The Honors Program is accepting applications for the spring semester.
The Honors Program is open to freshmen and sophomores who have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and demonstrate interest in Honors credits at OCU.
The Honors Program provides a valuable credit on student’s resumes and transcripts, but its benefits go far beyond the pieces of paper, said Dr. Karen Youmans, Honors Program director.
“We think that just having the experience leads to a greater commitment to life-long learning,” Youmans said. “It leads to more curiosity and makes you an adaptive thinker in your professional field.”
The Honors Program offers special classes for students in all the schools at OCU. In many cases, there are Honors versions of required classes, such as Honors Methods of Scientific Inquiry, Honors Composition, and Honors Public Speaking. The Honors Program also offers students the option to engage in honor’s contracts, extra projects which go deep into the student’s own studies and add an honor’s credit to a non-honor’s class.
“The Honors Program definitely benefits the curricular side. It enhances class work, and provides deeper and more interdisciplinary experience,” Youmans said about the Honors courses. “But I think one of the most important benefits is this community of workers working together, inspiring each other.”
Honors students have the option to live in Banning Hall dormitory, where the communal living area is often the scene of pizza parties, game evenings and late night study sessions.
The Honors Program provides benefits while in college, but the real effects of the honors lifestyle might be felt after graduation.
“We hope that an honors degree gives advantages when applying to graduate programs, internships and even when looking for your first job,” Youmans said.
While many honors students enter the program as new freshmen, current OCU students still are encouraged to apply.
Laura Jardine, cell and molecular biology freshman, said membership in the Honors Program goes beyond the obvious benefits.
“Of course there’s the priority enrollment and the Banning housing, but that isn’t what it’s really about,” Jardine said. “I think you join a real community. You meet people from all sorts of majors and classes, but you are bonded together by the program. You can rely on the upperclassmen for help in all areas of life.”
Students who have the required GPA may fill out the Honor’s Program application, which is available online here. The application includes an essay portion. Interested applicants also are invited to visit Youmans at her office in Room 212 in Dulaney-Browne Library. The application is due March 13.