National Collegiate Honors Council
Sixteen Requirements for Excellence in an Honors Program
The UM-Flint Honors Program meets 15 of these Requirements
- Program set up to meet special needs of student population, with admission requirements clearly stated. Our goals and admission requirements are clearly set forth in application forms and in instructions to interviewers.
- Clear mandate from institutional administration stating objective and responsibilities in form of mission statement and a “constitution” outlining the structure and purpose. We have this mandate in our initial agreement for the founding of the program.
- Honors director reports to chief academic officer of institution. The director reports to the Associate Provost in Academic Affairs Office.
- Honors curriculum features special courses, independent study in harmony with mission statement. We have specific core courses: Hon. 155, 156, 251, 252, 390.
- Requirements of the program include a substantial portion of participant’s work (at least 20-25% is considered ideal). We include 32 credits of work toward the student’s degree specifically devoted to honors courses and projects, and five honors elections(independent study projects) attached to non-honors courses of the student’s choice.
- Program relates effectively to college work, so that course satisfy general education requirements, as well as concentration requirements, and are not developed as add-on requirements. Honors 155-156 fulfill humanities credits, general education credits in english, and Western Civilization Area Options. Honors 251-252 fulfill either humanities or social science credits, depending on what the student needs, and area options in values inquiry. Off-campus study and honors thesis (8 credits total) fulfill requirements for upper level courses in the student’s major area of concentration.
- Program visible and reputed throughout institution for excellence of students and faculty. Our students undertake undergraduate research projects throughout all of the disciplines. They continually excel and demonstrate their achievement by presentations at undergraduate and professional conferences, and by acceptance into prestigious professional schools.
- Faculty members participating should be identified with the aims of the program.
All participating faculty members are strongly committed to the aims of the program, and give their advising work as volunteer hours which are not remunerated. They clearly recognize the high value of the program and identify with its aims to such an extent that they are willing to work without extra pay.
- Director should work in close collaboration with a council of faculty members representing departments and schools served by program.
The director and assistant director work in close collaboration with the Honors Council in all areas from formulation of policy to student concerns.
- Provision for special academic counseling of honors students by faculty specially qualified for this task. The director and assistant director advise all freshmen and sophomores personally. The advisors in the concentration advise all juniors and seniors, in collaboration with the director and assistant director.
- Honors program should serve as prototype for education practices which may be used throughout the campus. The honors program includes a form of collaborative learning between students and specialists. This approach to learning, which has been part of the program from the outset, prefigured recent collaborative models of effective education.
- Program must be open to continuous and critical review and be prepared to change. We are open to change. The program has changed and is under continuous critical review. The present review formalizes an informal process that has been ongoing.
- Program will emphasize the participatory nature of the process by allowing opportunities for students to participate in regional and national conferences, programs, seminars. Our students have continuously participated in undergraduate and professional conferences at all levels, from freshman to senior. These include, among others, The Michigan Academy of Science Arts and Letters, the Meeting of the Minds, the Purdue University Undergraduate Conference in English and Philosophy.
- Two and four-year programs should have articulation agreements so that student from two-year colleges may be accepted into four-year programs.
We have a successful articulation agreement with Mott Community College, and we work with students transferring from other universities and colleges. However, this junior/senior transfer program is relatively small.
Requirements Not Yet Met:
Our program still needs to fulfill the following additional requirement for excellence in an honors program.
Program should have a committee of honors students to serve as liaison with faculty members and council. We have input from honors students who are members of the Honors Student Council, an active student group. We also have strong honors student participation the recruiting and interviewing of applicants as well as in advising freshmen during orientation.
- Program should occupy suitable quarters including honors center, honors library, lounge, reading rooms and other appropriate decor. We have an office space for honors in 517 French Hall, but we do not have the additional facilities outlined above.