University College a valuable resource for students with undeclared majors

Unlike the other eight undergraduate colleges at Marshall, University College does not offer degree programs; they focus their efforts on conditionally admitted and undecided students, said Director of University College Sherri Stepp. 

“Our advisers work very closely with those students to help them do all the exploration that they need to do to help them select a major,” Stepp said. “Students have up until their 30th credit hour to declare a major.”

Stepp said that it depends on the individual student as to whether coming to college without knowing what you want to do is a good idea.

“There is just a lot of opportunity, and we want students to know that they’re not boxed in,” Stepp said. “You can have multiple majors that lead to a specific career. You can have one major that leads to multiple careers.”

One way University College provides an advantage to students is by not having a high advising load, Stepp said. 

“We have fewer number of advisees,” she said. “That gives us the opportunity to spend more time with our students. We want to look at each student holistically. If they are struggling, we want to try to get the reasons that they’re struggling, so that we can we provide support for them.” 

In some cases, advisers in the University College have discovered students have learning disabilities and may not know about it, Stepp said.

She said in other circumstances, students know about their learning disabilities but may be hiding it in hopes of a fresh start in college.

Stepp also said there could be situations outside of the classroom that are deeply affecting a student’s performance for the worse.

In some cases, Stepp said the students may be pointed toward counseling or tutoring services.

Stepp said tutoring services are not only available to University College students, but offered campus-wide to any student who needs help. Some of the courses offered through tutoring services include accounting, biology, foreign languages, math and more.

Tutoring services are located next to University College on the second floor of the Communications Building.

“We often just walk students right over and schedule an appointment right then and there,” Stepp said, “and we encourage them to do that.”

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].