EMU honors program graduates to honors college
YPSILANTI - Twenty years after graduating its first class, Eastern Michigan University’s Honors Program has taken the next logical step. The program is now officially known as the Honors College.
“The change represents EMU’s strong commitment to undergraduate education and academic excellence,” said Donald Loppnow, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The Honors College will continue to foster an active learning environment conducive to student success through faculty student collaborations and undergraduate research.”
The EMU Honors program began in 1984 with approximately 230 students. The College now has nearly 1,000 students, many of them living in Wise Residence Hall, where the Honors College office is housed.
“In the short term, the change to a college will make us more visible on campus and reinforce the message that academics are the priority at EMU,” said James Knapp, interim director of the Honors College. “It will help us keep pace with our competitors in recruiting, as many of them already have or are considering establishing honors colleges. In the longer term, having a college will enable us to diversify and expand Honors programming.”
Unlike the model at many other universities, EMU’s Honors Program has never been physically housed in a college. The shift will eventually result in the Honors College having a centrally located headquarters on campus, a location which has yet to be determined, Knapp said.
During the first year of the Honors College format, academic requirements for honors students will remain unchanged. To graduate with honors, students must apply to the Honors College and either complete 24 credits in special honors sections or 12 credits of honors coursework in their major, including a senior thesis. Students who complete both options receive highest honors. All members of the Honors College also must complete a community service requirement and participate in co-curricular cultural and leadership activities on- and off-campus. The Honors College also sponsors excursions to local cultural events and faculty lectures for the entire University community.
“The move to a college will help Honors develop at the pace of our students,” Knapp said. This year, the Honors College welcomes approximately 300 new students — what Knapp terms “among the largest and most accomplished in our history” — with an average GPA of 3.8. “We want to be well positioned to accommodate the academic needs and intellectual appetites these students will bring to campus.”
Students can apply to the Honors College by downloading an application on the Web site, www.emich/honors or by visiting the Honors Office in Wise Hall.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.