HONORS COLLEGE WORTH IT
Nan Buti – Printz Reporter
Honors classes are more worthwhile, more stimulating, and more motivating than regular classes. College is a journey meant for students to embark on to enrich their educational experience and not only that, but their life experience. By students enrolling in honors classes, their chances at a better future grow as a result of their sparked ambitions.
Class size, professors, course load and student engagement play a significant role in the overall college experience, and the Honors College allows for the best in all categories by offering the right class size and quality professors.
The Honors College at The University of Southern Mississippi is the 6th oldest public honors college in the nation, as well as the oldest in the state, and offers several educational opportunities to high-achieving students. How could anyone disregard taking an advantage of such an opportunity? Although the sound of taking rigorous honors courses may be intimidating, the benefits far outweigh the fearful pre-notions.
“I think it’s much more intimidating to be lost in a crowd than it is to have your faculty members know you and care about you,” said Dean of the Honors College Ellen Weinauer. “Also, as an educator, I have always believed that it is my job to hold the bar high, and then to give students the tools and support they need to reach that bar.”
With honors classes being smaller than the average class, students are allowed to interact with one another and more importantly, their professors. The small settings of the honors classes are beneficial in many ways for students in taking any course.
“In these small classes, students don’t get lost,” Weinaur said. “They know one another and their professor well, and they are able to engage the material more directly and fully than they would in a larger class where information is delivered to them.”
Although not all institutions’ honors curriculums and advantages are the same, the overall beneficial nature of being a part of the Honors College will allow long-lasting effects and advantages to students. Honors College offers firsthand experiences, ranging from traveling to religious sites to touring famous cities. These experiences drastically boost learning by putting words into action and would not be possible with larger classes.
“I would never have dropped the advantage of being in the Honors College,” said sophomore biology major and Honors College student Savannah Steadman.“Even before coming to college, my peers and I were preached to on how beneficial the Honors College is by teachers and parents.”
There are many advantages to being a part of the Southern Miss Honors College. The Honors College at USM or any university is made out to be a very supportive community, with fun programming, events and a caring staff. Honors students are known to have higher GPAs, be more involved and be high achieving. If students often cite the Honors College as a “second family,” then they wouldn’t be expected to abandon this family. It is fair to say that the Honors College is, in fact, worth it.
EMPLOYERS IGNORE HONORS
Andrew Dutton – Printz Reporter
The Honors College has always been associated with stress and high workload, but it is said that in the end it would pay off. Will it really though?
If you hear what many people have to say about Honors College, they will tell you it won’t matter. A discussion blog on collegeconfidential.com lists many people who have said it isn’t worth it. From many of these graduates, it didn’t matter to their employer that they got into the honors program.
So, if it won’t help you get the employer’s attention, what’s the point in having it on your resume? To me, it is unnecessary for you to stress yourself out writing a thesis, attend classes and possibly have a job all for nothing.
An article from careerrealism.com answers the question “How long do your college honors matter?” Author of the article and CEO of Great Resumes Fast Jessica Hernandez said in the article, “Do college honors matter? The answer is: it depends. For most recent graduates who lack significant work experience, school activities can give some meat to your resume.”
“However, if you’re applying for a position as an accountant, the hiring manager probably doesn’t care you were inducted into the honor society for history at your school,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said things like graduating with honors and GPA don’t really matter in the real world and it paints you as someone who thinks in the collegiate world rather than the professional. Based on that information alone, it seems like the Honors College is not a tantalizing prospect.
One story of an Honors College experience could convince you entirely. An article on the dailycollegian.com talks about the experience one student had while attending the University of Massachusetts and being in their Honor’s program.
The student, Chris Shores, was at first happy at the prospect of being in the Honor’s College. He believed that being accepted would make his college experience worthwhile and could be used as a defense for any critics.
That’s when everything went sour. He had been led to believe in his first semester that there would be separate housing for honors students, but there were none. He thought then there would be honors-only floors in the dorms, but that wasn’t true either.
As far as classes go, Shores was entirely disappointed. “It was my understanding that opportunities like the Honors RAP (Residential Academic Program) would allow me to feel a part of a community of honors students. But when I took the class, I saw it as just a class with students on my floor,” he said.
To Shores, it was a huge disappointment to get into the Honor’s program and I’m sure it will disappoint newcomers as well.