Finding his Path

Jacob Kabat ‘21 needed help finding his good-fit major

By Jacquelin Janis ‘20G

Why enter as an undeclared major?

In high school, he felt a lot of pressure from family and friends to pursue different majors — math, science, and law. But he realized math and science weren’t his strong points, and he was interested in history and English. He needed help narrowing down what he wanted to focus on.

What helped you choose a major?

A Nazareth class called Exploring Self, Majors, & Careers (CDL 101), offered to any freshman or sophomore, allowed Kabat to explore career and major options. The self-reflection built into the course helped him realize that he wanted to be a high school social studies teacher, so he chose to major in history with adolescence inclusive education. Kabat said professors, career counselors, and academic advisor Cara Capparelli — the leader of the Undeclared: Open Path Program for undecided students — helped guide him through the decision-making process.

Kabat said his involvement in Partners for Learning, a program for Naz students to work with children, staff, and teachers at urban schools, gave him helpful classroom experience.  

Did you specifically look for a college with an undeclared program?

No, but Kabat said he was attracted to Naz because it was an option. He did not want to be just a number on a large campus and said that Naz provided a feeling of caring and interest for individual success. His parents liked the support and guidance provided at Nazareth as well.

Any advice for undeclared students?

In the Undeclared: Open Path Program for undeclared students, “You get out of it what you put into it” Kabat says. He had such a good experience that he ended up getting hired as the part-time student coordinator for the Undeclared: Open Path program.

  • Use the tools and do the self reflection. “Be willing to try to figure out what it is you’re most interested in, and be willing to accept that maybe it’s not what you were thinking beforehand.”
  • Use the support offered. “Be willing to communicate with your advisor, be willing to communicate with you career coach and they will help you figure it out, they will give you the resources.”
  • “Keep an open mind and take every experience you can, and every opportunity you’re able to,” Kabat.