Understanding QU’s Honors Program
By Chloe Nott
Quincy University’s honors program provides select students with the opportunity to further challenge themselves academically and engage in a shared experience in the academic community.
Eligible students may join the program by invitation or petition. Honor program students must maintain a 3.4 GPA and a minimum of a B grade in honors courses. Students are required to take 18 hours of honors courses.
There are currently 192 students in the honors program at QU. Over 30 students joined this semester.
Daniel Strudwick Ph.D., is the director of the honors program. Strudwick emphasized the importance of teachers knowing the extra work should not be punitive, but enhance the student’s experience.
“We want it to be beneficial so that when a student finishes they say wow I’m glad I did that extra project, that I really learned more than I would have if I didn’t do the project,” Strudwick said.
QU’s honors program is university-wide, meaning that you can make any course an honors course.
To make a 3 hour course an honors course, the student must complete additional work or a project that encourages the student to think more critically and creatively. This work is decided upon at the beginning of the semester, and can be a combined effort by professor and student to decide on the project. Once decided, the project must be approved by Strudwick.
Some past projects include reading original sources, visiting sites or places relevant to the course and presenting findings to class, student organised recitals, and in depth research on a topic of interest within the course.
Theology professor Matthew Bates Ph.D., usually has at least one student a semester in his classes in the honors program. Bates often collaborates with students to come up with a project they can complete to make the course an honors course.
“I usually tend to let them somewhat choose their project so it’s something they’re interested in,” Bates said.
Bates hopes that students can finish a course knowing they learned something interesting and want to keep learning.
Along with the intellectual benefits of the honors program, members also have access to other benefits. Such benefits include social events, pre-registration, travel opportunities, and recognition upon completion of their degrees. In addition, if an honors student takes over 18 credit hours in a semester, the additional hours will be free of charge.
Despite the enticing benefits, many students choose not to join as they are unaware of what being a member involves or believe they don’t have time for the extra work. With the confusion of what an honors course is, and how to create one, students can feel the effort is not worth the rewards.
QU freshman Reece Nagao was invited to join the honors program, but decided not to join. Nagao is studying nursing and is on QU’s women’s lacrosse team.
“It was a little confusing as to what the honors program entails and how much extra work I have to do,” Nagao said.
Strudwick hopes that students and professors can gain a better understanding of what the honors program is, and what the advantages of being an honors student are.
For more information Strudwick suggested looking on QU’s website or visiting his office with any questions a student may have regarding joining the honors program.