Honors options expand

Service hours and cultural events reporting options change for honors students

Starting this semester, the Honors Program is giving honors students a new requirement option that can help them find another way to achieve their service hours and cultural event requirements.

The Honors Program has a set of requirements that students have to follow for them to continue having a program membership. The requirements used to be that every student had to maintain a 3.3 GPA, as well as attend six cultural events and do 30 hours of service per year. Now this semester, either an honors course or an honors contract can count toward requirements. Doing either one will account for three cultural events and 15 service hours for the academic year.

Honors Advisor and Assistant Professor of the Honors Program Catherine Bordeau knows that students will benefit from learning whether they decide to take an honors course or do an honors contract.

“Students who opt to take an honors class or do an honors contract will learn more in their class and have more contact with their professor,” Bordeau said. “Honors classes are capped at 23 students, which helps foster more interaction, and they provide more opportunities to learn in different ways. The opportunity to learn under the guidance of a professor is educationally very rich.”

This new requirement option is that honors classes and contracts can give students an advantage. They make progress on credentials appearing on students’ transcripts. This can motivate students to look more into the results of taking an honors course or doing an honors contract.

Business administration sophomore Brooke Boron, who is part of the Honors Program, is doing the new requirement. Despite the program offering some positives, she knows that there can be negatives if students decide to take it.

“If students choose to only do the course/contract requirement, they could spend too much time on their academic rather than getting themselves involved on campus,” Boron said. “The main concern would be whether or not honors students would be able to create that balance in their lives rather than only focusing on academics with this new requirement.”

If students struggle with the new requirement option, the Honors Program can help.  On  Nov. 2nd, Bordeau sent an email to all honors students mentioning the new requirement option.  In the email she mentioned that the main goal is for students to be engaged in the Honors Program, and that  includes helping them if needed.

Digital animation and game design sophomore Jason Zawacki is also an honors student. He hopes that students have a helpful learning experience if they decide to take the new requirement option.

“I hope that students learn more about the areas that they are studying by taking required courses for their majors,” Zawacki said. “Choosing to take the honors version to gain a deeper understanding of the principles of that subject while being incentivized to do so by the honors program.”

Bordeau encourages honor students to take the new requirement option not only because of its opportunities for credits, but as it allows students to free up their time, which she finds to be a benefit for students who decide to take it.

“The new requirement option will free up time for honors students to do any extra work required in an honors class or do an honors contract, an extra project for a non-honors class for honors credit,” Bordeau said. “Our array of membership maintenance options will allow students greater choice in how they benefit from the Honors Program.”

Even though the semester has only a few weeks left, students can still become a member of the Honors Program and take part in the new requirement option. They can add an honors course for the spring 2024 semester by selecting a course with “honors” or “hnrs” in the title through an Advance Search in Look Up Classes and then choosing “Honors Course” under Attribute.

Contact Honors@nullferris.edu to learn more and discover opportunities to get involved in the Honors Program.