Nov 12, 2019  
2017-2018 Shepherd University Catalog 
    
2017-2018 Shepherd University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors Program


Honors Program

The Honors Program at Shepherd University is designed to provide a varied and stimulating curriculum to students who have demonstrated the ability and willingness to engage in intellectual challenges. Honors courses encourage critical thinking, in-depth analysis, and a greater level of student involvement. Most honors courses incorporate field trips to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore; honors courses have also included international trips as well as travel within the United States in conjunction with course work in history, literature, and culture.

Mission of the Honors Program
Honors Academic Requirements
Special Features of the Honors Program
Required Honors Courses
Scholars Program

 

Mission of the Honors Program

The mission of the Honors Program at Shepherd University is to create an academic environment in which gifted students can experience education in a dynamic and interactive way. Through seminars that promote active engagement in the subject area, independent research, student-centered curriculum, and innovative teaching techniques, students in the Honors Program have the opportunity to become more self-directed in their learning. In the Honors Program, education does not simply take place in the classroom or through texts. Students become directly involved in the area of study through field trips, one-to-one interaction with their professors and classmates, and a variety of activities outside the classroom, including international and domestic travel. In addition to expanding the students' academic horizons, the Honors Program encourages student leadership and service to the community. The aim is to create graduates of Shepherd University's Honors Program who are independent thinkers, lifelong learners, and responsible, socially conscious citizens. Honors students will leave Shepherd equipped to attend the finest graduate schools in the country and to be successful as solid contributors in their chosen professional careers.

Honors Academic Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Approximately 40 students are selected each year to enter the Honors Program. Admission to the program typically requires a high school grade point average of 3.6 or above. Students must also have a combined SAT score of 1200 or better or, if the student has taken the ACT for admission, a 27 or above is usually required. Lower SAT/ACT scores may be offset by an outstanding GPA and vice versa. During the application process, students also will provide a writing sample.

Required Honors Courses

In order to remain in the Honors Program, students must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in Honors courses. Students must also participate in all required Honors courses. During the first year, Honors students must participate in the Honors core: Honors History of Civilization and Honors Literature and Culture. This Honors learning community introduces first-year Honors students to major types of expository and critical writing in conjunction with the study of Western civilization and culture. Topics focus on philosophical thought throughout history with emphasis on changes in government, economics, arts, science, and literature. Honors students may also choose Honors courses in a specific discipline or special topics courses. Honors sections of many general studies courses are often offered and have included political science, history, English, economics, sociology, art, music, and Core Curriculum courses. In addition, Honors students must participate in at least one Honors Seminar. The topics of the seminars vary from semester to semester, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary explorations of provocative and timely topics. In the past, these courses have included analysis of environmental issues; an exploration of the arts through theater, fine art, music, and dance; and the study of the history and culture of regions both within the United States and on an international level.

During the junior year, Honors students begin research toward a capstone project to be completed as a graduation requirement. After completing a required one-credit Honors Project Preparation class, each student chooses a mentor from the faculty and begins to formulate a reading list that would contribute to a capstone project proposal. In collaboration with his/her mentor, the student develops an original idea about the chosen topic and then analyzes the information using research to substantiate this idea. The final requirement is that the student must then present the project during an Honors Capstone Project Presentation session scheduled toward the end of each semester.

In order to graduate from the Honors Program, students must complete at least 25 hours of Honors courses including the required core courses (HNRS 102  and HNRS 205 , 6 hours),Honors electives (11 hours), one Honors Seminar (3 hours), the Honors Project Preparation class (1 hour), Directed Readings (3 hours), and the Honors Capstone Project (1-3 hours). All other Honors credits are acquired through electives.

Special Features of the Honors Program

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Honors Conferences

Shepherd University maintains membership in the Southern Regional Honors Council and the National Collegiate Honors Council. Opportunities to present research, serve on student panels, and attend workshops at the yearly conferences of each organization are available to members in good standing in the Honors Program. A substantial portion of conference expenses is paid by the Honors Program when a student participates.

Honors Advisory Board

The Honors Advisory Board consists of an elected faculty member from each school, the Honors director, a representative from Residence Life, past Honors directors, and four Honors student representatives. The board meets at least once each fall and spring semester to discuss and evaluate the Honors Program, plan for new events, and collaborate on decisions about policy and procedures.

