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The following are the questions most frequently asked about advising.  You are always welcome to contact the Office of Admissions and Advising for more information.

Why should I see an advisor?

Making academic and transfer decisions without consulting an advisor is risky business. Advisors have the most current and thorough knowledge regarding learning programs (majors), transfer requirements, the college's polices, procedures, and the requirements that apply to you in your specific situation.

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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?

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 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.

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Do I need to see an advisor if I’m attending another institution and just taking a class at HCC?

You bet!  You need to meet with an advisor at your home institution and at HCC.  Provide your home institution advisor with a course description of the class 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 course clearances you require. Please provide a transcript or a grade report to verify 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.

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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 HCC Express’s “My Student Profile” feature.   You may also contact the Office of Admissions and Advising for your assignment.

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When is my advisor available?

Your advisor’s office hours are posted on HCC Express’s “My Student Profile” feature.  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 web site.  Students are always welcome to visit the Office of Admissions and Advising if their assigned advisor is not available or for any other reason.

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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, if you are an international student or a nursing student 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 and you understand that your preferred advisor must see those students who arrived before you first. Prospective and current international (F1) students may make an appointment with an international student admissions counselor.

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Where are advisors located?

Your advisor’s office location is available on HCC Express’s “My Student Profile”. You can also find it on HCC’s staff directory. The Office of Admissions and Advising or the Welcome Center can also direct you.

The following is some basic information to assist you in locating the office or advisor assigned to you:

  • 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 below.

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Are advisors available at the Laurel College Center?

HCC students attending classes at the Laurel College Center (LCC) may see an advisor there or on HCC's main campus.  Advising hours at the Laurel College Center are more limited than on the main campus.  Students should consult the LCC or HCC's Office of Admissions and Advising for LCC advising hours.

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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, etc.  Some students like to check in with their advisor just to share how the semester is going.

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

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

  • Review the Ask My Advisor for important suggestions.
  • Think about and jot down what you would like to discuss.
  • Review your program requirements and your program planning sheet with you.
  • Identify courses you may be interested in for the upcoming term and year.  Check HCC Express’s Course Availability or the Schedule of Credit Classes for availability.
  • Discuss your academic standing.
  • Discuss plans regarding transfer and/or graduation.

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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 learning program correct in these records?  How do I change my learning program?
  • What courses do I need to register for to complete my 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 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 assist me in developing a plan that helps me reach my academic goals as well as participate in the college experience?

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

HCC's Transfer Center, located in 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 are available to meet with students.  Several specialized transfer fairs for students majoring in fields such as nursing and teacher education 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.  The Transfer Center also has information about meeting with advisors at colleges and universities in Maryland and throughout the nation.  To find out more about meeting with transfer representatives, consult HCC's Transfer Center website or visit the Transfer Center in the Office of Admissions and Advising. Learn more about transfer events and activities.

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What's the difference between counseling and advising?

At HCC, these services are distinct from one another 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.

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Is e-advising available?

The Office of Admissions and Advising gladly responds to email inquiries about general advising information.  Because the security of email cannot be completely guaranteed, to protect each student's privacy we will not use email to discuss confidential information such as grades and placement test results. If the advisor you have been working with has given you their personal email address, please contact them directly.  Otherwise, email advising inquiries may be directed as follows:

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Contact us!
Office of Admissions and Advising
Howard Community College — RCF-242
Phone: 443-518-1200
Fax: 443-518-4589

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