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Elizabeth City State University
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Elizabeth City State University

University Honors Program

Mission

The mission of the Honors Program is to provide an enhanced and supportive learning environment for academically gifted undergraduate students. The mission will be accomplished through active involvement of faculty recognized for their excellence in teaching small Honors seminars, and opportunities for research. The Honors Program is a unit with its own budget and a Director who is administratively responsible to the Vice Chancellor/Provost through the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Director works in close cooperation with a University Honors Council and a University Student Honors Council to establish and review policies and procedures for the Honors Program.

The Honors Program is designed to challenge students with high academic potential at an accelerated rate and to provide them with exposure to a wide variety of in-depth academic, social, cultural and international experiences. The Honors Program is committed to fostering achievement at superior levels so that by graduation students will:

  1. demonstrate skills in research writing and oral presentation;
  2. design, develop, and present documented works, which demonstrate critical thinking skills;
  3. apply knowledge gained in classroom in community service activities;
  4. display exceptional proficiency in the command of both written and oral communication; and
  5. exhibit awareness of literary, cultural, social, and community service behaviors and be able to assess the values such as behaviors through reflection and demonstration.

Strategies

In addition to the high quality of instruction that students gain in their regular course work, Honors sections of many core courses have been developed in the General Education area. Being designated an Honors section of a course implies that the course work is not only more advanced, but more in-depth.

The heart of the Honors Program is the colloquium concept, which is designed to improve students' communication skills, both oral and written. Using this concept, the university is able to meet the needs of its academically talented students.

A program of cultural and social activities is provided for Honors students. These activities may include field trips, plays, concerts, tours, and workshops. They are intended to increase student interest and to improve the retention rate among Honors students.

The university provides means for the students to receive sufficient incentives, in order that they may fulfill their potential, by providing adequate recognition of outstanding student accomplishments. To ensure that adequate recognition is given to these students, the Honors Program will (1) award a certificate of participation as students successfully complete each year in the Program, (2) institute a structured series of forums under the aegis of the Honors Program, (3) initiate an Honors Newsletter/Arts Magazine, (4) identify Honors students at graduation by a specific visual symbol, and (5) record "Honors Program Graduate" on the diploma and on the transcripts of students who successfully complete the Honors requirements.

The Honors Program sponsors a peer tutoring program in which upper-division Honors students assist lower-division students in the core courses in the General Education area and in the major disciplines.

The Honors Program sponsors a Junior Mentor program that allows juniors to serve as ombudsmen to freshman Honors students.

The Honors Program sponsors debate teams to enhance student opportunities to think critically and to solve problems.

Objectives

The Honors Program's major objectives are:

1. to develop a unified program of rational and creative thinking, writing, verbal, and reading skills through the colloquial concept in an effort to improve students' skills;

2. to promote Honors seminars designed to facilitate dialogue between Honors students and faculty without the pressure of grades;

3. to participate in career workshops for Honors students in a variety of fields;

4. to arrange internships in cooperation with the Cooperative Education Program, International Program, and academic departments;

5. to enhance the overall quality of the university's academic programs and the academic climate of the Institution; and

6. to provide international study and travel experiences.

Admission Requirements

Admission for first semester freshmen into the Honors Program is determined as follows:

  1. Students who are National Merit Scholarship finalists will automatically be admitted to the Program;
  2. Students with a 3.25 average (un-weighted) for their four years of high school will be considered for admission to the Program, if they have satisfactory SAT or ACT scores and they have followed the academic track in high school. Furthermore, students will become eligible for admission to the Program only after satisfying additional criteria. These criteria may include the successful completion of an interview with the Director and/or members of the university Honors Council, teacher recommendations, a writing sample, and university placement tests.

Admission for other students into the Honors Program is determined as follows:

  1. Second semester freshmen or first semester sophomores are considered for admission to the Program if they meet the above criteria in addition to having demonstrated outstanding performance in individual university-level courses. These students must obtain letters of recommendation from the Department of General Studies and approval from the Director of the Honors Program and/or the Honors Council. The students must also:
    1. have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25;
    2. present well-written essays of interest, intent, and commitment to participate in the Program.
  2. Transfer students who were enrolled in an honors program prior to matriculation at Elizabeth City State University will be invited to join the Honors Program. These students must present proper credentials and a letter of recommendation from the Director of the Honors Program in which they participated.

Retention Requirements

To remain in the Honors Program, students must maintain overall 3.0 grade point averages during the freshman year. Students are expected to attend regular meetings of colloquia, or as called by the Director. Failure to attend these meetings or adhere to any of the requirements documented by the University Honors Council may result in expulsion from the Program.

Honors Program Probation and Reinstatement

After the freshman year, students will be placed on probation if their overall grade point average drops below 3.25. If students' grades improve to the acceptable level by the end of the semester, they may apply for reinstatement. Student requests will be considered by the Director and/or the Honors Council. Students who are on probation more than twice will not be eligible for reinstatement. Students who make Ds while maintaining the appropriate average must repeat the courses, but they will not be put on probation.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate with Honors Designation, a student shall have completed 24 student credit hours of Honors courses by HON designation or by contract. To meet additional requirements, the student must complete and defend an Honors Thesis. Upon completion of degree requirements, the overall grade point average must be 3.25. Honors Program graduates must make no less than a B in all Honors courses and cannot have a grade below a C in any course.

Honors Colloquia and Senior Thesis

The heart of the Honors Program is the colloquium concept which is designed to improve analytical, comprehensive, oral and written communication skills.

