The Honors Vision
The Boone Honors Program is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts program committed to challenge students enrolled in the program, and the campus culture as a whole, to strive for excellence. To achieve this purpose, the Boone Honors Program contains curricular and extracurricular component that are designed to:
- Enrich the experience of all students by attracting and retaining gifted and motivated students interested in the pursuit of knowledge and the exploration of issues from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.
- Stimulate intellectual, social, and ethical development in honors students.
- Focus the attention of the campus community on issues of excellence, honor, and service.
Table of Contents
- Program Structure
- Eligibility and Scholarship
- Program Requirements
- Graduation with Honors
- Honors Curriculum
- Honors seminars
- Course Rotation
- Honors-Enriched Courses
- Graduation Checklist
- Looking to the Future
- National Scholarships and Fellowships
- Career Services
- Honors Program Advisors
- Students (under construction)
The Boone Honors Program provides enhanced educational opportunities for motivated and gifted students. Students in honors have the opportunity to take small interdisciplinary seminars for some of their general education requirements, work closely with professors in courses within their major or minor, present their research at undergraduate research conferences, attend special dinners with visiting campus guests and speakers, and participate in special honors social activities and trips.
Eligibility to Participate and to Receive or Continue the Honors Scholarship and Travel Scholarship
Entering freshmen or transfer students with a High School GPA of 3.5 or higher and a combined math/verbal SAT score of 1200 or higher are automatically members of the Boone Honors Program and awarded scholarship at the highest level of the matrix used by Admissions/Financial Aid. Students who do not enter Ferrum as honors program members but who demonstrate potential by earning a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher at Ferrum are also invited to participate in the program, although their overall scholarship award may not increase.
The policy for continuing the scholarship at the honors level after enrollment is as follows:
Eligibility for the scholarship will be reviewed by the program director and the registrar at the end of each academic year. Students who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher will be awarded the scholarship for the next academic year. Students who fall below the required GPA will be placed on probationary status for one year, provided they have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. At the completion of the probationary period, students whose GPA is in compliance with program requirements will return to good standing. Students whose cumulative GPA is still below 3.2 at the conclusion of the probationary period will forfeit the honors scholarship but may continue as members of the honors program, provided they maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and meet all other applicable program requirements.
All students in good standing as defined by Boone Honors Program guidelines (see Scholarship above) are eligible to receive a travel scholarship of up to $3,000 to help defray the expenses of study abroad. (See Study Abroad Experience, below.) Preference for scholarship funding is given by class rank, beginning with seniors.
Honors students have special academic opportunities in fulfilling their general education requirements in addition to enhanced courses within their major or minor. Briefly, honors students will take 15 hours of special, interdisciplinary honors seminars in place of other general education requirements. Additionally, honors students will take 12 hours of honors-enriched courses. These honors-enriched courses will be regularly taught courses enrolling honors students and other students taking the course for existing credit. The point of honors-enriched courses is to extend a topic, approach, or project so that honors students will understand the complexities of an area of study. The college will note the honors designation on the transcripts of all students who complete the additional special, extra, or different honors work. Students may choose courses outside their areas of concentrated study so long as students complete a minimum of two honors-enriched courses in the major. Honors-enrichment projects may not be undertaken in 100-level courses.
Participation in the Boone Honors Program enables students to present graduate schools or prospective employers with an impressive transcript. Students who complete the Honors Program graduate with a special honors designation on the diploma if they have met the following requirements:
- Fifteen hours of honors seminars with a grade of C or above and an overall 3.2 GPA for these courses (see additional guidelines below).
- Twelve hours of honors-enrichment credits in courses at the 200 level or above (see guidelines below).
- A cumulative GPA of 3.4 for all courses.
- Successful completion of a Study Abroad experience, generally coursework involving travel outside the United States, with a grade of C or better.
- Completion of foreign language study through the intermediate level (generally 202).
Honors Curriculum – 27 hours
At the core of the Boone Honors Program is an exceptional academic course of study. Honors students take five special Honors interdisciplinary seminars to fulfill part of their general education requirements. These seminars include a cornerstone seminar and a capstone seminar. Additionally, students will take a minimum of 12 hours of Honors-enriched courses.
