The Honors College, Old Dominion University

Advising Syllabus for Freshmen Students, 2014-2015

ePortfolio Learning Coordinator Advisor Information

Megan K. Mize

  • Phone: (757) 683-4865
  • E-mail address:

Office Hours & Location:

  • By Appointment by telephone. Walk-in as scheduling permits.
  • SSC 2022

ODU Advising Mission:

In keeping with the university's mission, the primary purpose of the Old Dominion University academic advising program is to empower students to explore, experience, and engage in educational activities that assist them in the development of meaningful educational and career plans to meet their full potential.

Advising Philosophy

In Academic Advisement and Student Retention: Empirical Connections and Systemic Interventions, Joe Cuseo, defines an academic advisor is one who “helps students become more self-aware of their distinctive interests, talents, values, and priorities; who enables students to see the ‘connection’ between their present academic experience and their future life plans; who helps students discover their potential, purpose, and passion; who broadens students’ perspectives with  respect to their personal life choices, and sharpens their cognitive skills for making these choices, such as effective problem-solving, critical thinking, and reflective decision-making” (15). Thus, an advisor is both a guide and a sounding board, providing support tailored to the individual student’s needs, interests, and experiences. While an advisor will provide the necessary and accurate information regarding one’s chosen curriculum and the requirements of the Honors College, student support services and other available resources, that advisor should also foster an engaging environment in which the student is actively involved in developing plans for his/her education.

To meet these goals, the Honors College Advisors, including the ePortfolio Learning Coordinator, use digital portfolios, which the students create, as a means of emphasizing the connections between coursework and other aspects of the student’s life, including the professional world they likely seek to join.

From an Honors College Advisor, students may expect:

As an Honors College advisee, a student must:

An Honors College advisee will need to provide both an up-to-date curriculum planning sheet and a copy of their Degree Works.  Also, an advisee should provide a draft of the Semester Reflective Cover Letter during the appointment, being ready to discuss current work and activities, as demonstrated through content in their ePortfolio.

In “The Role of Academic Advising in Student Retention and Persistence,” Jayne Drake claims, “Advisors teach students to negotiate the higher education maze, to make effective

and thoughtful decisions about their futures, to adapt their life skills to the new academic world, and to cultivate the academic skills and knowledge needed to succeed” (11). Part of such “negotiations” is training the student to reflect on what they have done and learned, using such reflections as a springboard for planning the future. As a result, these advising sessions become vital tools for continued success, even beyond graduation.

Learning Objectives

After participating in an advising session, the student shall be able to:

  1. describe long term professional goals in a clear and detailed manner;
  2. compare and contrast long term professional goals with degree requirements;
  3. build and share the necessary components of the Honors College ePortfolio
  4. draw on archived material to synthesize connections between his/her experiences, in and out of the classroom;
  5. identify co-curricular activities to fill in any gaps;
  6. construct and/or modify academic plans to help achieve the long term professional goals;
  7. analyze past, present, and future personal, professional, and academic experiences that might positively or negatively impact academic plans to achieve the long term professional goals;
  8. outline institutional resources that might provide support for both personal and academic needs during the upcoming academic term.

Student Preparations

For each advising meeting a student has with an Honors College representative, s/he should use their Honors College ePortfolio as a means of preparing. For a meeting, a student should:


Once a student enters the Honors College, s/he is required to begin the construction of a curricular ePortfolio as means of archiving and reflecting on their experience within their program of study. During their time in the program, students will be expected to use the ePortfolio as an integral component to their Honors College advising sessions. While a student is assigned an Honors College advisor, they may also elect to meet with the ePortfolio Learning Coordinator, who will advise them in matters related to their four-year ePortfolio, providing both technical support, as well as curricular considerations in terms of imagining content and the ways in which material can be interconnected.

As such, the below schedule details when and how the curricular/advising ePortfolio functions during each semester. About 3-5 weeks into each semester (Fall and Spring) the department reviews the current state of each student’s ePortfolio; this review occurs again at the end of the semester. At that point in time, the relevant schedule below will be initiated.

Summer Schedule

Fall & Spring Schedule


Honors College Requirements

Failure to meet these requirements will forfeit the Honors stipend.

  1. HC Advising - First-year students meet with the Dean or an HC advisor once each semester during their first year.  At this meeting, the student and the Dean/advisor review the student's academic progress, develop strategies for success, and discuss future academic, scholarship, and leadership opportunities at Old Dominion.  Students are also required to meet with their respective college advisors.  After the first-year, all HC students must meet with the dean or his assistant once per year (fall or spring semester) until they graduate.
  2. GPA - First-year HC students must earn an overall GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of their first year.  After their first year, students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 by the end of their second year and maintain that average throughout their undergraduate college careers.  Students must be registered as full-time students.

Honors College Curriculum

HC students take a minimum of four lower-division honors general education courses.

Upon reaching the junior/senior year, students work with an ODU faculty member to develop two upper-division (300-400 level) courses with an honors designation; these required courses must earn three or four academic credits.  Finally, to enhance their undergraduate portfolio in preparation for graduate school or a profession, HC students are required to complete a one-credit civic-learning project and a three-credit senior colloquium, capstone course, or honors thesis in the Honors College or in their respective major.

HNRS 387 Civic Learning Project (1 credit)

Description:  Students volunteer for 45 hours of work, keep a work-experience journal

reflecting on their day-to-day experiences as a volunteer, and write a short paper detailing how the experience helped them to identify, revise, and accomplish future learning and career goals.

Four Honors Courses (3 credits each)

HNRS General Education courses may be used but are not required to satisfy this requirement.  At least two of these courses must be Honors Contract courses.  Students may transform any upper-division course into an Honors course.  Students and faculty work one-on-one to develop the honors component for honors contract courses.

HNRS 487 Senior Honors Colloquium (3 credits)

In this interdisciplinary seminar, the goal is to integrate the general education experience with each student's major.

Undergraduate Research Requirement

Select Two of the Following:


Undergraduate Curriculum Planning

Honors College Requirements Curriculum Sheet

Lower-Division Undergraduate Courses

--Four Honors General Education Courses

Course _____________________ Semester ___________

Course _____________________ Semester ___________

Course _____________________ Semester ___________

Course _____________________ Semester ___________

Upper-Division Undergraduate Courses

--Two Honors Contract courses

Course _____________________ (3 credits) Semester ___________

Course _____________________ (3 credits) Semester ___________

--HNRS 387 (1 credit) Honors Civic-Learning Project


--Capstone Course

Select one of the following:

HNRS 487 Senior Honors Colloquium (3 credits) Semester __________

HNRS 499 Honors Senior Thesis (3 credits) Semester __________

Departmental Senior Thesis or Research Project (3 credits) Semester ___________

Campus Lectures (One per semester)

Honors College students are required to attend one lecture per semester. To receive credit for lecture attendance, please email the Ms. Lisa Dunbar (ldunbar@) with the title of the lecture, the name of the lecturer, and a short description of what you learned from the lecture.