Assistant News Editor
The Troy University Honors Program is in a transition phase following the departure of Dr. Ken LaBrant, former program director.
Dr. Hal Fulmer, Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate and First Year Studies, said the transition should not create any adverse effects on current students.
“On the short term, our main goal is to create no problems nor penalize any current honors students in the program during the transition including juniors and graduating seniors,” Fulmer said. According to Fulmer, the transition will be a multi-step process with the first being to gather as much data, feedback and ideas as possible.
“First, we are listening to individual students, and having dozens of conversations with student representatives, faculty and administration,” he said.Fulmer said the goal of the transition is to enhance the students’ learning experience and to make the program more beneficial to students on the long term.
“We are aiming for the program to be more contemporary and more flexible,” Fulmer said. “We want to encourage students to add experiences such as study abroad, academic research, meaningful projects in the community, and honors thesis and showcase day, to their honors curriculum.”
According to Anh Nguyen, a junior accounting major from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and an honors student, there are perks to being a part of the honors program, but it has not added much to her learning experience.
“I get to register for classes before others and it saves me from boring general studies,” Nguyen said.
Samantha Sabrina Haque, a freshman biomedical science major from Louisville, Kentucky, and an honors student, said honors classes help students excel but could be improved by added extracurricular learning.
“Professors hold honors students to a higher level of expectation, and I hope in the future will continue to do so because it offers a healthy challenge for us to excel,” Haque said. “I hope they continue to provide experiential-based learning, not just academically but outside of the classroom, as well.”
Hope Griffin, a sophomore English major from Huntsville and an honors student, said students who are not part of the program should be encouraged to enroll in honors classes because the classes improve major exploration.
“Academic exploration is much more wholesome when you are learning from professors that are passionate about their field of study, and in my experience professors that teach honors classes usually are,” Griffin said.
“The revamped program aims to be more than just an enhanced degree on paper,” Fulmer said.