academic advising

exploring students

Exploring is the largest program on college campuses. About 65 percent of American college students are exploring many majors and career paths while in college. The Exploring Program at Carroll University is here to help you find a major that fuels your passions and engages your strengths. Academic advisors, faculty mentors and peers will walk with you through this journey of self-discovery—without wasting your time, money or effort. 

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“There are no Undecideds at CU. Only Explorers. Either on a path already chosen (major), or exploring their options. We are Pioneers. With the courage to change our minds (majors) and a commitment to exploring.”


—Dr. Aaron Routhe  |  Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Environment & Culture

Questions Exploring Students Ask

Our Exploring Program will help you answer questions such as: 

Why am I here?

Everyone at Carroll asks themselves this from time to time. Pull up a chair and ask your classmate, instructor or Orientation Mentor, "What brought you to Carroll?" Staff in the Office of Spiritual Life, Walter Young Center or Career Services can also help you answer this question. 

What do I care about?

Discover your passion through one of our 50+ student organizations, giving back to the community through a volunteer opportunity or learning about spiritual life. The Exploring Program faculty have also created a quick "What are my Core Values?" tool to help you identify what you care about.

What skills do I have?

Use tools such as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Skill Explorer or CareerOneStop's Skills Assessment. Carroll University's Career Services team is also a great resource—and not just for job seekers. Stop by their office if you'd like to meet with someone in person! 

What skills do I want?

Learn what employers are looking for using survey data collected by organizations such as the American Association of Colleges and Universities. 

What type of career do I want?

If you're wondering about work environment, salaries and schedules, check out tools such as the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

Where do I want to go?

The world is your classroom at Carroll University through our Pioneer Core general education program's Cross-Cultural Experiences

How do I please everyone, including myself?

Above all, family and friends want you to be happy, but what worked for them may not work for you. Everyone (including you!) will rest easier if you have a plan. Refer to a First-Year Plan for Exploring Students from Academic Advising Services to find pathways that are right for you.

Can I really earn a living doing something I love?

Family and friends may have experience in a particular field, but are probably not the best sources of answers to this question. Refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for current data on careers you're considering.

Who is going to help me?

We have that covered! All of our Student Services team members are here to help with whatever your needs are.

What if I fail?

We have a dedicated Office of Student Success ready to help you overcome challenges.

Don't I need a major to start college?

Not at all! Many students start out in our Exploring Program and declare a major in their second year. As one of our students, Jeremy Beres ’20 stated, “Coming to Carroll University committed to a certain major is great. Nevertheless, exploring is equally as special. Not knowing your direction allows you to be the change. It empowers you to find new ways and new interests. Don’t be afraid, embrace the change and find your way.”

Carroll University is committed to allowing a student to explore academic disciplines with support and advising from many faculty and staff along your journey. Contact Academic Advising Services today to talk about our 1+3 Exploring Programs where you can explore different academic areas your whole first year before taking even one course in a major of interest.

Won't I waste money if I start college without declaring a major? 

More than 60 percent of students switch majors during their college career, and most still graduate on time. You can too! Use your first year to explore options while satisfying your Pioneer Core requirements. Exploring Program faculty mentors and academic advisors are here to help. 

Start Exploring

Ready to get started? We offer many resources and tools to help you answer these questions, including personality, value and skills quizzes, databases that match your strengths and preferences to careers, articles on discovering your major and more. Get in touch with our helpful staff to start your journey!

Prospective Students—Get Connected!

Current Students—Get Connected!

Upcoming Events

Join us for events throughout the year to learn more about the Exploring Program, meet other students, staff and faculty, discover new majors and potential careers and more. All are welcome at these events!

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Coffee Connects

Get a new perspective on your goals and values over coffee and treats with Carroll's friendly international students.

These events take place on the following Wednesday evenings from 4-5 p.m. at the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lounge in Kilgour Hall. 

  • October 2nd
  • November 20th
  • February 12th
  • April 8th
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Try Its

Explore a field of study with alumni or faculty as they lead an informal, hands-on demonstration of the skills and knowledge they use every day.

How can Communication, Theatre, and/or History kick-start your Career?

Ask people with real-world answers!
​​Tuesday, October 15th at 6-7pm | Shattuck Recital Hall
Let us know you will be joining us by signing up on the Appointment Scheduler!

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Explore Career Series

Hop on the van and visit a local employer who hires graduates from a surprising range of degree programs.

Learn about careers at GMR!

Tuesday, November 5th at 12:00-2:00pm
Meet in the Campus Center Lobby and travel to GMR with us!

GMR is an innovative global sponsorship and experiential leader, connecting brands and their consumers through shared passions.  Join us on Tuesday, November 5th to learn more about the work we do and see why we are a ‘Best Place to Work in Events’.  We’ll plan on walking through a brief presentation of GMR, facilitating an engaging panel discussion made up of professionals across our different areas of expertise and wrapping up with a tour of our newly renovated office and a hands-on opportunity to test out our unique digital capabilities.

Space is limited - Sign up today on the Appointment Scheduler!


Learn about careers at the Waukesha County Airport!

Tuesday, November 19th at 2:00-4:00pm
Meet in the Campus Center Lobby and travel to the Waukesha County Airport with us!

You are cleared for take-off at Waukesha County Airport. Join us for a few fun-filled hours learning about airport management, avionics, aircraft maintenance and air medevac operations. You’ll also get first-hand access to the air traffic control tower cab too. You will encounter the wide variety of professions in the aviation industry and discover new heights in your career search!

Space is limited - Sign up today on the Appointment Scheduler!

For more information

For more information on the Exploring Program, please contact: 

Dr. Kimberly Redding, Exploring Program Faculty Coordinator 
Email:  |  Phone: 262.660.4894

Mandy Balek-Stephens, Director of Academic Advising Services
Email: | Phone: 262.524.7412

Every Pioneer Needs Guides and Support

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