First-Year Honors

The Honors Program in the First Year brings together a community of motivated, intellectually curious students from different majors who challenge and support each other while working closely with faculty members in dedicated Honors sections. Honors in the First Year is a two-semester program consisting of a four-credit course, GE 1000 First Year Initiative: Honors-Influences of Culture, followed by a three credit Honors course in the spring semester focusing on Identity.  Honors courses are supplemented with co-curricular meetings where students, peer mentors, and faculty share a meal while listening to a guest speaker, spend a Saturday doing service work, or viewing a film and engaging in discussions related to class.

Participation in Honors in the First Year allows students to be eligible to choose to reside on campus and live in an Honors dormitory in one of Curry's residence halls. Within the residential Honors learning community, students gain a deep appreciation of the relevance of the liberal arts to their individual lives and specific academic interests. A theme-based course of study, the Honors Program in the First Year fosters interdisciplinary connections, attention to close critical reading, and supporting students as they develop their analytic and writing skills.

GE 1000 First Year Initiative: Honors-Influences of Culture presents students with a diverse collection of reading assignments on how culture influences perception, values, and different ways of framing and looking at the world.  Readings are supplemented with guest speakers and film and video presentations.  Students respond to this material with short reflective essays designed to develop critical thinking, demonstrate their understanding of the material, and develop their own reflective cross cultural framework.

The Honors Colloquium in the second semester investigates the personal identity through a multi-disciplinary approach. Faculty members from psychology, sociology, fine arts, philosophy, women's and gender studies, or politics and history supplement reading assignments as students consider both vertical and horizontal identities. Students synthesize and apply ideas through short papers and work in groups to present an in-depth discussion of some aspect of identity to the whole class.  More service work, a field trip, and a final reflective paper are designed to integrate the semester's learning, demonstrating each student's personal reaction to the course material.

The FYHP co-curricular meetings support the educational objectives by providing students with a time and place to build community, address issues related to the transition to college, and supplement course concepts outside of the classroom.  Co-curricular meetings often include the Honors Mentors, who provide peer support for Honors students in the First Year.

For further information, contact Professor Peter C. Hainer, Coordinator of First-Year Honors at Curry College: 617-333-2184,

Meet Ellery O'Hara '17 - Criminal Justice

He's big, he's Canadian and he's a hockey player. But Ellery O'Hara '17 has made himself into much more than that at Curry College. The criminal justice major from Toronto is already on a path to a successful career in law after Curry. And for him, it began with focusing on academics from Day One.

Meet Jessica Lorento '16 - Psychology

A psychology major with a minor in community health and wellness and an Honors student, Jessica Lorento '16 was looking for an academic experience in which she could have one-on-one relationships with her professors. "When I first got to Curry I met the psychology professors and right away they were super friendly and welcomed me in; that's a huge reason why I came."

Meet Jared Berman '17

"At first you hear the word 'Honors' and you think you'll be constantly stressed about papers and tests, but it's not really like that. It's a lot of discussion-based learning where you are able to hear opinions and ideas from students from all the different majors.  It creates a classroom style that is unlike anything you get in high school. I definitely encourage first-year students to try it,"says Jared Berman '17.


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