Monday, November 10, 2014

The Honors Advisors

Hey all!

Would you believe it?  It's that time of year already!  Students are plotting out their course schedule for the coming spring semester!  Honor students in the LLC in particular have a leg up on the rest of campus thanks to priority registration.  Due to their status as honors students, they are allowed to enroll on Monday, November 17th; the rest of campus must wait significantly longer.  This is a wonderful way for honors students to get the perfect schedule, finding the best class times and insuring their place in small class sizes.  So what's the catch?  In addition to the courses specifically pertinent to their major, honors students must take an honors course.  As exciting as these courses are, enrollment is extraordinarily competitive.  Since the classes have a capacity of sixteen students, they become full very quickly.  When enrollment goes live in PAWS, there a some classes that fill up in a matter of ten seconds.  That's a frightening notion, isn't it?  You find the perfect class for your interests and for you schedule, but you wait just a tad too long to enroll and it's gone.

So how do honors students navigate this treacherous process?  Well, that's where the honors advisors Shannon Irwin, Kate Coffaro and Aaron Dierks help out!  These are three full-time honors faculty members who help students smoothly integrate honors courses into their college experience.  Especially in professional schools such as engineering and pre-med, it can be difficult to incorporate honors into your degree.  These advisors are the movers and shakers who make the addition of honors possible for all students.  They are versatile; honors students are not assigned a specific honors advisor.  They schedule an appointment at their convenience, and it becomes a matter of availability between these three.

Shannon, in addition to being an Honors Advisor, is our LLC stakeholder.  As the RA on for the LLC, I have monthly meetings with Shannon to keep her and the Honors College updated as to our activity in the LLC.  She has, on numerous occasions, given me wonderful insights to ease my duties as an RA.  She also just this past week hosted an event on my floor to discuss the perks, the pitfalls and safe navigation of priority registration.  She played an Apples to Apples style game with residents, and we served apple-based treats.  It turned out to be a great night, and the LLC members learned a great deal.

There is still one week before priority registration begins, and the LLC is abuzz.  Advisor meetings are now mandatory for first semester freshmen if they want to take advantage of priority registration.  Many have already scheduled their appointments, and a ready to go.  Several have appointments scheduled this week.  It's a very exciting (and rather nerve-racking) time in the LLC, and we're very happy to have our wonderful advisors to keep us all on track.

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