Mentoring, Advising & Registration

Personalized Advising
Advising Timeline
Advising Instructions
Registration Instructions

Every student in the Honors College has an assigned Honors faculty mentor for their four years on campus.  This benefit ensures that all Honors students have access to a faculty member who can answer a broad range of questions about academic programs and opportunities. Having at least one faculty who knows each honors student well and over a period of time ensures that students have support for letters of recommendation, networking, and access to internships, research positions, and other academic programs.

This mentor will guide students regarding:

  • Long-term plans and opportunities that align with them
  • Choices about academic program, including major
  • Course selection, particularly before a major is declared and when there are questions about honors courses
  • Decisions about opportunities outside courses that might influence long-term academic and career goals

Mentoring might include course advising early in the college career, but that is not its key component; much of course advising will be done by the major advisor once the major is declared.  Mentoring entails long-term professional development personalized to each student.  The Honors mentor will ask about career goals and make sure that each student is well informed about the many opportunities available on campus.  As seniors, students will still have access to the Honors mentor for the purpose of obtaining letters of recommendation or career advice.

All students can find their Honors academic advisor by signing into Degree Works. In many cases, a student will be advised by their mentoring cohort leader. However, this is not always the case.

While mentoring and advising can take many shapes over your four years in the Honors College, there are particular expectations for each year.

Freshman Year

All freshmen will receive their advising for spring classes in BGS.  There will also be individual or group meetings with peer facilitators or the Honors mentor either in or out of BGS.  In their second semester, freshmen will continue to have access to the peer advising network and will meet with the Honors mentor either as a group or individually to select classes for fall semester of their sophomore year and for professional development.

Sophomore Year

All sophomores will meet with their Honors mentor once a semester to confirm classes and continue professional development.   All students are required to declare a major during their sophomore year, so from this point on much of the course advising will be handled by the departments. However, all sophomores must follow the instruction of their Honors mentor about required group or individual meetings to ensure that the Honors hold is lifted.

Junior Year

Juniors will meet with their Honors mentor at least once this year (or more often if the student feels that it is necessary).  Most course advising will be done by the major advisor and other academic and professional mentors that the student has identified.  Again, juniors should follow the instructions of their Honors mentor about required meetings to ensure that the Honors hold is lifted.

Senior Year

Seniors will meet directly with their Honors mentor for a degree audit to prepare for graduation. The Honors mentor for all groups will still be available for individual meetings (to write letters of recommendation, for example).

Seniors will receive correspondence from Bryan Ganaway regarding the Honors Ceremony and graduation procedure. Seniors should also meet with the major advisor in the fall to plan for spring registration and degree completion in the major.

Releasing Holds & Signing Up for Classes

Each semester, Honors students are expected to meet with their Honors College Advisor prior to registering for classes for the following semester. This meeting is a chance for you and your advisor to review your progress towards the Honors College requirements and map out the classes you plan to enroll in.

To ensure that all Honors students meet with their Honors advisor, an Honors College Advising Hold will be placed on your account at the beginning of each semester. You will not be able to register for classes until this hold is lifted. To have your hold lifted, you must:

  1. Schedule an advising appointment with your Honors College Advisor
  2. Download, complete, and sign the Honors College Advising Form
  3. Email the form to your advisor prior to your advising meeting
  4. Meet with your advisor at the scheduled time

Your advisor will then sign your form and lift your hold. It’s important that you not wait until the day before registration to begin this process, as it can take up to 48 hours to lift an advising hold.

Read on for complete instructions on how to complete the Honors College Advising Form.

The form is located on Honors Hub. Navigate to the Forms tab and look under “General Advising.” Important: You must download the form to your desktop, close your browser, then open the form that you saved to your desktop using Adobe Acrobat. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, you may download this program on the Information Technology (IT) website. This is essential so that you can add your signature when the form is completed. If you encounter accessibility issues with the form, contact for assistance.

