Pre-Major Academic Advising

School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies

Pre-Major Academic Advising
222 Lawrence Center
610-436-3505
610-436-2600 (fax)
email: advising@wcupa.edu
Pre-Major Academic Advising website
Dr. Ann Colgan, Interim Director
Dr. Jack Kinslow, Advisor
Prof. Courtney Lloyd, Advisor
Mrs. Linda Missanelli, Clerical Support

The faculty advisors in Pre-Major Academic Advising (PMAA) help undecided WCU students explore majors and also guide students regarding course selection and grade requirements for those majors. We recognize that choosing a major and career direction is an important step in life, and making this decision is a complex process. In addition, we stress the importance of transferable skills, which are obtainable in every WCU major and which can be applied to almost every career, regardless of major.

At WCU, academic advising is an educational partnership between an advisor and a student whose goal is the student's academic, personal, and professional success. Advisors and advisees collaborate to help students achieve their aims. The advising relationship thus mirrors other teaching relationships at West Chester University.  Advisors explain policies, identify resources, and give advice; however, students are ultimately responsible for making the decisions that will keep them on track to successfully graduate in a timely way.

Students accepted into PMAA might fit one of four broad categories:

  1. Students who have applied to other majors but have not yet been accepted into that major.
    1. These students work with their PMAA advisors to meet the entrance requirements for their desired majors and are able to change their majors to their originally intended major when they have taken the necessary courses and have the minimum required GPAs.
  2. Students who have two or three possible major interests and need to narrow down their choices before entering their chosen major.
    1. These students work with their PMAA advisors, the Career Development Center, and other resources to reflect on their strengths and interests.
    2. Students also schedule and take courses which might work for several of their major interests to aid in their decision-making process.
    3. It is possible to create such flexible schedules for up to two semester; after that, students must have determined a major direction.
  3. Students who may have no idea what they want to major in, in part because they have limited knowledge about what the options are.
    1. These students work with their PMAA advisors, the Career Development Center, and other resources to reflect on their strengths and interests.
    2. These students attend special workshops and programs offered by PMAA in collaboration with the Career Development Center and various academic departments.
    3. PMAA advisors remind students that they will not make a mistake in choosing a major since all majors can lead to many careers because of the flexible skills that college degree programs impart.
    4. Students deliberately schedule courses to engage in major and career exploration.
    5. It is possible to create such flexible schedules for up to two semester; after that, students must have determined a major direction.
  4. Students who have been accepted into other WCU majors but change their minds and transfer to PMAA to begin the process of deciding upon and earning entrance to their desired new major.

All undergraduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the undergraduate catalog.  Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.

Undeclared Major Declaration Policy

Policy Requirements

First year students who entered West Chester University as undeclared/pre-major must declare a major at the completion of 45 West Chester University earned credits. This is most often equivalent to three semesters of full-time study at the University. Transfer students (Internal and External) who are undeclared must declare a major after two semesters of full-time study as an undeclared student. Students must be in good academic standing and must meet all admission requirements specified by the program s/he plans to transfer into. Exception to this policy may be granted to students who are planning to declare a major with highly restrictive admission requirements and may need additional semesters to complete those requirements. Any undeclared student who does not declare a major within the stipulated period of time will be required to develop an action plan addressing his/her academic area(s) of interest before the advisor hold will be lifted to enable the student schedule for the next semester.

Request to Postpone/Defer Declaring a Major

An undeclared/pre-major student may submit a request to defer declaring a major if the student is postponing major declaration because s/he has yet to complete the prerequisites for the anticipated major. The process of postponing a major declaration requires an established plan of action by the student, which must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the chairperson of the department of Educational Development Services (EDS), and the dean/designee of Undergraduate Studies and Student Support Services (USSSS).

Professor

John A. Kinslow (1998)

Chairperson, Educational Development

Advisor, Pre-Major Advising

B.A., Antioch University; M.Ed., Ph.D., Temple University

Assistant Professor

Ann Lieberman-Colgan (2014)

Director, Pre-Major Advising

B.A., West Chester University of Pennsylvania; M.Ed., River College; Ed.D., Gratz College