Helene Klein, Assistant Dean of Honors and Accelerated Programs
The faculty members who offer courses in the Honors Program come from many different academic disciplines.
About the Honors Program
Arcadia’s Honors Program integrates the Honors students’ drive to succeed academically with their ability and desire to be change makers. Students in this integrative and dynamic program become a community of learners, doers and emerging professionals as they engage in a challenging, interdisciplinary curriculum that explores new avenues of inquiry and venues of learning while putting their talents to work in service-learning and real world opportunities both at Arcadia and on a more global campus.
Specialized opportunities for professional-level scholarship, co-curricular experiences and presentations are provided to ready these students for their professional careers and maximize their marketability.
The goals of the Honors Program are to:
- Establish a community of Honors Students that fosters scholarly pursuits and owning your strengths to create positive change.
- Provide Honors courses that are academically inviting and challenging while encouraging students’ talents and broadening their knowledge base.
- Provide opportunities beyond normal campus activities to expand and encourage cultural, scientific, entrepreneurial and artistic appreciation.
- Encourage Honors Students to actively participate in campus activities, foster collaborative teams, and create new campus programs and events.
- Involve Honors Students actively in the Honors Program through the Honors Council and by initiating Honors projects.
- Ensure all Honors Students know they can change, create, explore, partner and grow in a safe, but also challenging community of learners, teammates and friends.
Some Benefits of the Honors Program:
- Honors Students are given priority registration for classes.
- Honors Students are permitted to take up to 20 credits per semester, after their first semester.
- Honors Students are members of the Honors Council, which organizes regular fun, cultural, professional, social justice and community service events.
- Honors Students can participate in specialized leadership programming and opportunities.
- Honors Student have an opportunity to gain valuable professional experiences outside the classroom, which include running Arcadia’s online scholarly journal, mentoring high school students, and participating as campus leaders on the Honors Executive Board.
- Honors Students can participate in the Alumni Mentor Program that pairs Honors Students with alumni for the duration of their college career.
- Honors Students can present at local and national Honors conferences.
- Honors Students can apply for one-on-one meetings with our Executive-in-Residence.
- Honors Students can receive mentorship for application for prestigious, competitive scholarships.
Co-curricular and Extracurricular Opportunities
Students in the Honors Program are given access to a wide variety of co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities and are encouraged to take a leadership role in planning and implementing these activities which range from creating academic exhibitions of scholarship on campus, running an online scholarly journal, presenting at conferences or planning a large variety of campus wide activities which often have a community service focus. Students are encouraged to make the extracurricular program their own and have a great deal of latitude in brainstorming, creating vision, planning, marketing and implementing events that motivates them, and will engage the larger community, including (some previous examples):
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live shadow cast.
- Executive in Residence Series
- Adulting 101
- Community Service Trips
- Honors Retreat
- Honors Conference Presentations
- Murder Mystery Dinner in the Castle
- AU Stop Hunger Games
- Celebrating Cultures
- Senior (citizen) Prom
- Arcadia’s Next Great Baker
- The Big Idea Competition
- And more…
Honors Program Admission Policy
First-year students who score at least 1350 or 29 or better on the ACT Composite and are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class (if their school ranks students) will be considered for admission into the program.
Transfer students with a GPA of 3.50 or better will be reviewed. Also, current full-time Arcadia students can self-nominate for the program if they have a 3.50 GPA or higher.
Students who fall below these credentials, but would still like to be considered for Honors Program acceptance can apply to the program through this application: www.arcadia.edu/honorsapplication. These applications are rolling. Review of these applications will begin January 1st, so it is recommended that students get their applications in early as the program is competitive.
Requirements for the Honors Program
Honors Students must complete the academic requirements to graduate from the program. The co-curricular and extra-curricular elements are encouraged, but not required. Honors Program students must maintain a grade point average of 3.35 to remain in good standing.
For Students Who Begin as Freshman or Sophmores:
Honors Students who start the program in their first year may be placed in the Honors section of the first year writing course, EN101 Thought and Expression I. The Honors section of this course includes an intensive, integrated, multi-disciplinary project.All Honors Students who start the program as a first-year or a sophomore must take the following:
- HN 201 The Study of Self and Teams , an interdisciplinary course focusing on leadership practice and reflection. This course must be taken by the end of the sophomore year.
- HN 202 Honors Project, an independent research project outside the student’s major area of study for 2 credits. All Honors Project students are given a mentor in the field of their desired project.\
- Three (3) HN 390 Honors Colloquia, which are investigative, interdisciplinary seminars addressing open-ended topics. These seminars are unique to the Honors Program and explore topics not normally covered in the standard curriculum. Every Honors Student must ensure that one of their HN390s has an “L” designation, which means the class will expose students to problem solving, leadership theory and an opportunity to do a serious service learning project or similar quality experience. The “L” designated classes all focus on teamwork, problem solving, experiential learning outside the classroom and reflective practice. In addition, occasionally HN 390 courses are organized with a study abroad component, which typically includes eight to ten days spent studying abroad.
In lieu of ONE of the HN390 requirement, Honors Students can choose to adapt an upper level class in their major, by completing an additional project and then handing in adaptation paperwork to the Honors Director and the Registrar.
All Honors Students must have taken at least one Honors course beyond EN101H by the end of their sophomore year. Failure to do so will result in being removed from the program at the end of the sophomore year. Students who know they cannot take an Honors class by that time, but who do not wish to be removed from the program, can avoid dismissal by petitioning the program director prior to the end of April of their sophomore year and providing a plan to get through Honors requirements prior to graduation.
For Students Who Begin After their Sophmore Year:
Requirements for those entering the program after their sophomore year or students part of an accelerated program:
Those entering the program after their sophomore year or as part of an accelerated program must take any four (4) Honors classes, but one must be HN201. Students can still do an adaptation in lieu of one class.
Honors Courses (HN)
HN 201 The Study of Self and Teams
This course focuses on students learning to own their strengths and to use them to enable their own success and those of their teammates. It exposes students to presentations by leaders in various fields, and provides opportunities to interview these leaders. Students also face weekly leadership mini-challenges/hypothetical situations that require ongoing leadership skill development and teamwork. A portfolio of metacognitive reflections is required to complete the class.
HN 202 Honors Project
With guidance from a teaching team, including one of the Honors Program advisers and a mentor, a student selects and pursues an independent project outside his or her major area of study. Projects encourage students to explore and develop their own various talents and interests.
HN 390 Honors Colloquia
Honors Colloquia focus on interdisciplinary topics. These courses are designed specifically for Honors students. Topics vary across the disciplines. Some Honors HN 390 courses are specifically designed to have a leadership (L) focus. These classes typically include community partnership; intensive use of outside resources; focus on teamwork, problem solving and other skills needs to develop proficiency in leadership.
Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors in the Honors Program and open to sophomores with prior approval of the Honors Program Directors.
Examples of typical HN 390 Honors Colloquia include:
Adaptation for Honors Credit: Students may adapt one upper-level course in their majors for Honors credit to fulfill one of their HN 390 requirements. Students should approach and ask the faculty member if the course may be taken for Honors credit. The student will fulfill all regular requirements of the course plus additional responsibilities decided on by the professor and student. These may include additional readings, research, papers and/or related projects. The student should then fill out the Adapted Course Form and return copies to the Honors Program Director and the Registrar.