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Department of Academic Engagement and Exploratory Studies (AEES)

Enrolling at Shippensburg University as an Exploratory Studies student is an excellent opportunity to explore your major options before selecting one. As an Exploratory Studies student, the Department of AEES can help you understand your abilities, values and interests and select the major that’s right for you. If you are interested in majors with highly competitive admission standards or limited enrollments, AEES can also assist with your understanding of major requirements or support you in finding another major that aligns with your goals. Regardless of where you’re headed, we look forward to helping you get there.

Through effective instruction and innovative advisement, department faculty support your learning and personal development. We value the varying needs of our students who come from various backgrounds and experiences. As a result, departmental advising is student-centered. Therefore, a “one size fits all” model of advising does not effectively or efficiently meet student needs.

The AEES courses will fulfill general education credits or free elective credits. The four AEES courses are: AEES 101: Introduction to Higher Education (3 credits), AEES 102: Leadership and Community (3 credits), AEES 103: Introduction to Exploratory Studies (3 credits), and AEES 190: Writing Tutoring Theory and Praxis (3 credits).

Our General Education courses are also geared to suit your specific needs. As an exploratory student, you can schedule as many as three 15-credit semesters of general education courses, if necessary. By the time you begin scheduling classes (October/November of your sophomore year) for your fourth semester, you must have declared a major because you will have completed your general education requirements and many of the upper level courses are closed except to students who have declared a major.

There is no substitute for knowing the general education program and what categories you need to fulfill. Although your advisor will help you, the ultimate responsibility for creating an appropriate schedule is yours. Ask yourself, "Why am I scheduling this course? Does it fulfill a General Education requirement? Is it required by my major? Can it count as a free elective? Does it help me investigate a major? Does it fulfill a developmental requirement? Does it interest me? Do I need to retake the course because of a 'D' or 'F' grade?” (always consult your advisor before repeating a course).


Contact the Department of Academic Engagement & Exploratory Studies (AEES) Mowrey Hall, 2nd floor 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1395