This story is featured in the Fall 2018 edition of the HPU Magazine. Below, learn how HPU’s Project Discovery process helps undeclared students uncover their academic passions and choose their major.
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Like every freshman entering HPU, Grace Miller knew her Success Coach before she even arrived on campus. The thing she wasn’t sure of? Her major.
HPU’s Project Discovery was there to help.
Emily Long is part of a team of Success Coaches who partner with new HPU students to provide academic and transitional support throughout their freshman year.
Long’s particular passion is helping undeclared students discover the major that best fits their goals.
She’s a central part of Project Discovery — a step-by-step process in HPU’s Student Success program that guides freshmen who are still looking for the right academic discipline.
When Miller first met with Long, she was unsure of her career path and felt a bit homesick.
Together, they developed a game plan. Involvement was the key.
“To uncover her overall goals and find a direction, I encouraged her to get involved on campus,” says Long. “Soon, she had joined a sorority, the intramural volleyball team and the club tennis team, all while finishing her first semester with a strong GPA.”
Miller’s confidence soared, and her exploration of the various majors at HPU expanded.
In the spring of her freshman year, Miller signed up for a one-credit course designed for undecided students, titled “Exploring Your Major and Career Path.”
It was in that class that Miller further discovered her strengths and interests, uncovering a love for videography.
Long connected Miller with a career advisor in HPU’s Office of Career and Professional Development and a faculty member in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication to discuss career options.
After a year of proactively pursuing her passions and following the guidelines of HPU’s Project Discovery process, Miller completed her freshman year as an electronic media production major, eager to delve into future courses and internship opportunities.
And her story is one of many.
Nationally, more than half of incoming college freshmen are unsure of their major. Some come undeclared while others unexpectedly change their major after arriving on campus.
To the students who seem unsure, insecure or anxious about their future, HPU says, “It’s okay.”
That’s why HPU built Project Discovery and why the university can even identify six different types of undeclared students. With the help of online tools, incoming freshmen easily find out which type they best match with and customize their next discovery steps.
The process works. Miller is proof of that.
“I came into my first year confused and unable to decide on a major,” she says. “With the help of Emily and her confidence in me to succeed, I was open to exploring different majors under her guidance. Now, I’m excited to say that I’ve entered my sophomore year with a clear path and the knowledge that there are teams of people at HPU who will always have my back.”