Evaluating the Honors Program
Research and personal experience confirm that students perform better when surrounded by other talented students. They rise to the challenge presented by those of similar intellectual capability and motivation, discovering their own potential that much more quickly and fully.
Honors Freshman Induction Ceremony, August 2011
Is the Honors Program Right for Your Child?
UIW's Honors Program is for curious students who are interested 1) in connecting knowledge from different disciplines and 2) in applying the notion of social justice personally and professionally to make a difference in the world.
The students who get the most from Honors are interested in developing themselves as well-rounded individuals with sensitivity beyond their major discipline. The UIW Honors Program enhances the degree program by providing a way for students to reflect upon how they may apply knowledge from the larger world to conduct their lives after college graduation.
What is the Workload?
Some parents fear that their child will have a difficult workload by joining an honors program. According to our honors students and faculty, that just isn't so!
At UIW, students generally have one or two honors classes per semester during their first two years. The challenge of those classes is in the type of work given rather than as a weight of extra assignments. In other words, students are expected to think more deeply in completing their assignments but they do not complete a higher number of assignments. From our experience, the students look forward to their classes together and find themselves continuing those conversations outside the classroom.
What is the Time Commitment?
The time commitment to the Honors Program beyond the classes is equivalent to any other student club on campus. Students attend regular meetings plus they choose from among a variety of events to attend during each semester according to their interests and availability. We offer flexibility for fulfillment of their obligations; for example, honors students can "double dip" by using a required lecture attendance for a class or a service outing with another student group as one of their honors events. In this way, we can encourage students to be involved with other clubs and/or athletic teams within a manageable schedule. The success of this approach shows in the fact that each of our honors students is also active in at least one other student organization or varsity athletics. We have representatives in everything from Student Ambassadors to Student Government to Campus Ministry.
What is the Cost?
There is no extra cost to being in the UIW Honors Program.
When Should My Student Apply?
Some students wonder if they should wait to apply when they are sure of the college they are attending or if they should go ahead and apply earlier. Others wonder if they must be invited to apply or if they are free to apply on their own.
Students applying to UIW who meet our target eligibility criteria will receive an invitation to apply to the Honors Program. However, we encourage those eligible and interested in the program not to wait for the invitation to apply. The number of applicants per honors slot has been growing each year (last year it was two applicants for each slot). We anticipate that placement for those limited slots will continue to become more competitive as time goes on, therefore, it is better to apply early to get in the queue. Even if the student's final college selection has not been made it is better to apply and have the option available than to wait and apply late in the spring when all or nearly all the slots may be filled. It will be more difficult to gain acceptance at that time.
It is also important to remind students that the Honors Program is a four-year program, so there is no option to join after the student's freshman year of college.