A few years ago the honors program amounted to a handful of classes with an H embedded in their call number (i.e. 101H) and the honors office consisted of a small cramped room in the bowels of the Liberal Arts building. Entering the program was as simple as adding an honors course, and completion of the program was based solely on completing a certain number of credits. Starting this semester, that has all changed.
The honors program has undergone a metamorphosis in order to make it more versatile and beneficial for interested students. One major change is the policy of selective admissions; applicants are now required to have a GPA of 3.5.
Interested students need only apply online at www.uvsc.edu/honors or in person at the new Honors offices in LC204. Adjacent to the offices is the new honors commons which is a great place to study, which will be sorely needed by those tackling the new course requirements of the honors program.
Though challenging, these courses make up the heart and soul of the honors program. These courses allow for inter-disciplinary studies with groups of students dedicated to abstract thinking and investigation. Courses deal with such topics as death and dying, language, madness and civilization, and the Cold War. These courses bring together skills from various disciplines such as philosophy, literature and history to better understand an idea or an event.
Apart from the higher level honors courses, many general education courses are available. These provide an opportunity for smaller class sizes and more professor access. It is also a chance to delve deeper into these disciplines and is useful in determining a major.
Of course, the benefits are more than academic. Those who participate in the program have increased chances for scholarships and financial aid. Discounted housing is another incentive for those participating in the program, whom desire to live with like-minded students. These benefits make the honors program more than just an increase in course expectations.
Those seeking smaller class sizes, deeper discussions and a little bit of a challenge should consider the honors program. The benefits both intellectually and financially far outweigh the rigors of the program.