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Albert Davis, Ph. D.
Alceé Fortier Distinguished Professor
Dean of University College
Office: 234 Elkins Hall
Phone: 985-448-4089 or 985-448-4090


University College prepares students for entry into their major area of study. While in University College, students clarify their educational goals in an intellectual setting that fosters independence, delivers quality advising, and promotes student adjustment to and involvement in the university community. University College supports achievement in basic skills development and takes an active role in the orientation of first-year students. Additionally, University College offers students an opportunity to seek degrees within the college that focus on the unique cultural base of the region and on selective interdisciplinary studies.


University College Degrees and Programs at a Glance

John Folse Culinary Institute Degrees and Programs at a Glance
*Minor available

General Information

University College is an academic unit offering comprehensive programs and services to enhance scholastic success at Nicholls State University. University College coordinates academic advising for all first-time freshmen regardless of the intended major. Students receive advising through University College until they are accepted into their majors, at which time they will receive faculty advising in the major department. While in University College, each first-time freshman is advised by a faculty member who is a certified Master Advisor and part of a first-year advising team. First-year advisors are trained to help students develop a greater sense of responsibility for their academic progress.

University College houses the Tutorial & Academic Enhancement Center, which offers peer tutoring, writing and other forms of academic assistance to all Nicholls students.    The college coordinates the General Education Curriculum, the core component required of all undergraduate degrees. The B.G.S. and A.G.S degrees, offered through the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, allow students to use the general education curriculum as a foundation for designing individualized, multi-disciplinary degree plans.

Advising Statement

University College treats academic advising as one of the foundations for student achievement and as an essential element of the first-year experience. By insuring that first-year advisors are rigorously trained full-time faculty from every rank and academic college, University College demonstrates its commitment to a philosophy of academic advising that stresses its fundamental connections to teaching. Effective academic advising also requires familiarity with college programs, degree requirements, academic and support services, and administrative policies and regulations related to academic performance. Advising patterns adjust to the various stages of student development, becoming more collegial over time as students mature in their academic programs and life skills.

Relationship of Academic Advising to the University Mission

The relationship of advising to retention is an important part of the enrollment management plan for Nicholls State University. A campus-wide commitment to advising is essential if Nicholls is to maintain its enrollment goals while continuing to raise admission standards.

Academic advising is one of the few university-related activities in which all students participate. Because academic advising includes a relationship between each student and a member of the faculty or professional staff, the advising relationship provides a unique forum for discussions about the benefits of higher education and about individual student goals and responsibilities. This effective advising relationship therefore contributes to the educational environment of the communities the university serves.

Exploratory Student Resources

University College takes special care to assist students who have not decided on a particular major. University College advisors understand that most undergraduates will change their minds about their majors several times before graduating. Many first-year students are not sure what they want to study, and others have made only tentative choices and wish to explore several possibilities.

As part of its mission to help students clarify their educational goals, University College provides information about all of the programs and majors on campus. Advisors stand ready to direct exploratory students to career services specialists. The Associate of General Studies degree program in University College has been specifically designed to facilitate the decision making process for exploratory students.

Relationship of University College to Developmental Education

University College advising practices include approaches designed to assist students with successful completion of developmental courses. It is the policy of University College that students be advised of the existence of optional alternative educational experiences after three unsuccessful attempts in developmental classes. These experiences may include coordinated efforts with the Louisiana Community College system.

Acceptance into a Major

Students may be accepted into a major and into the corresponding college after successful completion of the following requirements:

  • All developmental courses.
  • A minimum of 30 hours of non-developmental course work.
  • Completion of an approved freshman seminar course.
  • Any other entry criteria established by the major or the corresponding college.

Transfer students who have successfully completed 30 hours of non-developmental coursework may be accepted into a major provided all entry criteria established by the major have been met. Students remaining in University College upon attaining junior status (60 hours) will be encumbered and not allowed to register until they meet with their advisor.

Freshman Institute: La Porte D’entre’e (The Front Door)

Nicholls State University requires all first semester freshmen and transfer students with less than thirty hours to schedule a University Studies course upon enrolling in the university. The unique program called La Porte D’Entre ´e, which is offered through the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and is a key component of University Studies. Freshman Institute marks the beginning of the freshman seminar course and is designed to help make entry into college life more relaxed and enjoyable. The Institute includes advising seminars offered to first-time, entering freshmen to help them in the transition to college. These seminars are designed to pick up where orientation left off and give students valuable information covering a broad range of topics that are relevant to them as they prepare for their first semester at Nicholls. The seminars are conducted by Certified Master Advisors and are offered in a small group setting and can be tailored to the needs of the students at each session. Students will not only get valuable information, but they will have a chance to meet with an advisor, make changes to their schedule, and complete a change of major form if necessary. These seminars offer students a chance to get meaningul information and ask important questions before they start classes.

