs Office
Rhonda Lake McKercher

Rhonda Lake McKercher

First Year Academic Advisor
Academic Affairs Office
JL Vertin

JL Vertin

Associate Professor of Practice
Mathematics