Honors Advising Philosophy

Honors Advising Philosophy

Making the most of the enrichment opportunities offered by Honors College membership requires a sound grasp of the program's underlying philosophy. Briefly stated, the key idea is that carefully planned, highly individualized programs of study will meet the needs of a greater variety of academically talented students than is possible through a core curriculum of required Honors classes. To accomplish this objective, the Honors College relies on an "advisement-intensive" approach to program planning and course selection. Only when individual members make regular, intelligent use of the faculty Honors advising network will the other features of the program deliver their full educational value.

Academic advising of Honors College students is distinctive in at least four respects:

  1. Since all academic requirements except the total number of credits are subject to significant modifications, advising requires intensive examination of alternatives to ensure program coherence, enrichment, distinctiveness, and integrity; for that reason;
  2. every Honors College student is assured a faculty adviser;
  3. all short-term decisions are made within the framework of longer-range annual plans; and
  4. both long-range and short-term decisions require signed approval from the student's departmental Honors adviser as well as from an Honors College Academic Specialist/Adviser.  

The first principle of Honors advising is to ensure that, in the language of the Academic Council legislation which founded the Honors College, "students of high ability constantly are challenged by the most advanced work for which each is ready … within and without [their] field of specialization." The second principle is to ensure that the design of each unique program is academically rigorous and conforms to the spirit of multiple sets of standards and requirements to the satisfaction of the units involved, without holding Honors College members to routine requirements or prerequisites. The third principle is that serious and sustained reflection upon career alternatives is an integral part of academic program planning.