Enter your contact information. This includes your name and your CWID.

Enter your Anticipated Year of Graduation. This year is calculated based on when you entered the College and assumes that you will be here for four years. Therefore, if you started at the College in Fall 2021 your anticipated year of graduation would be 2025. If you are planning on graduating early, you should only enter an updated graduation year if you have already submitted a request to graduate early to Mary Moser. Otherwise, put your original graduation year.

Enter your current Earned Credit Hours. This number can be found on your degree audit in the Degree Works System. This number should not include any course work that you’re currently taking and have not yet received a final grade for.

Enter your Major(s). This is your formally declared major(s). You should include all your declared majors if you have more than one. If you have not formally declared a major, write “undecided” (note: advising is a great time to formally declare your major because it will open up opportunities for you to register for upper-level classes).

Enter your Major Advisor. Please give the first and last name of your academic major advisor(s). Note that this is not your Honors advisor.

Enter your Minor(s). If you have formally declared a minor, indicate it here.

Enter your Minor Advisor. Please give the first and last name of your academic minor advisor(s), if you have one.

Indicate whether you are currently eligible for Athletic Priority Registration. Athletes who play for the College’s varsity athletic teams and are in good standing with the athletic department should check this box.

Fill out your Course Selection with the classes you’re planning to take. These are the classes that you are considering taking next semester. You should fill out this section prior to meeting with your Honors advisor. That way, you and your advisor can review your selections and finalize your plans for the semester ahead.

Fill out the Alternative Courses as a backup plan. These are courses you’d consider registering for if you are unable to get into your preferred courses. You and your Honors advisor should review these courses together at your meeting.

Add up the total number of credit hours you’re planning to enroll in. This number is based on the total number of credits for the courses you’ve entered under the Course Selection section.

Track your progress using the Honors Requirements section. Review each Honors requirement. If you’re currently enrolled in a course that meets the requirement, check the I.P. box (“in progress”). If you’ve completed a requirement, enter the number of credit hours you earned for that particular course.

Add up the total number of HONS hours you’ve completed. Those classes that are I.P. (“in progress”) should not be included in this calculation.

Virtually sign the form by clicking on Student Signature. Follow the instructions to add a digital ID to the form. If you have already setup your digital signature and saved it, it will prompt you to insert your saved signature. If not, you will be prompted to configure a digital ID using Adobe’s Digital ID File. If you are using a Mac and do not have Adobe Acrobat, save your document and close it without a signature. You will then re-open your document in “Finder” to complete and add your signature.

Save the form using this specific format. Please name your file using this specific format:

Advising Form for Spring 2022-Your Last Name, Your First Name.pdf

Submit the form to your advisor via email. Email your Honors College Advisor and attach the saved document. You should do this prior to your scheduled advising appointment. If this is your first time meeting with your Honors College Advisor, you can confirm their name and email address on your degree audit in the Degree Works System on MyCharleston.

Meet with your Honors College Advisor. Schedule an advising meeting with your Honors College Advisor. At this meeting, the two of you will review your advising form and confirm your plans for the semester ahead. Each advisor has their own process for scheduling a meeting, so contact them in advance of registration to schedule your meeting.

Your advisor will add their signature to the form and lift your Honors College hold. Do not wait until the day before registration to submit your advising form to your advisor. It can take up to 48 hours for the removal of holds to process. It is your responsibility to give your advisor plenty of time to review your advising form before they lift your hold.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact your Honors College Advisor.

A Guide to Help Honors Students Register for Fall 2024 Classes

When does registration open for Honors students?

  • Senior registration (those with 90+ earned credits) begins Tuesday, March 26 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Registration for all remaining Honors College students opens Wednesday, March 27 at 8:00 a.m.

Do I have to use MyPortal to register for classes this semester?

Short answer: YES! All Registration activities have moved to MyPortal, where you’ll use the Registration Tools tile to access the new registration platform.

