Information for Faculty


The mission of the SEC is to help sophomores navigate academic requirements and campus life so they become engaged with the campus community and invested in their college experience.


  • Declaration of Major
  • Improved academic performance and commitment to degree
  • Improved retention and graduation rate with a goal of graduation with approximately 120 credits
  • Improved career decision making skills and enhanced understanding of career pathways


  • Determine if a major was declared on time
  • Compare grade point averages between those who participate in programming and those who do not as well as for the students themselves (i.e. compare GPA’s at the end of freshman, sophomore, and junior year
  • Evaluate graduation rate before and after the implementation of programming

Rationale for Program

In support of the University’s policy of requiring declaration of a major by the junior year, students who are undeclared in the sophomore year will be offered programming which will increase the student engagement on campus with the goal of declaration of a major, commitment to that major, increased productivity and performance of students once they have declared a major, and eventual graduation from the University with approximately 120 credits. Implementation of the program is warranted because of retention research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa which has shown that the largest percentage of students who leave the institution do so between the sophomore and junior years. In addition, declaration of a major has been shown to be correlated with student persistence and graduation. Furthermore, both the Farunm (2006) report and the NSSE (2007) study indicated needs to support student academic engagement initiatives and programs for “early intervention” with students (Farnum, 2006).The Farunm Report (2006) found that: Pre-majors do not appear to be “owned” by the department in terms of supporting their eventual admission into the program. These students are typically at greater risk of attrition, yet the university does not appear to have a prevention/support program in place for undecided or pre-major students (p. 11). She further recommended that UH Manoa:Create an intrusive, structured support program, led by General A & S advisors for deciding students (p. 11).

In support of the UH Manoa Strategic Plan, Sophomore Year Programs can help to:

  • Provide enriching applied educational experiences including freshmen programs, interdisciplinary learning communities, study abroad, and service-learning.
  • Enhance the social, intellectual, cultural, residential, and recreational quality of student life.

Target Audience

  • Undeclared sophomores working with the Manoa Advising Center
  • Sophomores within specific programs on campus (e.g. students in the pre professions majors, honors students, student athletes, ROTC students)

Method of Delivery of Programming to Undeclared Students

Various programs will be developed and/or marketed toward sophomores. Communication regarding the program will be made via emails, through advising meetings at the Manoa Advising Center as well as other academic advisors in various programs, from counselors at the Student Success Center and the Freshman Year Program, and via a web site which will be developed over summer 2009.Delivery will be through a two step process. Academic advisors will work with students who are undeclared in the spring semester of 2009 regarding expectations for engaged sophomores. Communication will then be made regarding programming events early in the fall semester 2009. A variety of programs will be offered. Students who participate will be tracked via their student ID numbers. Those who are still undeclared after the fall semester and who have not participated in at least one of the programs, will be sent a follow up email asking them to attend a more intensive workshop which will assist them in decision making for a major.

Proposed Programming

Spring 2009, all undeclared sophomores will receive a Powerpoint presentation regarding the expectations of sophomores and available resources to help them in their choice of major and enhance campus engagement.Spring 2009, all second semester freshmen of the Manoa Advising Center and those involved in ROTC, Honors, Pre Professions programs, and student-athletes will receive a Powerpoint presentation regarding the expectations of sophomores and available resources to help them in their choice of major and enhance campus engagement.

Fall 2008, Development of a web site which serves as clearinghouse of information relevant to sophomores (eg. Links to advising and college web sites, career related and other campus resources, events targeted toward sophomores as well as general events on campus.)

Fall 2009 – special programming will be offered for sophomores by campus offices such as The Center for Career Development and Student Employment targeting major declaration and career planning.

Sophomore Resources