Parents Corner | Exploratory Advising Center | Kent State University

Parents Corner

Dear Parents,

Welcome to Kent State University. We want to assure you that, students can enter KSU as a Exploratory student, then choose their major, and still graduate in four years. There is a limit, however to how long a student can explore before declaring a specific major and still be able to complete a bachelor's degree on time. Therefore, it is important that a student begins the exploration process early in the first semester. As a parent, you can help by checking with your son or daughter during the second or third week of the first semester to remind them to get started.  We also want your student to become aware of the many student and campus life activities which Kent State University offers.  Students who are involved are more likely to complete their academic goals and to have the skills to compete in the work place. Through these experiences,your student will learn more about themselves, ultimately aiding in their final destination; a career. We look forward to assisting your student in the career exploration process.


Exploratory Advising Center Advising Staff

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How is the student's major related to their career goals?

Many college freshmen think they should make their career decisions first and then base their major decision primarily on their career goal.  There are, however, very few professional careers that require a specific major.  It is important to know that there are a few professional career fields that do have licensing requirements, but most professional careers do not have specific requirements.  For those careers, you have considerable flexibility in your choice of major.  Good grades, communication and technical skills, writing and analytical ability, experience and leadership are often more important than choice of major for many professional jobs or graduate school.

2.  How does the advising system work? How are courses chosen?

Finding an academic focus can be an uncertain journey, and excellent advising is crucial to the success of the Exploratory major.  All exploratory students are assigned to an academic  adviser, who will work closely with them to help identify their evolving interests and possible areas of study. Advisers guide course selection and provide advice about complementary coursework and opportunities outside the classroom.

3. How can I assist my child in choosing a major?

From a developmental perspective, our (Exploratory Advising Center  advisor) goal is to work with your student as an "adult" client. We want your student to make timely academic decisions based on their personal goals and abilities. Our goal is for your son or daughter to be successful on his/her own terms. However, we know that you—the parents—are crucial to the growth, development, and success of your child during their college years.

While The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974)* or FERPA does prohibit us from sharing grades/academic status with students' parents, it does not stop us from sharing the desire with parents to help students graduate and be successful. In this respect, it is crucial that parents/guardians continue communicating with their students regarding academic and career aspirations and progress towards those goals and ultimately, graduation.

While we want your child to make his/her academic decisions for him or herself, we believe it is important for you—the parents—to be a part of the process. Please explore the other Resource Links on this website. Also feel free to call for assistance in understanding the academic process/policies at KSU. We are an advocate and an ally for you and your student and we ALL want academic and personal success for your child.

4. How long does my student have to decide a major?

Exploratory students may remain in the program for up to 45 credit hours; however, many select a major by the end of their first year at Kent State University.

5. Will Kent Core courses apply to majors in others schools at Kent State University?

Yes. All Kent Core will count for most major.

6. Will my student be able to study abroad and still finish on time?

Yes. Studying abroad and interacting with other cultures can be an extremely valuable and rewarding aspect of a liberal arts education. Exploratory students may choose from  many of the same wide range of study-abroad opportunities as any other Kent State student. For any major, careful planning is necessary for students who plan to study abroad. Students will work with their adviser and the Office of International Programs staff to explore their study-abroad options and best plan their semester schedules.

7. How can my student connect to the university?

Getting involved on campus through the activities, organizations, and events at Kent State will give your student  additional opportunities to select and choose a major, to  prepare for life after graduation, or to expand and prepare themselves for graduate work. The Center for Student Involvement offers hundreds of resources for leadership, student engagement, connections, and transitions. There are over 200 student organizations on campus.  Choose from leadership programs,  community service events , student government, cultural experiences, or join an organization or intramural club just to have fun and make new friends.