Frequently Asked Questions
Can a student from any major participate in the Honors Guild?
The Guild is available to students of all majors. There is no major that specifically conflicts with the requirements of the Guild. All the credits required for the Honors Guild can be filled through general education courses. We are constantly reviewing our courses and seeking to create new, innovative courses to meet the needs of our students. Although curriculum change is a slow process, we have added to the options that count toward Honors. For example, one of our new and most exciting classes is a joint offering between history and literature called “Going Up to Glory: Migration and Voice in African American Lives.” This course actually fulfills the general education credit for BOTH of these courses. The class is team-taught by two of students’ favorite professors.
Due to the Honors classes offered in the program, incoming Freshmen students are unable to participate in the Fall Irish Studies Program. However, we do encourage you to take it during any Spring semester.
Can most of the Guild requirements be fulfilled by taking general education classes?
Yes, most students fulfill the requirements through the general education courses. In addition, scholars are required to take a series of 1-hour colloquiums (3 total). These help you achieve the 18 hours, but are designed to be easy to fit into any schedule (it is offered every semester). The Honors Colloquium course is interdisciplinary nature; it brings together a group of like minded honors students to discuss a variety of topics, with a focus on the year's theme. Part of the requirements for this course include attending a variety of campus lectures and events (not just from our program), which many students want to attend anyway. It is a great way not only to give credit to Honors students but it also helps support various campus programs. Students also have the option to take the honors leadership class, Global Paradigms in Leadership, in place of one the colloquium credits.
Are Honors classes harder, smaller, or otherwise different from other classes?
It depends on the class, but we feel that the Honors classes offer something unique. They are often smaller; they may or may not be harder. The goal is not to add work on top of the “normal” class workload. Instead an honors class should engage the student in the material at a different level. Ideally, honors classes are designed with the intrinsic learner in mind, so they expect a different level of engagement. They require critical thinking and discussion. There is a lot of variety in what the classes are like. This will continue to grow also as we offer support to faculty redesigning their classes or creating new honors courses.
What other opportunities will be available to me through the Honors Guild?
We have developed study-abroad courses available only to Guild members. For the freshmen who begin in the Fall of 2010, they will be given a travel scholarship to participate as a group in a J-term trip abroad. All expenses are covered, except for the normal campus J-term fee (this year it was $771). Students take a three or four hour course during the month, while traveling to exciting places and meeting new people from around the world. Locations of past trips include Northern Ireland, Jordan and Israel and South Africa.
There are also a wide variety of opportunities to participate in Honors programming. Traditionally programming includes cook-outs, speaker discussions, film viewings, an all Honors retreat and trips to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The Honors Lodge is available three nights a week for students to do homework, bake, relax and spend time together. The Honors Guild also hosts a conference each Spring centered on our particular theme for the year. Students from across campus are encouraged to attend and engage with this unique opportunity.
We encourage students to attend and even present their own work at conferences. We have some funding available to help make this possible.
Are there costs associated with the Guild? Are there extra scholarships available?
Participation in the Guild does not cost extra. Some of our events may require a small additional charge but this is rarely the case. We never want the cost of events to be prohibitive, and Honors does subsidize the cost of major events, such as the retreat. There are no additional scholarships, except for the study abroad opportunity described above.