Even though the Honors Colloquia are rather flexible, the basic format will:

  1. incorporate field trips, forums and seminars;
  2. include writing and group discussion as a regular part of class activities;
  3. demonstrate an integration of classroom knowledge with everyday events;
  4. include the reading from the list of 100 Plus Great Books; and
  5. include the planning and execution of a major scholarly project which culminates in a forum or seminar for the general university public.

The colloquia will be divided according to classes as follows:

Freshman Class—Freshman Honors Colloquia

HON 194 *

1 Sem. Hr.

HON 195

1 Sem. Hr.

*In lieu of the Freshman Seminar (GE 122) course, which is offered by the Department of General Studies with additional opportunities for involvement in the areas of communication, literature, world problems, and social interaction.

Sophomore Class—Sophomore Honors Colloquia

HON 294

1 Sem. Hr.

HON 295

1 Sem. Hr.

An interdisciplinary approach used in presenting themes and ideas which are related to and integrated with everyday events, world concerns, service learning, debate, etc.

Junior Class—Junior Honors Colloquia

HON 394

1 Sem. Hr.

HON 395

1 Sem. Hr.

A thematic approach involving the "Great Ideas" (Justice, Love, Death, etc.) as a frame of reference.

Senior Class—Senior Honors Colloquia

HON 494

3 Sem. Hrs.

A demonstration of the student's research by involvement in a project in his or her major discipline (Thesis, literary or artistic production, etc.) and an oral defense.

HON 495

1 Sem. Hr.

Designed for students to complete the senior thesis or literary/artistic production, etc. Prerequisite: HON 494; and consent of Director of Honors Program.

General Studies

Honors Courses

9-15 Sem. Hrs.

Two courses in Honors English and one course in Honors Mathematics, if applicable, preferably in the Freshman year.

*Freshman Honors Colloquium

HON 194

1 Sem. Hr.

Freshman Honors Colloquium

HON 195

1Sem. Hr.

One each semester

Sophomore Honors Colloquium

HON 294

1 Sem. Hr.

Sophomore Honors Colloquium

HON 295

1 Sem. Hr.

One each semester

Junior Honors Colloquium

HON 394

1 Sem. Hr.

Junior Honors Colloquium

HON 395

1 Sem. Hr.

One each semester

**Senior Honors Colloquium

HON 494

3 Sem. Hrs.

This course includes a Senior Honors Thesis/Research Project which has to be approved by an advisor in the major Department with assent of the Honors Program Director and/or the Honors Council.

HON 495

1 Sem. Hr.

This course is designed only for students to complete and defend the Senior Honors Thesis/Research Project begun in HON 494.

Major Discipline

6–12 Sem. Hrs.

  1. Students may take 6–12 semester hours in their major disciplines by contract or Honors Option.
  2. An overall grade point average of 3.25 for Honors courses.
  3. A grade point average of at least a B earned in Senior Colloquia.
  4. A cumulative grade point average of 3.25 in all university courses.

HON 201/202 Sophomore Honors Seminar (3; 3) (F/S)

The Honors Seminar is a facilitated course that can be taught by multiple faculty members. The course will have an interdisciplinary theme. The Honors Seminar is designed for all sophomore-level or above Honors Program students.

Faculty members propose the theme of the course and outline the format of the class. In addition, faculty members organize the course, invite guest lecturers, lead primary discussions, give assignments, and evaluate students. The course must include intensive reading, writing, and research.

HON 301/302 Junior Honors Seminar (3; 3) (F/S)

The Honors Seminar is a facilitated course that can be taught by multiple faculty members. The course will have an interdisciplinary theme. The Honors Seminar may be taken by all sophomore-level or above students and transfer students. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor of Honors Program Director.

Faculty members propose the theme of the course and outline the format of the class. In addition, faculty members organize the course, invite guest lecturers, lead primary discussions, give assignments, and evaluate students. The course must include intensive reading, writing, and research. As a requirement of the course, an oral presentation of the research work of this course must be presented at an on-campus research forum.

HON 399/499 Honors Independent Study (3; 3) (F/S)

Study of special topic(s) in consultation with, and completed under the supervision of a member of the Honors faculty, or faculty upon approval of the Director of the Honors Program and Honors Council. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing in the Honors Program.

* In lieu of Freshman Seminar

** Students may take two semesters to complete the Senior Colloquium project with an IP (In Progress) grade for the first semester.

Honors Credit by Contract

Honors credit by contract will enable students to receive honors credit in regularly scheduled courses in their majors.

H-option courses will likely include one or more of the following criteria:

  1. reading in addition to that normally required for the course, attested to either by oral presentation or written work;
  2. guided research involving either data from primary sources, a laboratory investigation, or field research resulting in a creative presentation or an individual report with annotated bibliography and other features normally incorporated into an advanced-level-report; and/or
  3. class or peer presentations which are prepared, designed, and delivered to a standard that will qualify for honors credit.

Regardless of the individual structure of H-option contracts, they are all likely to share one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. provision for additional consultation between student and instructor;
  2. inclusion of data sources or a laboratory investigation beyond that routinely required in a course;
  3. evaluation methods which are specific and rigorous; and
  4. choice of subject matter, project or laboratory problem within the sphere of interest of the student and instructor.

Students pursuing H-option credit are responsible for all regularly scheduled work in a course in addition to any special H-option requirements.

University Honors Program Governance

The Program is headed by the Honors Program Director, who works in conjunction with the University Honors Council. The Program is a member of The National Collegiate Honors Council, The Southern Regional Honors Council, and The National Association of African American Honors Programs. The Program also has a Student Honors Council, one member of which serves on the University Honors Council.