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First-Year Exploratory Studies Program Launches This Fall By Lauren Cuoco, Communications Manager
Goodwin College of Professional Studies

First-Year Exploratory Studies program students

At the start of the Fall 2015 quarter, Drexel University commenced the First-Year Exploratory Studies program, a full-time, on-campus plan of study for incoming students to explore Drexel’s academic options before declaring a major.

Housed in Goodwin College of Professional Studies, the new program, which spans a student’s first three quarters at Drexel, is designed to address an untapped enrollment opportunity at the university—to recruit and assist learners who are open to multiple interests, yet remain determined to complete their undergraduate degree. At the end of their first year, students will be equipped to make a well-informed transition into a full-time major at Drexel.

“The intent of Drexel’s First-Year Exploratory Studies program is to assist students in selecting a major by facilitating academic and professional exploration, allowing students to gain valuable information about themselves; their academic interests and goals; and career aspirations,” says Regina Ruane, PhD, program director. “The program is a natural fit for Drexel with its cooperative education program, specializing in integrated career and academic development.”

Drexel Explorers

Dubbed “Drexel Explorers,” first-year students enrolled in the program are empowered to not only search for a major that best suits their academic goals, but also utilize campus resources to prepare for their post-baccalaureate years, whether they comprise professional goals or graduate school. Along the way, Goodwin College staff provide developmental advising and guidance to ensure sound course planning and career pathways.

In fact, one of the highlights of Exploratory Studies is the chance for students to take on a manageable credit load that encourages discovery and reflection, all without jeopardizing their progress toward degree completion.

“At Drexel, our goal is to strengthen our focus on recruiting and enrolling students who are more likely to graduate,” says Chris Ferguson, EdD, vice president and dean of admissions. “We realize many students need time and exposure to different areas of study within the first year of college, and we are confident that our Exploratory Studies program will help and support students for a successful college experience.”

Although the program is flexible, students are still provided with academic structure. By the start of their second quarter, Drexel Explorers can choose between two overarching tracks: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), or the Business, Social Science and Humanities track. Their third quarter is dedicated to career pursuits and ultimately, choosing a Drexel degree program.

Students interested in enrolling in First-Year Exploratory Studies can contact Regina Ruane, PhD at 215.571.3917 or regina.ruane@drexel.edu. For more information, please visit drexel.edu/goodwin/exploratorystudies.