VCU Honors College

Academics

Honors advising

Academic advising in The Honors College

Honors-specific advising is an important benefit of membership in The Honors College. Honors students are required to meet with an honors advisor once a semester during their freshman year and are strongly encouraged to continue this habit as upperclassmen. Honors advisors are valuable resources in terms of helping students stay on track with honors requirements and in serving as a liaison to departmental advisors. Your honors advisor will keep you abreast of the opportunities and benefits of membership in The Honors College in addition to encouraging your individual academic interests. Ultimately, however, you are responsible for knowing and meeting the requirements of Virginia Commonwealth University, your major and The Honors College.

Advising assignments and appointments

Effective Fall 2015, advising assignment depends on your course of study and your membership in the Guaranteed Admission Program. Assignments are as follows:

  • Mrs. Connolly: all Guaranteed Admission students, regardless of major
  • Mrs. Crawford: students majoring in the Social Sciences, the Humanities, Chemistry, and Health, Physical Education and Exercise, as well as students in the School of the Arts, School of Business, and School of Social Work
  • Mr. Plache: students majoring in the Natural Sciences (with the exception of Chemistry) and Nursing as well as students in the School of Engineering and School of Allied Health Professions

If you are unsure which academic field your major falls into, please consult The Honors College’s Academic Fields and Majors for Advising. [PDF] Students with two majors should see the assigned advisor for their primary major.

Please note that freshmen are required to meet with an honors advisor at least once per semester during pre-registration advising time. Freshmen appointments will be focused on planning your first semesters at VCU and providing you with resources to help ensure your success at VCU.

Upperclassmen in the Guaranteed Admission Program are required to meet with their honors advisor at least once per semester during pre-registration advising time. All other Upperclassmen are strongly encouraged to meet with an honors advisor regularly. However, because departmental and major requirements change frequently, upperclassmen are expected to see their departmental advisor (i.e., in their major) once a semester to ensure that they are on track with their major/departmental requirements.

Honors advising appointments should be focused on the following:

  • Honors requirements
  • Honors course selection and opportunities to earn honors credit
  • Involvement in The Honors College
  • Personal and professional development

Preparing for advising appointments

Honors advising is a collaborative process. Honors students are expected to come to their advising appointments prepared, with a written list of requirements they have yet to fulfill and any questions they might have. In order to keep track of requirements for graduating with University Honors, students should consult the graduation worksheet appropriate for their semester of entry:

In addition, students are expected to take notes during their advising appointment, as their advisor’s notes stay in their file. Please consult the Honors Advising Syllabus [PDF] for detailed instructions on how to prepare for advising. Students should read and complete each step carefully and thoroughly.

Sign-up procedures

Students assigned to Mrs. Crawford and Mr. Plache can schedule appointments online though the myVCU portal or by clicking here. Here, you will also see information on walk-in hours for your advisor, if available. If you have an urgent advising concern, you may always email your advisor or call The Honors College to inquire about more immediate availability.

Each semester, The Honors College sets aside specific weeks for advising to help students plan the next semester’s schedule. This type of advising is referred to as “pre-registration advising.” Certain weeks are set aside specifically for pre-registration advising sign-up and this information is widely advertised through The Honors College Weekly Update, calendar, and blog, so students should consult these sources for specific details each semester. It is during pre-registration advising that freshmen and Guaranteed Admission students must come in for their mandatory advising appointments, although additional appointments outside of this period are always welcome.

Please note, Guaranteed Admission students will only use the myVCU portal to sign up for these pre-registration advising appointments. Outside of the weeks designated for pre-registration advising each semester, Guaranteed Admission students should make appointments by calling The Honors College at (804) 828-1803.

Penalties for missing advising

Advising is mandatory for freshmen and all Guaranteed Admission Program students for both fall and spring semesters. Failure to complete an advising appointment during the pre-registration advising period will result in a hold on the student’s account, which will not be lifted until the student meets with his or her advisor. In addition, the student will lose any first-day registration privileges he or she may have earned.

Although upperclassman advising is not required for non-Guaranteed Admission students, failure to show up for a scheduled advising appointment will result in the same penalties enumerated above.