I started my University of Illinois career in 2006 as an academic advisor in (the unit that is now called) DGS. It was my dream job at the time – to help students find meaning and purpose in their college experience and career aspirations. And it’s been an honor to return to DGS years later as Director and continue to be a part of this inspiring work.
So who are we and what do we do? DGS is the academic home for exploring students at the University of Illinois. We are a popular choice - serving just over 2,000 students each year and bringing in the third largest class of new students every fall semester. DGS students can remain ‘undeclared’ with us for up to four terms before being required to declare a major.
During their time in DGS, students can expect expert academic advising with advisors knowledgeable in the 150+ majors and minors on campus. That advising will surely include all-things course registration, degree requirements, and the process of declaring majors at Illinois -- but our goal is also to foster community for students while they figure out their next steps. With that in mind, our team can also be found engaging with students in the classroom, encouraging their extracurricular pursuits, inviting them to programs and workshops, and connecting them with many other resources on campus.
While an initial emphasis for us is facilitating each student’s smooth and successful transition to the university environment, we understand another central goal for most is earning a degree in a timely fashion and going out into the work world successfully. It’s important to know that being undeclared does not mean being “behind” – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s guided and strategic exploration designed to land students on the right path. In short – the DGS opportunity is a really exciting one.
Thanks for taking time to explore what DGS is all about! We look forward to working with you.