To graduate in the Honors Programs students need to take 15 hours of Honors seminars. Students who enter the Honors Program as freshmen are required to take the cornerstone seminar Honors 100: Perspectives on Leadership in lieu of Ferrum 101 and 102. Students who join the program after the first semester of their freshman year are not required to take Honors 100 but may if they wish. Every honors student must take the capstone seminar. Students not in the Honors Program may take honors seminars with instructor approval if there is space available in the course.
Because seminars can fulfill more than one general education requirement, students will need to complete a form at preregistration that indicates the requirement a seminar will replace. The form needs to be signed by the student and his/her advisor and copy filed with the registrar’s office. If more than one course is required for the general education distribution requirement, only one of the courses may be an honors seminar (e.g., since 6 hours of literature are required for graduation, one of the literature courses can be an honors seminar but the other 3 hours of the requirement must be a regularly taught course).
See the “Courses” link for a list of seminars which the faculty has approved.
A minimum of twelve hours of honors-enriched courses is required for graduation in the Honors Program. These are regularly taught courses that will be enhanced for honors students. Courses must be at the 200 level or above. Two of the required honors-enriched courses (at least six hours) must be taken in a student’s major or minor. Early in the course, students will approach faculty who teach courses they want to “honors-enrich” in order to complete the contract for honors enrichment. Faculty reserve the right to decide whether or not to offer an enrichment option.
By the end of the fourth week of a semester (the deadline to drop a course without penalty), students and faculty will complete the contract specifying the enrichment project, the artifact or artifacts the student will submit for assessment, and the assessment criteria. The student will obtain the requisite signatures and submit the contract, along with the syllabus used for the course, to the honors director. The honors director will submit one copy of the form to the Registrar’s Office. Once the registrar has received this form, a student will be considered enrolled in the honors-enriched course. Students are strongly encouraged to undertake discussions with their professors about the nature and requirements for the enrichment work well before the deadline for completing the contract for an h-course.
If at the end of a semester, the enrichment project is completed in accordance with the contract and to the faculty member’s satisfaction, it is designated on the student’s transcript by the letter “H.” If the project is not completed in accordance with the contract and to the faculty member’s satisfaction, the student will receive regular credit for the completed course (no “H” designation). Students must earn a B or better in the course to receive honors-enriched designation on their transcripts.
Students completing a thesis or senior seminar project for the major may elect to use an honors thesis in order to fulfill up to six hours of the enrichment credit (three hours if there is a required senior seminar course and six hours if there is none).
Study Abroad Experience
All students in the Boone Honors Program must complete a study abroad experience involving academic credit or approved alternative. Most students fulfill this requirement during e-term, but other opportunities also exist, and some honors students have studied abroad for an entire semester. Every fall, the college hosts an e-term fair previewing what courses will be offered in the following May term. Note that tuition for May term courses is included in regular Spring semester tuition as long as the student does not exceed the allowable course load of nineteen hours.
All students in good standing as defined by Boone Honors Program guidelines (see Scholarship above) are eligible to receive a travels scholarship of up to $3,000 to help defray the expenses of study abroad.
In the Registrar’s Office files in Panther Portal there is a form for the recording of the study abroad experience in the student’s academic record.
The Boone Honors Program provides opportunities for students to broaden their horizons through official Honors dinners, trips, and and other social activities. These extracurricular components help create a community within the program that builds friendships while also supporting class initiatives and learning. Extracurricular activities designed to support the learning that happens in honors courses include honors-sponsored lectures by guests to the campus or opportunities to present research at undergraduate research conferences.
Every year, Ferrum College students graduate and go on to professional school, graduate school, internships, and jobs in their chosen fields. Honors students are ambitious, capable, and well-prepared, and participating in the Boone Honors Program can give them a head start for graduate school or their career.
National Scholarships and Fellowships
Honors students who want to pursue national scholarships and fellowships should start making plans early. What are national fellowships? They are scholarships for graduate (in some case, undergraduate) work that are awarded on a competitive basis to a limited number of students. Since the amount of money is great and the prestige of receiving one is an honor that remains throughout one’s life, these scholarships are often referred to as national or prestigious fellowships.
