What Do I Actually Do in the Honors Program?
Good question! The Honors Program requirements are designed to be flexible and responsive to your academic goals, interests, and course schedules. The requirements include interesting and rewarding course projects, guided independent research, and professional development opportunities all throughout your time at VU. These activities and experiences occur within three major requirements, with one requirement completed each semester. The requirements are explained below.
Requirement I: Honors Seminar Course
Honors Seminar is a general education course that explores cultural phenomena around the world and throughout history. Honors Seminar is a Writing/Reading and Speaking Intensive course and satisfies UCC elective requirements, depending on your degree plan. It’s the only “stand-alone” course required for the program.
In Honors Seminar, we’ll study major foundational elements of society; they may include government, technology, medicine, artistry and expression, inequality, religion, and so much more. We study these issues in order to see how they continually reoccur, especially in society today. As a part of this study, one goal is to study the leaders of the past (kings, philosophers, revolutionaries) and present (tech geniuses, business leaders, presidents) and figure out their roles shaping culture so that we can see how possible it is to shape ours for the future.
Requirement II: Honors Impact Project
Do you want to get the most you can out of your major? Do you want to best prepare yourself for your dream career? The Honors Impact connects the Honors experience to the major course. You’ll work individually with a faculty member from your major and develop an “Honors Impact” to complete so that you get an additional experience and insight into your career field – beyond what others in the class are doing. This course counts for your major program credit, and it is listed as an Honors Program course as well on your transcript.
Honors Impact components might include one or more of the following:
- An additional research-based project that culminates in an essay or presentation.
- A unique exploration or experience with the course’s topics, perhaps through an internship or service project.
- An active leadership task in class meetings, through leading discussions or demonstrations as applicable.
- An active leadership role outside of class meetings, providing support and guidance for other students in the class through peer tutoring/study sessions, or other mentorship and service.
Requirement III: Honors Capstone Research & Professional Development
The Honors Program wants to give all students a chance to explore a project they care about. It might be in your major, or it might be something you’re just interested in investigating. Almost anything can be a Capstone Research Project, including research essays, new works or creations, demonstrations, internships and service learning projects, and much more. You work with a faculty member to complete the research and develop the appropriate project for you. After you’re done, you share your findings and celebrate your achievements with the Vincennes University community, your family, and yours friends.
Additionally, you’ll assist in hosting seminars with speakers from education, business, politics, and other community and thought leaders. These seminars serve as valuable networking opportunities in order to build relationships beyond Vincennes University.
Finally, you put all of your work together to create an Honors Portfolio that includes major projects from Honors Program and other materials that would best prepare you for your future endeavors, tailored to your goals and discipline.
Upon completing these requirements, you’ll have a broader knowledge of your topic (which you know employers will love) and just a better ability to think critically and solve problems (which employers constantly tell us are the two top qualities they want in employees, regardless of major or job). You’ll develop friendships and cultivate connections with faculty and others that will follow you well after your years in high school. Last, but certainly not least, you will have saved a little money thanks to the stipends and scholarships provided for Honors Students. Sounds like a win-win for everyone, right?