SUNY Oneonta Honors
Program
Draft Revisions as of May 2010
by the
Honors Advisory Committee
Todd Ellis
[email protected]
3 May 2010 - College Senate Meeting
The Current Honors
Program
• Three Tiered:
• Stage One - Freshman Year - 9 credit
hours of honors GE2 courses
• Stage Two - Sophomore Year - 9 credit
hours of honors GE2 courses
• Stage Three - Junior/Senior Year - 9 credit
hours of upper division coursework
including a capstone experience
The Current Honors
Program
• Retention Standards
• 3.5 GPA at the end of each year +
sufficient progress toward degree
• Capstone Experience
• An interdisciplinary or mutlidisciplinary
course designed by students
The Main Concerns
• Students often have few choices of courses
available to them because they have placed
out of GE2 courses and because few are
offered (and those have low enrollment)
• Students get “Honors Program” credit for
completing any one tier - many drop out
when early scheduling no longer useful
• By getting out before tier three - they miss
out on the interdisciplinary focus of an
honors education
The new idea
•
The Honors Advisory Committee has been meeting since
the fall to revamp the program
•
The main themes:
•
Embrace interdisciplinary focus of honors education
•
Enhance communication skills through required
honors level composition courses
•
Allow students to get honors credit by contract with
professors
•
Eliminate tier system, and require all honors students
to complete thesis to get credit
The Contract Model
•
Allows students to approach a professor by the end of
the third week of a class to propose a plan to make the
course count as honors credits
•
Focus is not necessarily on more work, but on different,
more in-depth, interdisciplinary, or original work.
•
Must be agreed upon by both professor and student - not
all courses may be appropriate for this, but faculty have
input
•
Less time consuming for faculty than an entire honors
course
•
Dedicated honors sections/courses will still exist
Honors Advisors
• We are proposing that departments would
have one designated honors advisor
• Honors advisors would be able to help
explain the contract process and make sure
that it is not abused by either party
• Honors advisors would require yearly
meetings with honors students to make sure
they are thinking ahead about their additional
requirements
Year by Year - First Year
•
Maintain a 3.5 GPA
•
Enroll in an Honors Composition Course
•
•
•
capped at low number per section
•
ESL students may get individual waivers
Honors first-year interdisciplinary seminar
•
Thematic courses taught be rotation of instructors
•
Focus is on critical thinking skills
6 credits of honors course work
Year by Year - Second Year
• Maintain a 3.5 GPA
• By end of year, have 12 honors credits
completed
• Academic plan with an honors advisor to
begin planning for capstone/theses
Year by Year - Third/Fourth
Year
• Maintain a 3.5 GPA
• By graduation, have 12 additional honors
credits completed
• These credits may include honors
independent studies to facilitate thesis writing
• Upon completion of thesis and all other
requirements, students are given honors
designation
Other thoughts
• We are considering making the admission
process more selective with online essay
prompts that students would have to answer
• We want to reinvigorate the honors club, so
that they can be an academic presence on
campus, perhaps with their own faculty
awards or hosted lecture series - there is a
funding issue that still needs to be address
here
We are still welcoming input
• We are not making any proposals for voting
today, but want to give you a chance to think
about how this would work and give us a
chance to answer your questions/concerns
• We think that this makes the program more
robust, more rigorous, and easier for students
to become invested in. In short, I think it
makes the honors program meaningful for
everyone involved
• Please contact myself or Julie Freeman if you
have any additional concerns
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SUNY Oneonta Honors Program