MILWAUKEE — A college in southeast Wisconsin is introducing a new way to help undecided students and put parents at ease.
Mount Mary University leaders said they are the only college in the Midwest offering a yearlong program dedicated to helping students find their major without additional time and money wasted.
Mount Mary University President Dr. Christine Pharr said she's had a team developing the Compass Program for more than a year.
"What is going to be the thing that's going to make them fulfilled, passionate about their work, want to get up every day and go to their job? Where can they make the biggest difference?" Pharr said.
Students who take part in the yearlong Compass Program will be paired with career advisers, and they will take classes exposing them to job options. Participants will also take personality and interest tests to help them choose a meta major right away.
"So, you pick kind of a broad field area, and then based upon that they spend the first year in particular classes that focus on helping them explore specific careers in that meta major, exposing them to professionals who might be doing different types of jobs that would use those interests," Pharr said.
Students will have the chance to job shadow professionals in the careers they're interested in. The goal is for students to feel comfortable choosing a major by the end of the year.
"It's about heading them in the right direction even though they don't know exactly where they want to go," said Pharr.
Mount Mary will start offering the Compass Program in the fall, but some students have already taken advantage of some aspects such as the personality and interest tests.
"Just kind of explored different like our personalities and lining them up with other possible careers that might fit your type of personality," said Margaret Dishaw.
"It helped me because I knew I was running out of time to pick what I needed to do," said Brianna Valdez.
"It's about heading them in the right direction even though they don't know exactly where they want to go." — Dr. Christine Pharr, Mount Mary University president
Olivia Hickman is a student ambassador at Mount Mary. She shows prospective students around campus and meets a lot of worried parents.
"Is my child going to be left behind, are they still going to be able to find a job, like their concern about finances," said Olivia Hickman.
Ali Bubloni, another student ambassador, said new students like the idea of the Compass Program.
"When I was explaining the program I could really see the fear kind of just melt away, and she was feeling comfortable. Her parents looked a lot more comfortable," Bubloni said.
Studies show 80 percent of incoming freshmen don't know what they want to major in.
Students and parents can learn more about the Compass Program from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 414-930-3000.