Thursday, May 06, 2010
SC State University’s Board of Trustees recently approved that the University’s Honors Program initiate an Honors College. Founded in 1988, SC State University’s Honors Program continues to be a guiding light for producing stellar academic scholars and leaders throughout the campus. However, there are certain attributes specific to an Honors College that the Honors Program did not provide.
The Honors program director will now serve as a dean. The Honors College will also be under the auspices of the Division of Academic Affairs. It will offer four years of an Honors College curriculum for its scholars. These honors sections of general education courses will be offered across academic disciplines and will also include Honors Philosophy Integrated Learning (HPIL) seminars, as well as a senior capstone project.
To obtain an Honors College designation on the final transcript and diploma, students must maintain at least a 3.25 GPA for scholarship and membership, earn at least 32 credit hours to include eight hours of honors seminars, two hours of honors thesis/capstone project, and 12 honors course hours in their respective fields. Students who meet this criterion will receive an Honors College seal on their final transcript and undergraduate diploma.
In their journey of implementing an Honors College, Dr. Harriet A. Roland, director of the current Honors Program since 2000, and other Honors Program staff members, conducted site visits at three locations to gain insight into the governance, curriculum and day-to-day operations of an Honors College. Schools visited included North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.; University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.; and Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, La.
In its quest to become an Honors College, the Honors Program also received letters of support from the deans and directors of the Honors Colleges at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC; Hampton University in Hampton, VA; Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC.; Benedict College in Columbia, SC.; and Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, LA. These letters portrayed how important this initiative would be to the students and its significance as a recruitment tool for SC State University. “The students will be the greatest benefactors. This will be a legacy that will go on and on. The Honors College is just the icing on the cake for many great things to come,” said Dr. Roland.
The Honors College will initially focus on strategic areas of governance to include: administrative structure, faculty recruitment/selection, teaching standards, curriculum, housing and new programmatic initiatives.
With the new transition, Honors College students will now be housed in Sojourner Truth Hall as a community for scholars, in compliance with guidelines for housing honors scholars through the National Collegiate Honors Council. Sojourner Truth Hall holds approximately 440 students. Previously, Sojourner Truth Hall housed only female students; however, male and female students enrolled in the newly established Honors College will now occupy the lower floors of the building on single-gender halls.
Sojourner Truth Hall will receive an exclusive makeover that will create a conductive living and learning center environment. There will be a health and fitness area, three areas for tutorial services, classrooms in, two computer lab areas, and emergency alert systems. Sojourner Truth Hall will be a one-stop shop for all Honors College scholars with an emphasis on enhanced academic and culturally enriching experiences.
“I am excited about the Honors Program becoming an Honors College. This is a great time for transition so that we can offer even better opportunities and advantages for our students,” said Juan L. Maultsby, program manager for SC State University’s Honors Program.
For additional information about the newly initiated Honors College, contact Dr. Harriet A. Roland at (803) 533-3790, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.