University Honors Program

Office: 111 Gouaux Hall
Phone: 985-448-4721
Director: Dr. J. Doucet
Assistant Director: J. White

With the University Honors Program, Nicholls offers special experiences and curriculum enhancements to high-achieving and highly motivated students. Honors Program students become part of a community of like-minded colleagues through small, personalized classes directed by outstanding professors, through reserved  residence hall  suites and dedicated study centers, and through participation in exclusive extramural academic activities. In this fashion, honors students receive a greater college experience, a distinctly personal education that directly involves them in the learning process, and an exceptional preparation for the competitive world beyond the university.

The University Honors Program provides honors courses as alternatives to several general education courses, as well as advanced elective courses in specific fields of study. In addition to this privilege, honors students also enjoy first-day registration each semester, self-governance through an honors student council, and opportunities for both independent research (the Honors Thesis) and international study (Honors Abroad).

Eligibility for membership in the University Honors Program can be achieved in two ways. Entering freshmen must have a minimum composite ACT score of 25 with no sub score below 20. Current students or transfer students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours at Nicholls with a minimum GPA of 3.2. A completed application, available from the Honor’s office or from www.nicholls.edu/honors, is required for membership.

Nicholls offers the University Honors Award to honors students who complete with a minimum 3.2 GPA at least 24 hours of honors credits, including two hours of Honors Forum (HUMA 111) and four hours of honors thesis research (HONR 401-402). In addition, the official grade transcripts of students who complete the above curriculum will be certified with “Completed the University Honors Program† upon graduation.

See Courses of Instruction – Honors for a listing of the honors courses the university currently offers.

Academic Advising Center

Office: 234 Elkins
Phone: 985-448-4117
Director: C. Blanchard.
Professional Staff Advisors: C. Blanchard -Adult Learners, A. Hebert, L. Melancon, J. White.

As a part of the university’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, the Academic Advising Center was created to provide academic advising and support to Nicholls State University students from the time of their admission until their acceptance into their majors. Faculty advisors meet regularly with students, assisting them in goal clarification, in selection of a major, and in educational planning and course selection. Advisors monitor student progress and refer students to other campus resources as necessary. Students may drop in for a quick answer or may set up an appointment with an advisor through AdvisorTrac, a web-based advising management tool available by way of ICAN student services at the following web address https://iaweb.nicholls.edu/.

Academic Testing Center

Office: 212 Elkins
Phone: 985-493-2596
Director: Susan Gilbert

The Academic Testing Center administers a variety of tests to prospective and enrolled students and others. The following tests are of importance to prospective students: American College Test (ACT), ACT Residual, and the ACT/COMPASS tests. These tests are used by Nicholls for initial placement of students in the correct levels of English and mathematics. Enrolled students may avail themselves of tests required for admission and advanced study. These include the Graduate Record Exam (GRE/Subjects Areas) and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Other tests which may be of importance to both prospective and enrolled students are the Praxis, National League for Nursing (NLN), Center for Nursing Education and Testing (ACE), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and correspondence exams.

Center for Retention and Student Engagement

Office: 252 Elkins
Phone: 985-448-4096
Director: R. Allen Alexander.

The Director of Retention and  Student Engagement  is charged with studying and implementing best practices in academic advising and first-year experience instruction. The Director is responsible for the training and assessment of advisors of first-time freshmen, as well as for the offering of ongoing Master Advisor workshops for all interested faculty and staff. Because student retention is driven by multiple factors, including academic performance, assimilation to campus life, and financial support, the Director coordinates university retention initiatives that take these various elements into account. The Director consults with pertinent units in both the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs.

Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center

Office: 158-A Shaver  Gym
Phone: 985-448-4100
Director: Susan Gilbert

The Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center (TAEC) is committed to assisting students in enhancing their learning potential and developing proficiency in their academic endeavors. The Center is divided into two units to better meet the specialized needs of students. Each can be accessed in 158A Shaver Gym. Daytime and evening peer tutoring is provided. The center is certified by the National Tutoring Association, the College Reading and Learning Association, and is a member of the Association for the Tutoring Profession and the National College Learning Center Association and the National College Learning Center Association.

The Tutoring Center  offers peer tutoring to students enrolled in freshman level history, mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, and foreign language.

The Writing Center  is staffed with writing consultants who assist students with writing assignments from any subject area. Also on staff are English instructors to assist those students in developmental English.

Athletic Academic Services

Office: 205 Elkins
Phone: 985-448-4799
Director: Erica Callais

As a part of the University’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, the Department of Athletic Academic Services was created to provide academic advising and support to Nicholls State University student-athletes.   Athletic Academic Services monitors student progress and refer students to other campus resources as necessary.   Students may “drop in” for a quick answer or may set up an appointment with an advisor by calling Athletic Academic Services.

Upward Bound Victory

Office: South Babington  Hall
Phone: 985-448-4084
Director: Dr. Angela Alexander
Assistant Director: Shelby Hypolite

Upward Bound Victory is a federally funded program designed to prepare and motivate high school students to continue into post-secondary education. Students are chosen on the basis of family financial status and the participant’s academic potential to engage in intense, structured activities, services and classes. The program includes tutorial services, postsecondary planning and search activities, ACT preparation, exposure to college options and a six-week residential summer Institute on the campus. Upward Bound Victory is housed in Meade Hall.



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