Chapter 4: Career Exploration & Pathways

Schools @ MCC

Each semester

The following is part of a checklist for each semester. What have you already completed for this semester? What do you need to complete for next semester?

In the section below, you will find additional benchmarks to measure your progress each semester.

Success doesn’t come to you . . . you go to it. —Dr. Marva Collins, civil rights activist and educator

The Schools@MCC

At Monroe Community College, students have access to seven Schools or clusters of academic programs. Each School offers a variety of programs from which students can choose. The purpose of the Schools at MCC is to provide clear pathways to every student so they know they are on track to completing college and achieving their goals and dreams. The Schools@MCC connect students to an academic home and the people who will support their personal success at the College.


Schools at MCC

Key Terms

School: MCC academic programs are clustered into related interest groups or Schools. Each School provides students with an academic home and allows for purposeful outreach and strategic support.

School Specialists: School Specialists are staff members who collaborate with faculty and staff to respond to student needs. One specialist is assigned to each School. School Specialists connect students to appropriate resources and help them navigate the college.

School Specialist contact information


 School Specialists


Business & Entrepreneurship Steve Palmer
Community Engagement & Development Amy Coon
Arts & Humanities Vicki Pankratz
Social Sciences & Global Studies Dana Voldan-Curry
Applied Sciences & Technology Sheila Manns
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Krista Hauschild
Health Studies & Physical Wellness Becky Babcock

Schools@MCC email

Unsure of who your advisor is? Don’t see your advisor listed on Degree Works? Having difficulty contacting your advisor? Have a question about advisement and you are not sure who to contact? If you have any of these questions, email for more information.

Pathway: Refers to a student’s intended program. The pathway you choose will determine which of the 7 Schools @ MCC you are matched with.

Program: MCC academic programs refer to the requirements leading to a specific degree or certificate. MCC offers over 100 degree and certificate programs.

Major: Your major is the academic discipline you commit to as an undergraduate student, or an area you specialize in, such as accounting, chemistry, criminology, archaeology, digital arts, or dance, each major contains core courses and electives. When you applied to Monroe Community College you selected a major, and that major belongs to one of the seven Schools at MCC.

During your first semester, you’ll want to check the major listed in your Degree Works to be sure it is correct. Then you’ll want to take some time to map out the classes needed to complete the major. Information about how to do those important tasks is offered later in this chapter.

Your major is important because it’s a defining and organizing feature of your academic career. Ultimately, your major should provide you with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors you need to fulfill your college goals and objectives When you successfully complete the required courses in your major, you qualify for a degree.

Liberal Arts Majors

The purpose of a Liberal Arts degree is to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education. Liberal Arts coursework provides students with skills and knowledge that cut across all majors, such as written and oral communication, ethical decision-making, and critical thinking, which are necessary for all careers.

There are several reasons students choose Liberal Arts as a major, including to explore a variety of disciplines and/or to transfer to a 4-year institution. If a student’s ultimate career goal is not offered at MCC—pharmacy or forestry for example—then a focused liberal arts track in one of MCC’s Schools is an appropriate major for them. Liberal Arts options are available for each of the seven Schools.

Sometimes students don’t place at the mathematics or English level required for immediate admittance into their desired major, but their School and pathway are recorded so they can make progress towards their desired degree. These students may temporarily be placed in a Liberal Arts track until they complete the necessary coursework for entrance into their desired degree program.

How to Select Your College Major (if you haven’t already)

Some students have difficulty declaring a major, so MCC offers two short-term options: undeclared and undecided. An undecided student has chosen a School but has not yet decided upon a program within that School; an undeclared student has not chosen a School. Students are strongly encouraged to declare their major as soon as possible, and assistance is available to help them do so before they complete their first 15 hours of coursework.

Selecting your major is one of the most exciting tasks you are asked to perform in college. Although many decisions are tied to choosing a major, the process is easier if you have good guidance, patience, and enthusiasm.

The video below offers five steps to designing the life you want:

Career Development (CDL) Courses

MCC offers Career Development, or CDL, courses for undeclared and undecided students, as well as those who are still unsure of their career pathways even after taking a college success course and following the steps described throughout this chapter. Additional inventories designed to help you choose your major are offered in Chapter 4 Activities. If you’re still unsure about choosing a major after taking them, a CDL course may be an appropriate next step.

Roadmap to Success

As mentioned above, one of the purposes of Schools@MCC is to help students get on an academic path that is appropriate for them and to support them to stay on that path until they complete their course of study. The following guide provides a road map for students to help them identify important benchmarks to achieve along their path to graduation:

During your first semester . . .

