University College helps students choose focus for studies

Door outside of University College located in Smith Hall.

Douglas Harding

Door outside of University College located in Smith Hall.

University College is a service that supports students in learning through academic advisors and helps ease the process of choosing a major.

Sherri Stepp, director of University College and associate dean of undergraduate studies, said University College works with conditionally admitted students, undecided students and some pre-nursing students. 

“University College also houses high school early entry and dual enrollment students, special admits, transient, and international transient students,” Stepp said in an email. 

Stepp said University College offers academic advising to these students. Students are assigned a specific academic advisor who can assist them in choosing an academic program and various other needs.

The program also includes the National Student Exchange which provides an opportunity for qualifying students to study for two semesters at participating universities and colleges for the price of their Marshall tuition.    

“The NSE program is similar to study aboard; however, the participating colleges and universities are in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada,” Stepp said in an email. 

Robin Taylor, the coordinator of the National Student Exchange, said she thinks the NSE program has the potential to really enhance a student’s exchange.  

“I enjoy the fact that students get to have experiences outside of their comfort zone,” Taylor said in an email. “regardless if they are inbound to Marshall or outbound to another university.” 

A common problem for many students transitioning to college is declaring a major that they like, and Stepp said University College advisors often ask students about previous activities or organizations in which they have been involved in high school.  

“If they can identify something that really sparks their interest, we can look at reviewing academic programs that provide similar opportunities,” Stepp said.  

This semester, University College advisors are meeting with their advisees virtually. If an advisee needs to schedule an appointment, they can contact their advisor directly or email [email protected].

Jonathan Still can be contacted at [email protected].