Purpose of CAPE

The Center for Academic Planning and Exploration (CAPE) is designed to provide targeted, "high-touch" academic transition support for students who will most benefit from such assistance – highly undecided students, students desiring competitive majors, and students transitioning from one college to another.


Create a campus culture of authentic exploration where every student finds their academic home and develops life-long tools for decision-making and reflection.


CAPE's mission is to empower undergraduate students to make informed, self-determined choices about their academic plan at the University of Minnesota. This mission is achieved through:

  • 1-1 holistic coaching that integrates academic advising and career development
  • 1-credit hybrid course that utilizes CAPE’s Action Plan curriculum
  • Peer-led services to help students learn from and with other students
  • Strong partnerships with collegiate and university-wide student services 
  • Online resources with an eye for transparency and ease of use for both students and advisors

The Values that Guide our Work


We recognize and honor that students bring their whole selves to the exploration process and we see the student-coach relationship as a partnership.


We seek to create a supportive and respectful space where students can bring their unique strengths, lived experiences, and intersectional identities to the exploration process.

Growth & Transformation

We embrace innovation, creativity, and curiosity in our daily work. We continually examine our institutional systems through an equity mindset and take action where change is needed.

Hope & Resilience

We strive to develop a sense of hope and strengthen students’ resilience as they pursue their academic goals.


We believe in all students’ potential to reach their goals, and through the coaching partnership provide students with tangible life-skills and resources to aid them now and in the future around decision-making.

Student Learning Outcomes

Since coaching is individualized, students may focus on different knowledge, skills, and abilities in their partnership with the coach. In general, as a result from engaging in CAPE coaching, students will be able to:

  • Integrate/evaluate interests, strengths (skills), and values, to connect with majors and/or career paths.
  • Locate and evaluate information on major and/or career pathways.
  • Identify out-of-class experiences that aid in choosing a major and/or career.
  • Develop and apply reflective thinking skills for use in decision making.
  • Identify an appropriate and timely path to declaring an academic major.
  • Feel more hopeful and optimistic about academic and/or career options.