Honors Seminars for Freshmen and Sophomores

The Honors College also offers three one-credit hour seminars for freshmen and sophomores, to prepare them for Honors education and research.

First-Year One-credit Course During the Fall Semester: Introduction to University Life
The Dean teaches a one-credit honors course for all incoming honors students during the first half of the fall semester. The goals of the course are to help students understand more clearly the university environment and to help them begin to develop the library and writing skills they will use to excel in their courses.

Each class session involves a short lecture The Dean or Jean McLaughlin, the Honors Librarian. The topics of these lectures include (a) an introduction to the library, (b) the structure of the university, (c) appreciating individual differences, (d) academic integrity, and (e) writing college papers. Students work individually with Ms. McLaughlin to create a paper outline on a topic of their choice and identify and evaluate several sources for writing the paper.

Second-Year credit Course During the Fall Semester
The Dean teaches a one-credit course for sophomores that focuses on careers and development. Speakers come to the class to describe their lives and careers, and the, sometimes unusual, experiences that have helped to create who they are today. Speakers have come from the fields of medicine, social welfare, business, politics, religion, and the legal profession. Academic pathways to different careers are explored, and pre-health and pre-law advisors speak to the students. The value of and opportunities for applied learning experiences are also discussed.

Second-Year One-credit Course During the Spring Semester
The Dean teaches a one-credit honors course for all second-year honors students during the second half of the spring semester that focuses on honors research. Many honors students are anxious about participating in research and writing a senior thesis. Most have not participated in research and many have inaccurate beliefs about the honors thesis (e.g., it has to be at least 150 pages long). The goals of this course are to help students understand the types of research and scholarly work done by scholars in various disciplines and how a thesis is conceptualized and written. The course involves lectures on topics related to honors research (e.g., using human subjects). Part of this course includes several graduating honors seniors presenting their theses (about 20 minutes each). Each student spends some time talking about the process he or she went through - from identifying a topic to writing their thesis - and then presents the results of his or her thesis.