  • Connect with your assigned faculty advisor
  • Reaffirm your pathway in DegreeWorks
  • Review your semester-by-semester course plan in DegreeWorks
  • Explore career and transfer plans
  • Connect to academic, financial, and personal resources
  • Read the Daily Tribune every day (in your MyMCC portal
  • Check your MCC email often
  • Watch for early alert messages through Starfish (in your MyMCC portal
  • Join a student club
  • Attend FYE events
  • Attend a Schools event (listed in your MyMCC portal
  • Register for the next semester

During every subsequent semester . . .

  • Connect with your assigned faculty advisor
  • Reaffirm your PATHWAY in DegreeWorks
  • Review your semester-by-semester course plan and track your progress in DegreeWorks
  • Refine graduation, transfer, and career plans
  • Continue to connect to academic, financial, and personal resources
  • Attend Schools and campus events
  • Consider leadership in a student club or student government organization
  • Update your resume and attend a workshop event in the Career Services Office

Holland Codes

Based on the research of Dr. John Holland, majors and careers can be clustered into six broad interest areas that correspond to six different personality types. The Holland Codes may be used to illustrate how you may find your area of interest in one of the MCC Schools. Please note that this system is only a starting point that provides a preliminary way to identify majors and careers that might be a satisfying fit for you.

Review the information below to help you determine your specific Holland Code. First, read the six descriptions and identify the three that describe you best. Those three letters together comprise your Holland Code, and that code, along with other assessments and advisement, can help you choose a career that will fit your personality and your style.Holland Codes diagram

Artistic (Creators)

People who have artistic, innovating, or intuitional abilities and like to work in unstructured situations using their imagination and creativity.

  • Are you? creative, imaginative, innovative, unconventional, emotional, independent, expressive, original, introspective, impulsive, sensitive, courageous, complicated, idealistic, nonconforming
  • Can you? sketch; draw; paint; play a musical instrument; write stories, poetry, or music; sing; act; dance; design fashions or interiors
  • Like to? attend concerts, theatre, and art exhibits; read fiction, plays, and poetry; work on crafts; take photographs; express yourself creatively; deal with ambiguous ideas
Career Possibilities (Holland Code)
Actor (AES)  Drama Coach (ASE)  Librarian (SAI)
Advertising Art Director (AES)  English Teacher (ASE)  Medical Illustrator (AIE)
Advertising Manager (ASE)  Entertainer/Performer (AES  Museum Curator (AES)
 Architect (AIR)  Fashion Illustrator (ASR)  Music Teacher (ASI)
 Art Teacher (ASE)  Interior Designer (AES)  Photographer (AES)
 Artist (ASI)  Intelligence Research Specialist (AEI)  Writer (ASI)
 Copy Writer (ASI)  Journalist/Reporter (ASE)  Graphic Designer (AES)
 Dance Instructor (AER)  Landscape Architect (AIR)

Enterprising (Persuaders)

People who like to work with people, influencing, persuading, leading, or managing for organizational goals or economic gain.

  • Are you? self-confident, assertive, persuasive, energetic, adventurous, popular, ambitious, agreeable, talkative, extroverted, spontaneous, optimistic
  • Can you? initiate projects; convince people to do things; sell things; give talks or speeches; organize activities; lead a group; persuade others
  • Like to? make decisions; be elected to office; start your own business; campaign politically; meet important people; have power or status
Career Possibilities (Holland Code)
Advertising Executive (ESA) Emergency Medical Technician (ESI) Personnel Recruiter (ESR)
Advertising Sales Rep (ESR) Entrepreneur (ESA) Politician (ESA)
Banker/Financial Planner (ESR) Foreign Service Officer (ESA) Public Relations Rep (EAS)
Branch Manager (ESA) Funeral Director (ESR) Retail Store Manager (ESR)
Business Manager (ESC) Insurance Manager (ESC) Sales Manager (ESA)
Buyer (ESA) Interpreter (ESA) Sales Representative (ERS)
Chamber of Commerce Exec (ESA) Lawyer/Attorney (ESA) Social Service Director (ESA)
Credit Analyst (EAS) Lobbyist (ESA) Stockbroker (ESI)
Customer Service Manager (ESA) Office Manager (ESR) Tax Accountant (ECS)
Education & Training Manager (EIS)

Social (Helpers)

People who like to work with people to enlighten, inform, help, train, or cure, or who are skilled with words.

