EMU Honors College helps students succeed

Eastern Michigan University offers many academic opportunities for students in good standing, but The Honors Program is the cornerstone out of all the academic programs offered at the university.

“This year’s goal is to build on the success of the Honors College and to focus on making sure honor students have the tools and resources they need to do the work involving graduate school applications, proposals, and job markets,” said the new interim assistant vice president Dr. Mary Ramsey.

The HC provides the intimacy of a small, liberal arts education within the context of a large, comprehensive university, according to EMU’s website. Educational and cultural experiences are provided through honors courses and extra-curricular activities that encourage “scholarly curiosity, leadership, civic engagement, and diversity.”

Students who apply and are accepted into the college hold a 3.5 or better grade point average. SAT scores are also taken into consideration depending on the year of the student, and recommendations are required.

The HC offers opportunities for a variety of experiences that aid the development of student’s appreciation for creativity, arts, and sciences, critical issues facing contemporary society, and diversity among people and their cultures, as stated on EMU’s website.

Being a part of this program, allows students to have first pick on classes during registration. Members get to apply for classes much earlier than other students do.

“Being able to have first pick on everything is super convenient,” said junior Deziray Taylor. “I don’t have to worry about a class that I need being filled or having.”

The program also gives students the opportunity to live in designated honors dorms. These dorms are located in Downing Hall and Best Hall. Both halls are connected to The Commons.

Members develop and foster their research skills through the honors college, as well. Students learn the importance of research in order to successfully prepare them for graduate school and professional work.

“Writing a senior thesis, being able to work with deadlines for the thesis, and having input form staff along the way is probably my favorite thing about being in the Honors College,” said senior Lorant Peeler.

The Symposium is a one-day showcase hosted by the College of Arts & Sciences to recognize and celebrate the academic work of EMU undergraduate students. This showcase gives a great opportunity for participating students to share the results of their research through an oral presentation, poster display or exhibit format, as mentioned on the university’s website.

“The senior thesis, is probably the most challenging and beneficial thing that I look forward to doing because it’s like taking your whole four years of undergrad and turning it into a 40 to 60 page paper,” said sophomore Hajer Abuzir.

The honors program also has ways to help members connect with one another.

“I was unattached during my first year and a half as a member of the Honors College, but the program here helped me get more involved and social,” said Peeler.

Every year, The HC holds book clubs, picnics, ice-cream socials and trips to Stratford, Ontario. These events help bring members, faculty and staff together to interact and bond.

“Last year there was an advocacy institute here at the college. Through this workshop, I helped develop a program on campus and it helped me realize that I can have an impact on student’s lives,” said Peeler.

In addition to the advocacy institute, there is also a Black Honors Student Organization (BHSO), a Commuters Program and a Running Club.

The BHSO provides career and personal development, works to improve both the recruitment efforts and retention rates of African American honors students. The commuters program helps keep honor commuters connected through The HC calendar and Commuter Blog.

The Running Club provides students with a community-oriented environment that has been shown to foster relationships, build connections, provide leadership opportunities and encourage participation in The HC.

“The running club is really fun, it’s a way to make friends,” said Abuzir who’s also the club leader. “We meet every Tuesday and Wednesday at 6 p.m. You don’t actually have to run, you can finish at your own pace.”

The college graduated 181 students during the 2016-17 school year and 130 during the school year before, according to associate director John Feldkamp.

Dr. Ramsey said that some of the goals for this school year is to continue the growth of The HC, and to help students connect with resources around campus to help with job searches and much more.

“I would like to see students who qualify for honors to apply, show commitment, savviness, dedication and see honors as an opportunity to help them achieve,” said Ramsey.

For more information on requirements and how to apply visit emich.edu or contact The Honors College at emuhonors@emich.edu.

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