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HCC Main Campus
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD, 21046
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Advising FAQ

Have a question about advising? It’s likely you’ll find the answer here. Otherwise, you are always welcome to contact the Office of Admissions and Advising for more information.

  • Why should I see an advisor?

    Think of your advisor as your go-to person for guidance, mentoring, and information at HCC. Advisors have the most current and thorough knowledge regarding learning programs (majors), transfer requirements, the college's policies, procedures, and the requirements that apply to you in your specific situation. Therefore, it is very important to make academic decisions with input from your advisor.

  • Do I need to meet with an advisor if I haven't decided what I want to study and/or where I want to transfer?

    Yes. In fact, these are two of the most important reasons for meeting with an advisor! Advisors can assist students in making course selections that apply to the broadest range of areas of study (learning programs) and transfer institutions. They can also assist you in selecting courses and accessing services that will help you explore and identify your academic and career interests.  Meeting with an advisor can help you avoid costly errors while you are trying to make important decisions.

  • Who is my advisor?

    Most students are assigned to HCC's Office of Admissions and Advising for their advising services. Some students are assigned to specific faculty or staff advisors or to the Student Support Services Office.

    Your advising assignment is available on myHCC. You may also contact the Office of Admissions and Advising for your assignment.

  • When is my advisor available?

    Your advisor’s office hours are posted on myHCC. In general, if you are assigned to a specific faculty or staff advisor or to Student Support Services, it is a good idea to call or email to arrange an appointment. The Office of Admissions and Advising provides walk-in service; hours are available on HCC website. You are always welcome to visit the Office of Admissions and Advising if your assigned advisor is not available or for any other reason.

  • Why are the Office of Admissions and Advising's services provided on a walk-in basis rather than by appointment?

    The Office of Admissions and Advising’s primary goal is to ensure that advisors are available during a broad range of hours so that you can see someone whenever you need or want to. Advisors are scheduled so that there is almost always an advisor available to serve students with specific needs, for example: international students or nursing students preparing to apply for clinical coursework.

    You are always welcome to request a specific advisor when you visit the office as long as the advisor is there; just know that you’ll have to wait until your preferred advisor has seen the students who arrived before you. Prospective and current international (F1) students may make an appointment with an international student admissions counselor.

  • Where are advisors located?

    It depends. Your advisor’s office location is available on myHCC. You can also find it in our staff directory, located under the Tools and Resources link at the top of the website, or the Office of Admissions and Advising or the Welcome Center can always direct you.

    Following are some basic location guidelines:

    • Office of Admissions and Advising - The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, second floor (RCF-242)
    • Student Support Services Office - The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, third floor (RCF-302)
    • Faculty Offices - Located throughout the campus
    • Laurel College Center - See answer to other question about the LCC below.
  • Are advisors available at the Laurel College Center?

    If you're a HCC student attending classes at the Laurel College Center, you may see an advisor there or on our main campus. Advising hours at the Laurel College Center are more limited than on the main campus. You should consult the Laurel College Center or the HCC Office of Admissions and Advising for advising hours there.

  • When should I meet with my advisor?

    You should meet with your advisor at least once a semester in preparation for the upcoming semester. Always meet with an advisor before dropping or withdrawing from a class.

    There are many other important reasons to meet with your advisor such as:

    • transfer preparations,
    • academic concerns,
    • uncertainty about your current program or progress,
    • interest in a referral, and
    • just to share how the semester is going.

    Please refer to our Advising Timeline for more specific information about when you should meet with your advisor. 

  • What can I do to prepare to meet with my advisor?

    Get the most from your advising session by preparing ahead of time whenever possible. Here are some tips:

    • Think about and jot down what you would like to discuss.
    • Review your area of study or program requirements, and your academic plan.
    • Identify courses you may be interested in for the upcoming term and year. Check Course Availability on myHCC or the Schedule of Credit Classes for availability.
    • Discuss your academic standing.
    • Discuss plans regarding transfer and/or graduation.
    • See a list of things to consider in the Advising Timeline and review the suggestions in the question below.
  • What should I discuss with my advisor?

    In addition to any other questions you may have, it is good practice to discuss many of the following questions and topics when you meet with your advisor:

    • Is my information (name, address, birth date) correct in the college's records?
    • Is my area of study (learning program) correct in these records? How do I change my area of study (learning program)?
    • What courses do I need to register for to complete my area of study (learning program)?
    • What are the prerequisites for the courses I plan to take?
    • I would like to discuss my academic goals.
    • How do I register for classes?
    • What do I need to know about transferring?
      • How far in advance do I need to apply to the transfer institutions I'm considering? Are there deadlines?
      • Is my area of study (learning program) a limited enrollment program or one with special prerequisite requirements?
      • Are transfer scholarships available?
    • I need help paying for college. How do I find out about HCC's financial aid, scholarships, the payment plan, and other resources?
    • I need a tutor. How do I find one? Do you have other services that will help me reach my goals?
    • I need to work. How can I arrange my classes around my work schedule? How will working impact my studies?
    • I am interested in participating in extracurricular and  co-curricular activities. Can you help me develop a plan that helps me reach my academic goals as well as participate in the college experience?
  • Do I need to see an advisor if I’m attending another institution and just taking a class at HCC?

    Absolutely. You need to meet with an advisor both at your home institution and at HCC. Provide your home institution advisor with a course description of the course you plan to take and a course outline, if necessary. In this situation, it is up to you to get written consent from your home institution advisor regarding the course you plan to take at HCC, along with a written guarantee that it will transfer back (most institutions have special forms for this). You have the ultimate responsibility of ensuring you are taking the correct course and that your home institution has approved it.

    You need to meet with an HCC advisor to arrange any required course clearances and to provide a transcript or a grade report for verification that you took the necessary prerequisite. Please remember that your home institution's consent does not result in a waiver of HCC's requirements, policies, and procedures.

  • How can I meet with advisors from transfer institutions I'm considering?

    The Office of Admissions and Advising hosts two major transfer fairs each year. Transfer representatives from most Maryland four-year colleges and universities and many out-of-state four-year institutions attend these fairs and are available to meet with students. Several specialized transfer programs for students majoring in fields such as business, technology, nursing, and teacher education also take place each year. Workshops and other special programs are also conducted for students interested in programs such as engineering and medicine.

    In addition to these events, transfer representatives from individual institutions visit the campus during the year and are available to meet with students. Pre-transfer advisors are available at their home institutions and at HCC to meet with students considering transfer to certain programs at certain institutions. To find out more about meeting with transfer representatives, consult our website or visit the Office of Admissions and Advising. 

  • What's the difference between counseling and advising?

    At HCC, these services are distinct from each other and are provided by two different offices. Advisors focus on academic and transfer decisions. Counselors in the Counseling and Career Services Office focus on assisting students with personal concerns, selecting a career path, and facing complex learning challenges.

  • Is Virtual Advising Available?

    The Office of Admissions and Advising offers virtual advising appointments to HCC Students. For more information or to make an appointment you can email virtualadvising@howardcc.edu. If you are currently enrolled in courses at HCC you can join the Virtual Advising Canvas Page

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