The Honors program is designed to empower students by offering alternative educational opportunities in the form of Honors classes, either at the 100, 200, or 300 level. Honors students will be given the opportunities for greater exploration and more rigorous analysis of course content. Great emphasis is placed on the development of oral and written communication, as well as on critical thinking.
If you have questions about the program, please contact Dr. Richard Bradley, Honors Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission to the Honors Program
In order to qualify for the Honors Program, the student must currently have a residential GPA of 3.5 or higher. First semester freshmen must have an ACT of 26 or higher and a 3.5 or higher high school GPA. Students can take regular Honors classes to meet the twelve hours required for graduation. Students can also turn any regular class into an Honors class by using the Honors Enriched option. The Honors Enriched option form must be submitted to the Honors Director by the last day of the add/drop period. After the contract has been submitted to the Honors Director the following steps will be taken.
- The Honors Director will submit the proposed contract to the Dean and the Honors committee for approval.
- The Honors committee will usually meet within one week after the end of the add/drop deadline to discuss all proposals.
- If problems are seen with the contract, suggestions will be forwarded to the professor.
- Upon approval, the contract will be submitted by the professor to the registrar's office.
- The registrar will then add an Honors designation to the student's transcript for the approved course.
Suggested work guidelines
To receive Honors credit for a contracted course, a student must receive a grade of (B) or better in the course and satisfactorily complete work in addition to what is required in the course. There are two essential components of this additional work. These elements are:
- The Honors student should do a substantive paper or project (10-15 page research paper or a project of equivalent time/effort).
- The Honors student should share the knowledge/skills/experience with an audience (usually, the rest of the class).
If alternative work is involved that differs from the two above-listed elements, it should be explained how this work will be equivalent to the two above-stated components. The following broad definition of Honors work might be helpful: All honors enriched projects, both upper level and lower level, involve formal operational thinking processes expressed through analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of topics pertaining to the course material.
Honors Suggested Four-Year Plan
In order to graduate with Honors, a student must maintain a GPA of 3.5 and complete twelve hours of Honors work completed over a minimum of two semesters. Three of these hours must be an Honors senior thesis, supervised by the Honors Director or appropriate faculty and publicly defended before a committee including the Academic Dean, the President, and the Director of the Honors program. These requirements merely constitute a minimum and most students, in order to obtain maximum benefit from the program, will go beyond them. The following four-year plan is suggested:
Freshman and sophomore years: The student should take at least two Honors classes in general education. It is strongly advised that the student attempt to either take an Honors general education class in the intended major or to try to turn a general education class in the major into an Honors-enriched class.
Junior year: The student should try to find two upper-level classes related to the major to do either regular Honors or Honors-enriched work. Honors students should take every opportunity to deepen their understandings of their chosen fields by making full use of these classes, thereby taking maximum advantage of all of their educational options. In addition, during this year, the student should be discussing appropriate topics for an Honors senior thesis with their academic advisors as well as with the Honors Director.
Senior year: Senior year should be devoted to the research and writing of a substantial (usually fifty pages or longer) research project that will deepen the student's understanding of the field and serve as a "capstone" in the truest sense of the word; that is, the culminating act of a carefully-crafted four year curriculum. Students and faculty should also be aware that the Honors senior thesis can also be an inter-disciplinary project that allows the student to further expand his or her knowledge and vision, by integrating materials and research techniques from multiple fields of intellectual inquiry. (Students who already have a required capstone in the major can substitute the Honors senior thesis for the capstone in the major.)
In short, students who wish to graduate with Honors should look beyond the minimum requirements and carefully plan with their academic advisors in order to design the Honors sequence that best fits their particular needs, skills, and strengths. The program has been designed to offer maximum flexibility to a wide range of students from all areas of study on the campus.