Honors Program offers a creative outlet opportunity for students

Adriana Valtinson, contributing writer

Inquiring minds of campus that would like to further their academic goals should consider applying their efforts to creating a contract for the Honors Program. The Honors Program offers a course for discovery that enhances the students’ comprehension for a chosen class.

In order to apply for the Honors Program, a student must have a 3.5 GPA and “a lot of intellectual curiosity.” Completing 12 hours of honors work allows the student to graduate cum laude. Though students with lower GPAs cannot graduate cum laude, they can still do honors work that will show on their transcripts, which Toni Castillo, Honors Program director, said might help when looking for a job. Castillo explained that many of the students who do honors projects are not actually in the Honors Program, “they just have something they want to pursue.”

Besides intellectual stimulation, Castillo said the program also offers tuition waver scholarships, assistance with textbooks and cash awards. “Students also get to choose the work they want to do,” Castillo explained, “so they get to pursue intellectual passions.”

Students who wish to do an honors project must meet with the professor they want to do the project for to discuss the contract. Once the contract is given to Castillo, it is up to the student and professor to complete the project. Castillo said the project is not graded, nor will it figure into the final grade for the class, and there is no penalty if the project cannot be completed.

“Students do a huge range of [projects],” Castillo said. The project can be a paper, video, survey or anything else the student can think of, but “it has to be intellectual in nature.” Other options for fulfilling an honors contract include taking an honors class or covering the Great Issues Lecture Series.

“If in a semester they don’t want to go above and beyond in a class, they can watch a series of lectures, a film and work with Castillo to write a 12 page response. It gives a lot of flexibility and creates a loosely connected community who are talking about the topic,” Castillo said. This year’s topic is “The Democratization of Information.” The topic covers issues of how we receive information, how that information is used and what effect this spread of information has on society.

Students interested in the Honors Program can go to rose.edu or contact Castillo at 733-7512 or Fine Arts Room 115.

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