  • Are you? friendly, helpful, idealistic, insightful, outgoing, understanding, cooperative, generous, responsible, forgiving, patient, kind
  • Can you? teach/train others; express yourself clearly; lead a group discussion; mediate disputes; plan and supervise an activity; cooperate with others
  • Like to? work in groups; help people with problems; do volunteer work; work with young people; serve others
Career Possibilities (Holland Code)
City Manager (SEC) Insurance Claims Examiner (SIE) Real Estate Appraiser (SCE)
Clinical Dietitian (SIE) Librarian (SAI) Recreation Director (SER)
College/University Faculty (SEI) Medical Assistant (SCR) Registered Nurse (SIA)
Community Org. Director (SEA) Minister/Priest/Rabbi (SAI) Teacher (SAE)
Consumer Affairs Director (SER) Paralegal (SCE) Social Worker (SEA)
Counselor/Therapist (SAE) Park Naturalist (SEI) Speech Pathologist (SAI)
Historian (SEI) Physical Therapist (SIE) Vocational-Rehab. Counselor (SEC)
Hospital Administrator (SER) Police Officer (SER) Volunteer Services Director (SEC)
Psychologist (SEI) Probation or Parole Officer (SEC)

Realistic (Doers)

People who have athletic ability, prefer to work with objects, machines, tools, plants, or animals, or to be outdoors.

  • Are you? practical, straightforward, frank, mechanically inclined, stable, concrete, reserved, self-controlled, independent, ambitious, systematic
  • Can you? fix electrical things; solve electrical problems; pitch a tent; play a sport; read a blueprint; plant a garden; operate tools and machines
  • Like to? tinker with machines or vehicles; work outdoors; be physically active; use your hands; build things; care for or train animals; work on electronic equipment
Career Possibilities (Holland Code)
Air Traffic Controller (SER) Fish and Game Warden (RES) Officer (SER)
Archaeologist (IRE) Floral Designer (RAE) Forester (RIS) Practical Nurse (SER)
Athletic Trainer (SRE) Geodetic Surveyor (IRE) Property Manager (ESR)
Cartographer (IRE) Technology Teacher (IER) Recreation Manager (SER)
Commercial Airline Pilot (RIE) Laboratory Technician (RIE) Service Manager (ERS)
Commercial Drafter (IRE) Landscape Architect (AIR) Software Technician (RCI)
Corrections Officer (SER) Mechanical Engineer (RIS) Ultrasound Technologist (RSI)
Dental Technician (REI) Optician (REI) Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant (ESR)
Farm Manager (ESR) Petroleum Geologist (RIE)

Conventional (Organizers)

People who like to work with data, carry out tasks in detail, follow through on others’ instructions, and may have the clerical or numerical ability.

  • Are you? well-organized, accurate, numerically inclined, methodical, conscientious, efficient, conforming, practical, thrifty, systematic, structured, polite, ambitious, obedient, persistent
  • Can you? work well within a system; do a lot of paperwork in a short time; keep accurate records; use a computer terminal; write effective business letters
  • Like to? follow clearly defined procedures; use data processing equipment; work with numbers; type or take shorthand; be responsible for details; collect or organize things
Career Possibilities (Holland Code)
Abstractor (CSI) Computer Operator (CSR) Insurance Underwriter (CSE)
Accountant (CSE) Congressional-District Aide (CES) Internal Auditor (ICR)
Administrative Assistant (ESC) Cost Accountant (CES) Kindergarten Teacher (ESC)
Budget Analyst (CER) Court Reporter (CSE) Medical Records Technician (CSE)
Business Manager (ESC) Credit Manager (ESC) Museum Registrar (CSE)
Business Programmer (CRI) Editorial Assistant (CSI) Paralegal (SCE)
Business Teacher (CSE) Elementary School Teacher (SEC) Safety Inspector (RCS)
Catalog Librarian (CSE) Financial Analyst (CSI) Tax Accountant (ECS)
Claims Adjuster (SEC) Insurance Manager (ESC) Tax Consultant (CES)
Travel Agent (ECS)

Investigative (Thinkers)

People who like to observe, learn, investigate, analyze, evaluate, or solve problems.

  • Are you? inquisitive, analytical, scientific, observant, precise, scholarly, cautious, intellectually self-confident, independent, logical, complex, curious
  • Can you? think abstractly; solve math problems; understand scientific theories; do complex calculations; use a microscope or computer; interpret formulas
  • Like to? explore a variety of ideas; work independently; perform lab experiments; deal with abstractions; do research; be challenged
Career Possibilities (Holland Code)
Actuary (ISE) Dentist (ISR) Nurse Practitioner (ISA)
Agronomist (IRS) Ecologist (IRE) Pharmacist (IES)
Anesthesiologist (IRS) Economist (IAS) Physician, General Practice (ISE)
Anthropologist (IRE) Electrical Engineer (IRE) Psychologist (IES)
Archaeologist (IRE) Geologist (IRE) Research Analyst (IRC)
Biochemist (IRS) Horticulturist (IRS) Statistician (IRE)
Biologist (ISR) Mathematician (IER) Surgeon (IRA)
Chemical Engineer (IRE) Medical Technologist (ISA) Technical Writer (IRS)
Chemist (IRE) Meteorologist (IRS) Veterinarian (IRS)
Computer Systems Analyst (IER)


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