Major Exploration Coaches are generalists who can help you explore majors across all undergraduate colleges at the U of M Twin Cities. They will guide you through the process of choosing a major by helping you develop a personalized, structured plan for exploration and making a decision. All of our coaches have a broad background working at the University, in either academic advising, career counseling, or both.
It is important to know that CAPE Coaches do not replace your academic advisor. If you have questions regarding course registration for an upcoming semester or want to make a "four-year plan" it is always best to talk with your advisor.
CAPE offers in-person, virtual, and phone appointments. Choose whichever one works for you!
What is a coaching appointment like?
During a first appointment, a coach will welcome you and ask questions to get to know you, such as, “What brought you to CAPE?” “Where are you in your major exploration journey?” and “What are your goals for coaching?”.
Next, you may do research together to learn more about majors at the U. You may also review resources to help you explore majors and careers outside of the coaching appointment.
At the end of every appointment, coaches partner with you to identify next steps to continue narrowing down possibilities for majors that are a good fit for you.
How long does an appointment last?
Coaching appointments last 45 minutes to one hour.
How many times do students see a coach?
Most students meet with a coach two to three times, but everyone is different so it could be more or less for you. You and your coach will work together to determine how many appointments are necessary to meet the your goals.
What can I talk about with a coach?
Major Exploration Coaching appointments can often cover:
- your values, strengths, identities, interests, skills, and general life circumstances
- career possibilities
- your hopes and fears of the major decision-making process
- your questions about majors and the major exploration process
How do I prepare for an appointment?
If it is your first appointment, come prepared to talk with your coach about what you are hoping to get help with and what kinds of majors and options you may have already explored. You do not need to do any specific work or research beforehand.
Why should a student meet with a CAPE coach?
You could/should see a coach if:
- you want personalized support in making a major exploration plan and following through.
- you are considering majors in other colleges within the U
- you need someone to help you feel more hopeful and empowered in your major and career exploration.
Your coach can also provide additional structure, tailored recommendations for resources and next steps, and a safe space to talk through how you’re feeling. Coaches can also help you recognize patterns in your thinking and better understand your decision-making process.
What will I learn through CAPE coaching?
Choosing a major is a process and involves you taking action in four main themes:
- knowledge of majors and academics at the U
- knowledge of careers and the world of work
- student involvement opportunities
Central to the process of choosing a major is understanding how to make decisions. You will also learn how to approach decision-making as a life-long skill. Lastly, your wellbeing is foundational to making informed, thoughtful decisions. With your coach you may reflect on how your wellbeing is impacting your decision.
Since coaching is individualized to each students’ needs, you may focus on different topics or skills with your coach. In general, as a result from engaging in CAPE coaching, you 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 help you choose a major and/or career.
- Develop and apply reflective thinking skills to use in decision-making.
- Identify an appropriate and timely plan for declaring a major.
- Feel more hopeful and optimistic about academic and/or career options.