Like our students, we know the Honors Program can always learn and improve, so this fall we are implementing a few changes designed to enhance the Honors experience! We’ve enjoyed six exciting years of growth and progress since we launched our interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the exploration of great questions. Now, we are excited to announce new courses and updates to advance your Honors journey!
New requirements are effective Fall 2020 for incoming freshmen and others new to the program. While the changes will not impact previously committed Honors students, it is exciting news for everyone in our Honors community since many of the changes are a direct result of student and faculty input.
1. Provide a better overview of the program for incoming students.
Pre-Honors: Beginning this Fall, students who are interested in the Honors Program will enroll in Pre-Honors! This gives students new to our Honors community a chance to learn about the Honors experience through two introductory courses and “try it on for size!” before completing their Honors enrollment in a commitment interview with an Honors advisor.
New Introductory Course: This semester we launched a new course, HONRS 110: Introduction to the Honors Experience. This half-credit hour class provides a general introduction to Honors, an overview of program requirements, and introduces students to the Honors community. Led by our amazing Honors advisement team, this course can be taken before or concurrently with HONRS 120. We are excited to provide a more structured way for students to explore the program at the outset and create a plan toward graduating with University Honors. We have over 400 students enrolled in HONRS 110 on-line this fall!
2. Refine the Honors Leadership Development component.
New Leadership Courses: In Spring 2021 we will launch HONRS 310, a new 1 credit course to provide Honors students with instruction in leadership theories, principles and concepts with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration. Then, students will put that training to use in a practicum experience in HONRS 390R. Like now, a variety of experiences may qualify for practicum credit, including serving on the Honors Student Leadership Council. Watch for details in the coming months!
3. Award academic credit where credit is due.
Thesis Credit: Honors students put in a great deal of time, work and effort toward the Leadership Development and Thesis requirements and deserve academic credit for their investment! In addition to the above-mentioned Leadership Development courses, Honors students will also receive 3-6 credits in HONRS 499R for their thesis work.
Each of these changes is designed to better achieve the Honors Program mission to develop student-scholars from across the university who will become broad thinkers, creative problem solvers, and influential leaders. We are confident each student who graduates with BYU University Honors will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to apply the assumptions, methodologies, and practices from a variety of disciplines to examine issues and solve problems.
- Apply skills of inquiry to conduct original and substantive research.
- Articulate concepts and ideas intelligently, clearly, and persuasively through writing and other forms of communication at an exceptional level.
- Exhibit leadership and influence in a collaborative environment to advance progress and effect constructive change.
Thanks to all of the students, faculty, and administrators who provided valuable feedback, offered suggestions, and spent time evaluating their experiences over the last several years in order to help us refine and improve the program for those who follow. Your contributions are invaluable! If you still have questions or want to make sure you are on track with your progress in Honors, our Honors advisors are happy to meet with you (Zoom or face-to-face). Schedule an appointment on the Honors website!