US students struggle to choose major: Ellucian study

US students struggle to choose major: Ellucian study

A recent survey has found that US college students struggle to choose their major, increasing the time and cost associated with obtaining a degree.

This was a problem particularly prevalent with American Generation Z students, the youngest in the cohort, who struggle to choose a major.

These findings were made by a recent survey entitled ‘Course Correction: Helping Students Find and Follow a Path to Success’, published this month, by Ellucian.

The survey, which was conducted in partnership with Market Connections, queried around 1,000 US students currently enrolled on four-year programs at public and private colleges.

Many students are not confident in their career path when they start their degree almost two-thirds of students feel overwhelmed when faced with choosing a major.

As a result, many students change their majors without understanding the ramifications, take unnecessary courses and delay their expected graduation, sometimes by multiple semesters.

The survey indicated that students are seeking more support when choosing their major, selecting courses that work towards completion and transferring from a two-year to a four-year institution.

Introduction of more pathways might help students choose major

One solution that has been suggested is the wider introduction of a pathways approach to simplify choices for US students by offering a structured, clear paths through college coursework on to the start of their careers.

Kari Branjord, Senior Vice President of Digital Transformation at Ellucian said, “Many students feel overwhelmed and confused about selecting a major, which ends up costing them serious time and money – and for some students a one semester delay could put them off the track to completion entirely.

“It’s essential that institutions loot at pathways approaches alongside technologies that scale the student-advisor relationship to help guide students as they work towards their personal successful outcomes.”

Pic: Jon Tyson

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