The Highlands Company Blog

Is Your Child Struggling to Choose a Major?

It’s no wonder! We are asking our children to make this decision with very little information or experience. It can be stressful, and students might feel pressure to make choices before they’re ready.

True Compass is here to help. Our aptitude assessment empowers students with knowledge of their strengths and abilities and aligns that information with careers that will help them choose a major.

Perhaps your child is wondering whether college is the right path. Our assessment process is designed to guide students to a postsecondary path that is the best fit for them.

True Compass encourages and empowers students by helping them discover their natural strengths and talents.

Aptitudes are those natural gifts and talents you were born with. There’s no inherent benefit to one ability over another—it’s knowing where your strengths lie that gives you the advantage. Knowing what areas you are hardwired for takes the guesswork out of picking the right career.

True Compass utilizes the Highlands Ability Battery, the gold standard for objectively identifying your aptitudes. The Highlands Ability Battery reveals your strengths as compared to tens of thousands of others who have taken the assessment.

Many career assessments ask your child what they like to do. Children answer questions based on their emotions and opinions. The Highlands Ability Battery is an objective measure of your child’s natural abilities, based on things quantifiable and measurable. The Highlands Ability Battery provides suggested careers based on one’s aptitude profile.

A True Compass consultation will identify suitable college majors and careers based on your child’s aptitudes, interests, values, and personality profiles.

The entire process is fascinating, and you will learn so much about your child. The consultation is interactive and involves input from parents and students. We value parents’ opinions, as they often see strengths in their children that the children don’t see in themselves.

Choosing a major early will help save time (and money!)

An estimated 80 percent of college students in the United States change their majors before graduation, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This decision can cost a student significant time and money. The research shows that between the extra tuition costs and lost income from delaying a career, changing a major can cost students approximately $40,000.

True Compass equips students to choose majors and make those career decisions. Imagine spending money on credits that don’t align with the right career choice. Early career planning reduces the anxiety and expense related to changing majors.

What is the best age to start?

The assessment and consultation is appropriate for anyone 14 years of age or older. However, the ideal time to complete it is sophomore or junior year of high school. The earlier it’s completed, the more information your child has when choosing electives, seeking out job-shadowing opportunities, and ultimately declaring a major with confidence.

Additionally, the assessment provides information about the student’s unique learning style and provides specific study strategies for creating a confident learner. For example, if your child is an auditory learner, he will benefit from listening to recorded lectures, audiobooks, or reading his class notes and textbooks aloud.

It can be intimidating for children to enter this next phase of adulthood. College applications, interviews, and résumés can be stressful. Knowing their strengths and being able to articulate them will relieve stress and increase their chance at success. After the consultation, students will have clear written descriptions of themselves that they can use in college applications and essays. They can also review these descriptions with counselors and teachers who will be writing letters of recommendations.


How does it work?

First, students complete the online assessments, which include:

A True Compass consultant will email the assessment links, and students can complete them at their own pace and at the convenience of their schedules. The entire battery will take 3–4 hours. All that’s needed is a quiet space, computer, internet access, and headphones.

Next, students and parents meet with a True Compass consultant for a two-hour feedback meeting (in-person or virtual). There is no failing this process, so this meeting focuses on self-discovery and highlighting one’s strengths. It is always positive and empowering. You will receive:

      • A binder of results of the various assessments printed for ongoing reference
      • Lifetime online access to Highlands Ability Battery results, with additional reports for adult and leadership applications
      • An in-depth discussion of the assessment results and a well-defined description of strengths and natural talents with real-world application
      • A custom list of best-fit careers aligned with your personal profile
      • An action plan outlining next steps

True Compass provides children the gift of self-confidence and helps them realize their potential. Call, email, or visit our website to get started or to learn more.

As a licensed School Psychologist, Robyn Jackson, Ed.S. has over 16 years of experience working in the public schools. As a seasoned psychologist, she has helped hundreds of individuals grow, thrive and better understand their abilities in order to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Email-






As a Speech-Language Pathologist, Kristi Windish has worked with children and their families in educational and clinical settings. Over a 20-year span, she has evaluated the communication skills of children, interpreted the results and guided their teachers and parents through treatment strategies. Email-





This article was originally published at Is Your Child Struggling to Choose a Major? (