International Study

The Honors Program utilizes a variety of options for students to study abroad. Junior and senior Honors students who remain in good standing and have taken at least 12 hours of Honors courses may participate in an Honors subsidized study abroad opportunity in Costa Rica. Students spend 10 days in Costa Rica learning about language, culture, history, politics, economics, and environmental science. They then return and complete a project on a topic of interest within one of those areas.

The Honors Center also works closely with the International Study Abroad Office at Shepherd University to coordinate international study and travel. An Honors student who wishes to pursue an independent language course in a foreign country is encouraged to research the course of interest and submit a proposal to the Honors director and the Modern Languages Department. This proposal should include an overview or syllabus of the class, the host college/university, and the credit hours expected. In some cases, depending on the rigor of the coursework, the student may receive Honors credit for this class.

Shepherd University Honors Center

Martin Hall is the home of the Shepherd University Honors Center and is reserved for the work, recreation, and residence of Honors students. Martin Hall is the official Honors residence hall. Students in Martin share suite-style rooms with four people per suite. The Honors Program Office is situated on the first floor and houses a computer lab and lounge, which are open to all Honors students 24 hours a day, seven days a week for studying and socializing.

Honors Trips

Once a year students in the Honors Program travel to New York City. A favorite of Honors students, the New York trip offers freedom to explore the Big Apple. The Honors Program provides transportation to and from New York and a discounted room rate. Participating students cover expenses for food, entertainment, and accommodations. From time to time, the Honors Program will also commission the use of a bus or van to take a day trip to any number of interesting places and events. Examples include the Renaissance Festival in Westminster, Maryland, and the Performing Arts Center at George Mason University.

Required Honors Courses

Honors First-Year Core

This Honors learning community introduces first-year Honors students to the study of Western civilization and culture. Topics focus on philosophical thought throughout history with emphasis on changes in government, economics, arts, science, and literature. Field trips often include trips to Washington and Baltimore museums and theaters. Trips focus on the literary and historical connections of political thought and literary development. (HNRS 102 and HNRS 205)

Directed Reading/Honors Capstone Project

In conjunction with the Capstone requirement within a student's major, Honors students are required to take a Directed Readings and Capstone course to prepare for their final Capstone project. After completing a proposal in the Directed Reading course, a candidate in Honors shall have one semester to complete the Honors Capstone Project, the final requirement for graduation from the Honors Program. The project topic should be chosen from within the candidate's major or minor field of study. In many cases, the Honors project will take the form of a thesis and include support of the thesis statement. Students may also opt to complete a project (this may be applicable for such majors as graphic design, etc.) A project must also have a proposal leading up to its completion. The thesis or project shall culminate in a formal presentation of research to an audience consisting of faculty, students, friends, and family. (HNRS 488, HNRS 489)

Scholars Program

The Scholars Program at Shepherd University is designed for high-performing upperclass and transfer students who desire Honors education but are not able to complete the full four-year Honors Program. Like the four-year Honors Program, the two-year Scholars Program provides a varied and stimulating curriculum to students who have demonstrated the ability and willingness to engage in intellectual challenges.

Scholars Program Requirements

Approximately 20 students are selected each year to enter the Scholars Program. To be considered for the program, a student must have earned at least 24 credits at Shepherd University or another accredited institution of higher learning (including accredited community colleges) and have earned a grade point average of 3.3 or above. Interested students must complete the Scholars Program application and provide a writing sample.

Required Honors Courses for the Scholars Program

In order to remain in the Scholars Program, students must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all Honors courses. Scholars Program students must participate in at least one Honors Seminar. The topics of the seminars vary from semester to semester, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary explorations of provocative and timely topics. During the junior year, students begin research toward a capstone project to be completed as a graduation requirement. After completing a required one-credit Honors Project Preparation class, each student chooses a mentor from the faculty and begins to formulate a reading list that would contribute to a capstone project proposal. In collaboration with his/her mentor, the student develops an original idea about the chosen topic and then analyzes the information using research to substantiate this idea. The final requirement is that the student must then present the project during an Honors Capstone Project Presentation session scheduled toward the end of the semester.

In order to graduate from the Scholars Program, students must complete at least 11 hours of Honors courses including one Honors Seminar (3 hours), the Honors Project Preparation class (1 hour), Honors Directed Readings (3 hours), and the Honors Capstone Project (1-3 hours). The three remaining honors credits are acquired through electives; students may choose among Honors courses in a specific discipline, a second Honors seminar, or an Honors section of a Core Curriculum course.