Assess and Decide
with permission from Beloit College's Advising Manual
For many sophomores this is not an easy
year: newness has worn off, choices are many, and the decision-making
process is often difficult if not painful. Many question the values
and assumptions they accepted from their families, but have yet to
develop their own outlook on life. They are becoming independent and thus are
faced with many decisions about relationships, life style and
- Commitment to Monmouth
- Decision on a major
- Planning for the next two years
- Continued exploration of their
interests, their values, their opportunities, their world
- Finding how Monmouth
College's mission, general education program, and the major all tie together.
Goal Sheet. Fill out a new one.
the sophomore advisor should ask many of the same questions asked of
year students and give much of the same advice.
Points: Personal and Social
- Do you
feel you have adjusted to Monmouth College? The city? The United
- How are
you enjoying Monmouth College?
extra-curricular activities are you involved in?
- How is
this year different from last year?
- Have you
a circle of friends?
- Do you
like your courses? How are they going this semester?
- Are you satisfied with your grades?
- What can you do to improve your
grades? (If grades are poor)
- What are you thinking about for a
major? (For students who haven’t declared)
- Do you understand the major
requirements? (For students who have declared)
- Do you know about self-designed
Topical majors? (For students who are struggling with a single
- How do
your current general education courses tie in with your general
education courses from your first year? What is the mission of the
college? How is Monmouth College fulfilling this mission in your
- Are you completing the goals you set
out in your
goal sheet? How are your plans changing? Give the student a
new goal sheet to fill out and place in the folder.
Discussion Points: The Future
you started the process for applying to an off-campus or study
- How far along are you in preparing
your academic plan (NEW OLD)
or making your academic plans for the next two or three years?
- Have you started the process of
finding a summer internship or job?
- What activities are you doing which
will help build your
Additional Advice to Give to the Sophomore
- Talk to the college counselor about
concerns relating to parents, friendships, sexual identity,
relationships, depression, etc.
- Talk to a variety of people about
your values and philosophy of life (e.g. friends, family, religious
leaders, faculty, and advisors.)
- Join campus organizations. See the
Dean of Students Office for ideas.
- Do volunteer work.
- Begin to develop your leadership and
team player skills (through campus organizations, work-study,
volunteer work, etc.)
- Choose your courses with the goal of
finding your major.
- Find your major
- Do not overload yourself with
courses. Concentrate on doing four units well!
- Declare your major by the end of the academic year.
- Remember: it is still possible to
change your major after this point but it might take longer than
four years to graduate; check with the chair of the new major
- Begin/continue to explore possible
- See Director of
Off-Campus Study, for advice on off-campus study or study abroad.
- Apply for off-campus or study
- Continue to take a wide range of
courses in order to discover new interests and develop a variety of
skills and life-long passions.
- Find something interesting to do over
the summer, e.g. an internship or volunteer work.
- Start your
- Consider taking a vacation term if
you are feeling burned out, unmotivated, or generally not enjoying
your studies; the break will almost certainly renew your enthusiasm.
- Please talk to me (the adviser) if
you are ever thinking about transferring, dropping courses, and/or
taking a vacation term.
- Talk to faculty about the
opportunities available here, and how you could productively take a
break from Monmouth
- Interview the chair of department at
the college(s) you are considering to find out what will transfer
and how long it will take you to graduate, and to ensure you can get