Honors Program becomes experiential

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Hal Fulmer

Dr. Hal Fulmer is the Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate and First Year Studies and the Director of John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success and Eldridge Hall.

Every fall is a new beginning and the start of a fresh academic year. While most people ring in the New Year on January 1, at Troy University, we do so in mid-August. It’s decidedly warmer than the January event but no less important!

This fall on the Troy Campus also marks the beginning of an exciting transition for the University Honors Program (UHP). The UHP at Troy University has been in place for many years and has yielded a great many outstanding students and graduates across those years.  

Beginning this fall, new freshman students who would like to be a part of the University Honors Program will need to submit an application request to honors@troy.edu by Sept. 16. Students will need an ACT score of 26 (or its SAT equivalent) to be considered.  All students who meet the ACT requirement, make an application and have a fall semester grade point average of 3.25 or higher will be invited to join the UHP in the spring semester. The traditional HON 1100 class, taken by all Honors students, will be offered in the spring semester.

The UHP is moving away from a curriculum-based program and into an Honors Experience for the students. In the past, students needed to take a large number of Honors-designated courses, as well as a foreign language, to earn the University Honors Program designation at graduation. The Honors Experience will focus on what this title suggests: great opportunities for Honors students to engage the life of the University to enhance their learning, their credentials and their success.

Specifically, the Honors Experience is being planned with the following goals (specifics are still being established so this list is by no means complete). As the UHP program unfolds, I envision Honors students having the chance to craft significant parts of their individual General Studies Program. Each Honors student would be assigned a faculty mentor, as well as an Honors advisor. Each Honors student would be expected to participate in a study abroad trip, a faculty-led research team or significant service project. Honors students would complete an Honors Thesis in their senior year, led by their own Honors Thesis Committee. The theses would be presented by the Honors students at a public event, celebrating their hard work and achievement. Throughout the year, Honors students would be invited to “VIP” events, open only to UHP students, and, of course, there would still be opportunities to take Honors sections in selected courses. When University Honors Students interview for jobs or admission to graduate or medical school, imagine the kind of conversation that they can have with these kinds of experiences!

I invite you to consider the University Honors Program (as a new freshman student with at least an ACT of 26 or its equivalent) by making an application by the Sept. 16 deadline. If you have any questions, send us an email at honors@troy.edu, or give us a call at the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies (334-670-5747) or drop by the office at 117 Eldridge Hall in the John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success.

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