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Kelly Nichols '12
2nd Grade Teacher
Major: Elementary Education, Integrated Liberal Studies
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Honors Program FAQ's
The following are frequently asked questions about the Honors Scholar Program:
Does the Curry College Honors Program participate at the national level?
Yes indeed. Curry is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, and Curry Honors faculty have contributed as presenters at its conventions.
What is the admission process for the Honors Scholar Program (HSP)?
The HSP provides two avenues to inclusion in the program. First, students who have achieved a 3.3 overall GPA are invited by the Program Director to attend an invitational meeting at which all the detail of the Program and admission to it are explained and application materials are distributed (this meeting is augmented by several individual consultations for students whose schedule conflicted). Students then submit the application and meet with the Director for a chat about how they see the Program fulfilling their academic ambitions. Acceptance letters are then sent to appropriate candidates, and students register for the Honors Scholar Seminar.
A second avenue is acceptance through the GradPath option. GradPath offers immediate acceptance to the Scholar Program when a faculty member suggests that he or she is willing to mentor a student through the Honors Scholar process. This means that the faculty member would take a special interest in your progress, would be an enthusiastic supporter, and would serve as the thesis advisor and one of your final thesis readers. Typically, this faculty member would be one with whom you had built a cordial relationship during your first year or one of your sophomore semesters. The overture for engaging in a GradPath relationship may be initiated by either the faculty member or the student, and can be immensely valuable for both the student and faculty.
When is the best time to enter the Honors Scholar Program?
The HSP is open to students who have demonstrated high academic ability over a span of approximately 30 credits. Therefore, the entry points are at the first or second semester of the sophomore year and the first semester of the junior year, so that at least four semesters are available for the four courses in the Program.
How many students are in a seminar?
The College and the faculty have agreed that a seminar will typically include no more than fifteen students.
I hear that the first Scholar Seminar in ungraded...Is that true and why?
Yes, it certainly is true, and for very important reasons. Success in the Honors Scholar Program importantly depends on the willingness of a student to reach for excellence. Excellence is a quality of achievement, and those who reach for it need to discover a very personal reason for achieving it for its own sake. Scholar students need to reach beyond the reward of a grade toward an understanding of the inherent reward of high achievement. In order to allow that to happen in the first Seminar, therefore, we dispense with grades in favor of copious amounts of feedback-commentary on what is well done as well as suggestions for advancing the quality. That is why the essays in the Seminar are assigned on Thursday to be delivered by Monday noon via e-mail. Both of the professors in the Seminar read each essay very closely and offer commentary-and deliver the next day on Tuesday. This recurs week after week, so that the suggestions for advancement are applied in each successive essay-and the result is a very rich (some would say intense) learning experience due to the concentration of the feedback. This is hard work for both student and professor, but the results are outstanding.
The remaining seminars are graded according to thoroughly discussed rubrics-which actually have been substantially developed by students themselves in the first Seminar. In this way, you will own the process, and you will be amazed at how your thinking and writing will have advanced.
And by the way, student GPAs often go UP because the new skills developed in the first Seminar are fully applicable in every other course you take.
What do the Honors alumni/ae say about their experience in the Program?
Our Honors alumni/ae are openly enthusiastic about their positive experiences. Many say that choosing to participate was one of the most significant choices they have made for themselves. The Honors Scholar Program is a superb preparation for graduate school, and we are proud to claim that 100% of Scholar graduates who chose to attend graduate schools were accepted, and no wonder. Graduate admission committees have one core question: does this candidate present evidence that he or she is capable of graduate level study? An Honors Scholar Thesis and a strong GPA makes the answer easy!
Employers also regard achievement in the Honors Scholar Program very highly. Not only is it indication of a vigorous intellect, but it also indicates that a potential employee has the proven ability to undertake a large project and to persevere over four semester to its successful conclusion. This process is consistent with long-term achievement in the business world, and is a strong credential for students who choose to enter a career at graduation. And for graduates who choose both to be gainfully employed and to continue their educations on a continuing education basis, the Scholar Program is a double advantage!
And what's with the strange spelling of alumni/ae?
Well, its one of those academic language things. Alumnus is the masculine singular form of a Latin word (as designated by the -us ending) meaning a man who has completed a training or learning program, and alumna (with the -a ending) is the feminine singular form. So the correct way to address a male graduate is as an alumnus, and a female graduate as an alumna. In parallel fashion, the plural forms are alumni and alumnae (both generally mispronounced), and the shorthand way of including both men and women is by conjoining the endings into alumni/ae. Some folks think this is a bit awkward, but one merit lies in the full acknowledgement of both women and men, which is what ought to be, and in these times of text messaging, u cnt hv 2 mny cmplnts. lol.
How does the Honors Scholar Program relate to CLAC?
For students who need to fulfill the requirements of CLAC II, the twelve credits of the Scholar Program satisfy the twelve credits required in the first section. In every instance, all twelve credits apply to the total of 120 credits needed to graduate.
How can I access the Honors Scholar Handbook?
The Handbook describes various details and historical tidbits that may be of interest to you. You may access it online here (PDF).
For more information, please feel free to contact Dr. Peter Hainer at email@example.com or (617) 333-2184.