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Albert Davis, Ph.D.
Alcee 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

  • Service Concentration
  • Associate of Science in Culinary Arts
  • 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.

    University College Academic Services

    Office:        234 Elkins Hall
    Phone:       985-448-4117
    Director:   Carol Blanchard

    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 and beyond. By insuring that advisors are rigorously trained, University College demonstrates its commitment to a philosophy of academic advising.  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 and 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 General Education

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

     Students will be advised through the Academic Advising Center until successful completion of the following requirements:

    • All developmental courses.
    • A minimum of 30 hours of non-developmental course work. Students remaining in University College upon attaining junior status (60 hours) will be encumbered and not allowed to register until meeting with their advisor.
    • Completion of an approved freshman seminar course.
    • Any other entry criteria established by the major or the corresponding college.

    Students will be assigned a faculty advisor in the department of their major for career mentoring and graduation advising upon successful completion of the above.

    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. 

    Academic Advising Center

    Office:  234 Elkins Hall
    Phone:  985-448-4117
    Coordinator:  A. Hebert
    Professional Advisors:  C. Blanchard, D. Bourgeois, C. Bouzigard, R. Fontenot, A. Hebert, C. Legendre, L. Melancon, T. Moore, L. Richard, J. White, D. Zerangue-Transfers

    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 they transition to a faculty advisor in the department of their major.  Professional advisors meet regularly with students, assisting them in goal clarification, in selection of a major, and in educational planning and course selection.  Professional advisors will work closely with departmental liaisons to provide students with up-to-date program changes and other information as it applies to their major.  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 a web-based advising management tool.

    Freshman Institute:  La Porte D’entrée (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’entrée, which is offered through University College Academic Services, is a key component of University Studies. Freshman Institute consists of academic advising seminars offered to students before each semester and marks the beginning of the freshman seminar course.  It is designed to help make entry into college life more relaxed and enjoyable.  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 meaningful information and ask important questions before they start classes.

    University Studies

    University Studies 101 maximizes the student’s potential to achieve scholastic success and to adjust responsibly to the individual and interpersonal challenges presented by collegiate life.  In UNIV 101 students are provided with an introduction to the nature of higher education and are given an extended orientation to the functions and resources of the university. Each of these courses is designed to help first-semester freshmen and first year transfer students adjust to the university, develop a better understanding of the learning process, and acquire essential academic survival skills.

    Transitional Programs

    Office:  212 Elkins Hall
    Phone:  985-448-4462 (Transfer Student Center
     985-493-2599 (Academic Testing Center)
    Coordinator:  David Zerangue

    The Office of Transitional Programs is comprised of two units: The Transfer Student Center and the Academic Testing Center.

     The role of the Transfer Student Center is to aid students in their transition to Nicholls by providing assistance with academic advising and registration.   The Center staff can also provide information regarding degree programs and transfer course equivalencies.  The Center also serves as the initial contact for in-state community college students pursuing the Louisiana Transfer Degree. 

    The Academic Testing Center administers a variety of tests to both college and prospective college students.  The following tests are of particular importance to prospective Nicholls students: the American College Test (ACT), the ACT Residual, and the ACT COMPASS tests.  These tests are used for mathematics and English placement.  Other tests administered by Academic Testing include the Praxis Series and School Leadership Series Tests and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.  The proctoring of correspondence course testing is also available.  The Accelerated Challenge Exams (ACE) offered by the National League for Nursing (NLN) is available to Nicholls students only.

    Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center

    Office:  136 Peltier Hall
    Phone:  985-448-4100
    Coordinator: Carol Blanchard

    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 136 Peltier Hall. 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 Hall
    Phone:  985-448-4799
    Coordinator:  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.

    Retention and Student Engagement

    Office:  252 Elkins Hall
    Phone:  985-448-4096
    Coordinator:  Dr. R. Allen Alexander

    The Coordinator 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.

    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 South Babington Hall.

    University Honors Program

    Office:  111 Gouaux Hall
    Phone:  985-448-4721
    Director:  John Doucet
    Assistant Director:  Jennifer 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 Honors 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.



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