Honors Program reception

The Honors Program hosted an on-campus reception yesterday for freshmen and sophomores to reward “academically talented” students who receive “high GPA’s.”

“We presented opportunities for academically strong students on our campus,” Maria Holmes, Honors Program advisor, said. “The hosts were honors student ambassadors, a select group of honors program students who represent the program at university events.”

There were professors at the event that discussed aspects and advantages of the program for the students who joined the Honors Program.

“Dr. Frank Fair gave an overview of the benefits and opportunities of the honors program and information on how to apply,” Holmes said. “He spoke on behalf of Dr. Young, the Honors director.”

Dr. Fair, professor of philosophy, indicated that since the event went over so well, there would probably be another one next semester.

“Students were invited to be honored and informed,” Fair said. “We’ll probably do another reception in the fall.”

Also at reception was Dr. Lee Miller from sociology, and she talked about the travel abroad program that she sponsors for students to go to Italy each semester. The Assistant Dean of Students Jeanine Bias, who sponsors the freshman honors society Alpha Lambda Delta, talked to students about the process of joining and how students are invited for membership.

Dr. Lydia Fox discussed the McNair scholarship program, a special program to promote undergraduate research, and provides funding and scholarships for students who qualify. Dr. Janet Mullins from the Criminal Justice College talked about the honors society and other honors council members including Dr. Vic Sower and Dr. Alice Fisher, visited with students about honors education. At this campus, there are only a few basic requirements to take part in such an education.

“Students must have an overall GPA of 3.4 and have earned less than 50 hours of college credit, so typically freshmen and sophomores apply,” Holmes said. “Once students have been accepted into the Honors Program, the benefits include advanced registration, scholarships, cultural outings and conferences where students can present papers.

Specific honors class options including core classes, seminars and honors contract courses, in which students work directly with professors to go above and beyond the set curriculum.

“In general, we’re seeing the program grow and expand. We’re adding upper division honors courses in CJ and English and economics, as well as providing honors courses in the core curriculum,” she said.

According to Holmes, involvement in the program comes with many benefits that enrich students’ college experience. Among other advantages, students have opportunities to work closer with faculty and to do undergraduate research.

“In general, the Honors Program provides a community of scholars where the best teachers and students come together,” Holmes said. “I think that it gives them a stronger undergraduate experience by becoming part of a community of students who are high-achieving and who work hard and who have a common goal of graduating with honors.”

In addition to benefits during college, students who are successful in the program also benefit after receiving an undergraduate degree.

“Almost all of our students go on to graduate school, law school or medical school, and many participate in internships in their field,” Holmes said. “Having participated in the program distinguishes our students and shows that they are capable of doing a high level of work.”

According to the Honors Program Web site, http://www.shsu.edu/~honors, there are several advantages associated with joining the program, including:

You take specialized courses from and work closely with professors chosen by their colleagues for their exceptional teaching and research abilities.

You have opportunities for securing University and Honors scholarships.

You have the chance to live in the Honors residence hall, a specially designed and equipped house for academically oriented students.

With the completion of the new academic building, Honors students now have access to the Honors computer lab and seminar room. They are on the first floor of Academic Building IV, the building directly across the street from the honors residence hall.

You associate, through the Honors Program, with other academically minded students who, like you, want to know more– about more.

In every semester you are able to register one week before all other students.

Upon graduation and successful completion of the Honors Program, you receive special recognition and a permanent notation on your transcript.

You have a number of advantages and challenges that we would be happy to discuss with you. For more information, please call the Honors Office at (936) 294-1477 or e-mail us at honors@shsu.edu.

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