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 is a student-centered academic unit that

  • prepares all first-time students for entry into their major area of study;
  • provides all students with important academic support and enrichment services;
  • offers students an opportunity to seek degrees that focus on the unique professional and workforce bases of the region and on selective cultural and interdisciplinary studies;
  • develops and maintains programs of distinction such as the Honors Program and Board of Regents approved Institutes and Centers of Excellence.


University College Degrees and Programs at a Glance

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

  • Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts
    • Culinary Operations Concentration
    • Service Concentration
    • Pâtisserie Concentration
    • Research and Development Concentration
    • Professional Concentration
    • Business Administration Concentration

General Information

University College offers comprehensive programs and services to foster scholastic success at Nicholls State University. In this capacity, University College coordinates academic advising for all first-time freshmen and makes initial contact with all transfer students regardless of the intended major. While in University College, each first-time freshman is advised by a faculty member who is 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.

To assist all students with progress toward their degrees, University College oversees vital academic support and enrichment services such as tutoring and the enhanced curriculum options found in the University Honors Program. University College houses the Student Engagement Center and the Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center, which provides peer tutoring, writing and other forms of academic assistance to all Nicholls State University students.

The college’s three academic degree programs use the foundation of the general education core curriculum as a stepping-stone to professional success. The A.G.S. and B.I.S. degrees of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies allow students to build upon the strengths of the general education core to design individualized, multidisciplinary degree plans that open the door to graduate studies or to leadership positions in the world of work. The A.S. degrees in culinary arts, petroleum services, and safety technology mixes the general education core with industry technical skills. This rich blend ensures that first- and second-year students in all three areas are well-prepared for the rigors of the associated bachelor’s degree programs with concentrations in such areas as service, business, professional operations, exploration, production, and safety.

University College Academic Services
Office:  234 Elkins Hall
Phone:  985-448-4117
Assistant Dean:  David Zerangue

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 and Technical 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: Dr. Amy Hebert
Professional Advisors: C. Bouzigard, R. Fontenot, J. Guenard, A. Hebert,
L.  Melancon, L. Richard, N. Temple

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.

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.

Transfer Student Resource Center

Office:  234 Elkins
Phone:  985-448-4462
Advisor: Mary DeLaune

The Transfer Student Resource Center was created to assist transfer students in making the transition to a new academic environment, and its staff is dedicated to making the process as simple as possible.  This process may begin even before admission.  Students considering transferring to Nicholls may request an unofficial evaluation of transcripts and a departmental review of courses.  Once admitted, the Center staff can assist students with initial academic advising and course registration.  The Center also provides a brief transfer orientation seminar to familiarize students with programs and services offered by the university.  In addition, the Transfer Student Resource Center serves as a point of contact for students needing information regarding course equivalencies and for those Louisiana community college students pursuing the Louisiana Transfer Degree.

Academic Testing Center

Office:  234 Elkins
Phone:  985-493-2596
Coordinator:  Elaine Benoit

The Academic Testing Center administers a variety of tests to both college and prospective college students.  The following tests are of particular importance to future 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:  143 Peltier Hall
Phone:  985-448-4100
Coordinator:  Dr. Lori Richard

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 143 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.

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.

Student Engagement Center

Office:  136 Peltier Hall
Phone:  985-493-2707
Coordinator:  Dr. Lori Richard

The Student Engagement Center was designed to provide a quiet, relaxing atmosphere for students to gather and participate in both social and academic activities.  Computer access is available for completing course assignments, or for simply checking email or surfing the web.  A snack bar is also available, which makes the facility a great place for socializing with fellow students and faculty.  The Center may also be reserved for meetings by campus clubs and organizations.  The greater mission of the Student Engagement Center is to assist students with their adjustment to campus life and to encourage them to be an active part of the Nicholls community.

University Honors Program

Office:  111 Gouaux Hall
Phone:  985-448-4721
Director:  Dr. John Doucet
Associate Director:  Dr. Deborah Cibelli
Coordinator:  Jaime Guenard

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, 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.

Early Start (Dual Enrollment) Program

Office: 253 Elkins Hall
Phone: 985-448-4825
Coordinator: Dr. Lori Richard

The Early Start Program, formerly known as Dual Enrollment, gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credit while working towards a high school diploma.  The Early Start Program is available only to qualifying students.  For more information please visit the Nicholls State University website or contact the Early Start Program office.



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