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First-Year: Academic Exploration and Career Assessment

In the first year, the academic focus is on acquisition and honing of basic skills and competencies and the exploration of a wide variety of disciplines.

Academic policy requires all first-year students to take courses in four different disciplines in each semester.

The emphasis on General Education Program requirements complements this exploration and competency development. Students begin to identify strengths and weaknesses and to explore interests, a vital experience in preparation for the decisions to follow.

In the career development process, the first year is a time of self-assessment, a time for students to get to know themselves and to begin to identify interests (what they like to do), skills (what they do well), and values (what things are important to them). Thus, a first-year student is encouraged:

  • to begin to identify career goals through readings, informational meetings, and assessment administered by career development staff;
  • to become familiar with various career options and assess possible interest in those fields through observation and an examination of information in the career development library;
  • to explore academic disciplines, preparatory to establishing a major, which are of greatest interest and support to possible career choices;
  • to become involved in campus activities which reflect interests and to begin to accept responsibilities in organizations in order to establish a track record of achievement that is attractive to employers and graduate schools; and
  • to develop a work-in-progress resume.
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