Registering for classes can be a high-octane and potentially stressful experience. We highly recommend Honors students try out the new system ahead of time before their designated registration time opens. The guides below should help you familiarize yourself with MyPortal.

Access MyPortal:
Register for classes:
Withdraw from classes:

Do I need to meet with my Honors Advisor?

As always, you must meet with your Honors College advisor prior to registration. After you’ve met with your advisor, they will lift your Honors Advising Hold. It can take up to 24 hours for these holds to be lifted, so the sooner you meet with your advisor the better. If you’ve not yet scheduled an advising meeting with your Honors advisor, you should do so ASAP.

I met with my Honors Advisor, so why do I still have a hold on my account?

There’s a new tool on MyPortal called Prepare for Registration, where you can check your registration status before enrollment begins. It’s a good idea to look into this ahead of time to be sure you don’t have any holds on your account (here's how).

If you still have an Honors Advising Hold more than 24-hours after your advising meeting, contact your Honors Advisor for assistance.

If you have a hold levied by another department on campus, you’ll have to contact them directly to resolve the hold. The Honors College can only lift Honors-related holds.

Help! Registration just opened and I’m having issues!

  • IT issues or technical difficulties with MyPortal? Contact our friends at IT (live chat support; 843-953-3375; or the Registrar (843-953-5688;
  • Registration issues with an Honors course? Contact your Honors advisor or Dr. Ganaway.
  • Registration issues with a non-Honors course? Contact the department offering the course. In most cases, the department’s administrative assistant is going to be your best bet. You might also try the faculty teaching the course. The Honors College has no jurisdiction over these courses and we can’t override you into them.

Help! I emailed Dr. Ganaway five minutes ago and he still hasn’t responded!

Dr. Ganaway does a remarkable job dealing with registration issues, but know that his inbox gets overwhelmed with requests at this time of year. He responds to registration questions in the order he receives them. Please be patient and caring when dealing with him (or your advisor, the Registrar, etc.). If at all possible, try resolving your issue on your own and only turn to Dr. Ganaway as a last resort.

Why are the seating caps so low for Honors courses? Will more seats be released?

Once registration opens, we gradually increase HONS seats throughout the day to ensure an even distribution across all Honors courses. Generally speaking, we’ll open more seats once all courses in a particular category (e.g., Colloquia, Advanced Studies) have filled.

A lot of this has to do with making sure all 800+ Honors students are progressing through the Honors curriculum each semester. It also helps to protect students who run into technical difficulties or have class at 8 a.m. on registration day.

A note on fall Foundation courses: We need to reserve most of the seats in Fall Foundations courses for incoming freshmen, so options in these courses will be extremely limited by design (~2-3 seats for returning students, if that).

I didn’t get into the Honors course I wanted! What can I do?

We do our best to accommodate as many students as possible in Honors courses while still maintaining the type of small, intimate class sizes that are a hallmark of the Honors experience.

If you have your heart set on a particular class that is full, your best bet is to keep an eye on the enrollment numbers in the days and weeks ahead. Open seats typically appear as other students adjust their schedules and drop a course. But it’s also a good idea to have a backup plan and to snag a seat in said backup plan now, in case waiting for an open seat doesn’t pan out.

If there are catastrophic consequences to your missing out on a particular class, you can try contacting Dr. Ganaway. Note that faculty teaching an Honors course don’t have the power to override you into their HONS course, so contacting them directly isn’t likely to prove fruitful.

Also remember that Honors classes are meant to nudge you out of your comfort zone and expose you to new ideas and new ways of thinking. If an Honors course you weren’t considering has an open seat, why not give it a try? You’ll likely be surprised at what you discover.

Any final words of wisdom?

If things don’t go perfectly for you on registration day, don’t panic! And the world will continue to spin, we promise. The Honors team can help you figure out an alternative solution to whatever registration hiccup has befallen you.