Declaring a Major

January 30, 2015

michelle gross headshotFrom Michelle Gross, Director of Advising

While many students come to MIAD with a major in mind that they want to declare, many students are also unsure or what many would consider “undeclared” or “undecided.” Whether your student is “decided” or “undecided” about their major at MIAD, it is important that they investigate, question and reflect on the major declaration process. MIAD Advising is committed to helping students become confident about their major decision, articulate why they have chosen their selected major, and be able to intentionally connect their major to a creative life plan.

Students have been exploring the MIAD majors though events like Majors Dialogue and discussions in their Understanding the Visual I course that was completed in the fall semester. This spring semester, Foundations students are enrolled in an Introduction to Advanced Study (IAS) course, which allows them to get a taste of what studying in a particular major/discipline will be like. February will bring an event called Professional Portfolio Symposium where students will have the opportunity to interact with professionals and MIAD alumni who are successful, practicing artists and designers.

Over the next six weeks prior to Spring Break, Foundations students at MIAD will be provided resources and tools to guide them in making a sound decision regarding their major. I, along with Duane Seidensticker and Christina WickHeiser from Career Services, have been attending Understanding the Visual II courses to discuss the importance of the major declaration process with Foundations students. The cornerstone of our presentation focuses on the exploration and identification of a student’s interests, skills, and values and how they should consider these when deciding the major they will declare. We also discuss how a student’s major is just one step in their journey toward their creative life plan. MIAD provides numerous opportunities for students to develop the skills and knowledge base that is necessary for them to be prepared to continue successfully in their creative life after college.

March 19 is MIAD’s annual Declaration Day. We look forward to celebrating with the students as they take the next step in their journey at MIAD and declare their major. I would encourage you, as a parent or guardian of one of our students, to talk with them about their major decision. Why are they choosing their major? How does their major fit their interests, skills and values that they have identified? How does their major choice help prepare them for their creative life after MIAD? What skills do they need to be successful in their major coursework? How prepared are they for their major coursework?

If your student seems unsure or confused, please encourage them to seek out their advisor, myself, Duane,or Christina. We are here to help!

Michelle Gross
Director of College Advising

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