What kind of student becomes a finalist or winner of one of these awards? Nationwide, the recipients of prestigious fellowships tend to be purposeful, hard-working person, persons who know what their own goals are and who know how to work towards them. Ferrum students can increase their chances of become a finalist or recipient of a prestigious national fellowship by undertaking work towards that goal, preferably as early in one’s college career as possible. This means involvement in the Honors Program, selecting a broad range of challenging courses, doing substantial outside reading including regular reading of newspapers and periodicals, being aware of current events, participating in meaningful summer experiences (such as research or public service projects), being involved in college and community organizations and activities. Although only a small number of students “win” one of these awards, there are no “losers” in the competition. The effort and thought involved in the exercise of preparing an application is beneficial to students as they apply for graduate schools or employment.
A Brief Summary of Qualifications For Selected National Fellowships
Fulbright: For graduate study abroad.
- Proficiency in foreign language. Minimum of two years.
- A special project for research: a legitimate, thought out project, can be completed in a year, the host country is an appropriate plan to carry it out, student is capable of doing the wok independently
- Evidence of adaptability and motivation
- Academic success in major
Application Date: October of senior year. Candidate must be evaluated and approved by campus evaluation team.
Goldwater: For undergraduate study of math and sciences.
- B average in upper quartile of class
- Enrolled in field of study leading to career in math or natural science.
- One scholarship awarded to a resident of each of the 50 sates
Application Date: December of sophomore or junior year. Candidate must be nominated by his or her college
Marshall: For graduate study in Great Britain.
- Excellent academic record
- Specific and realistic course of graduate study outlined; strong preparation for that particular course
- “Convincing argument as to why a particular course in Britain will enhance applicant’s career plans.”
Application Date: October of senior year. Candidate must be endorsed and evaluated by campus evaluation team.
Rhodes: For graduate study at Oxford University
- “Proven intellectual and academic ability of a high standard”
- Demonstrated leadership and good character
- Physical vigor; traditionally was demonstrated by participation in varsity sports
Application date October of senior year. Candidate must be evaluated and nominated by campus evaluation team.
Truman: For graduate and undergraduate study, for those planning careers in public service.
- B average in upper quartile of class
- Demonstrated potential for leadership and success in public service
- Breadth of accomplishments; actual public service
- Specific and realistic goals, commitment and maturity to reach them.At least one scholarship awarded to resident of each of the 50 states.
Application Date: December of junior year. Candidate must be nominated by campus evaluation team
James Madison: Junior fellowships for master’s or Master of Arts in Teaching degrees in history, government, or political science.
- Plan to seek employment as a secondary school teacher of American history, American government, or social studies upon completion of graduate studies.
- Demonstrated intent to pursue a program of graduate study that emphasizes the Constitution. Demonstrated record of devotion to civic responsibility.
- At lest one fellowship awarded to resident of each of the 50 states.
Application Date: March of senior year
Ford Foundation: Predoctoral and Dissertation fellowships for minorities.
- Study in research-based doctoral programs in academic discplinaries that lead to careers in teaching or research.
- Professional degrees (e.g. law, medicine) and programs that are practice oriented will not be supported.
- Member of a minority group
- GRE test is required
- No more than 30 semester hours of graduate level study for predoctoral fellowship Application Date: November.
Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies: For students to prepare for teaching and scholarship in humanistic studies.
- College senior or graduate not currently enrolled in graduate program.
- Entry level, one year, portable merit fellowship
- For degree programs leading to the Ph.D. degree
Application Date: Request for application is November. Complete application due in December.
Rotary Foundation Scholarships: Short term and year long scholarships to study in another country
- Purpose of Scholarship program is to further interational understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries. Winners are expected to speak at Rotary Club meetings during tenure of scholarship and after return to the States.
- Several types of scholarships: 3-6 month cultural ambassador scholarships (for language sstudy and cultural immersion), academic year amassadorial scholarships (all expenses up to US$25,000), or multi-year Ambassadorial scholarship (flat grant of $12,000 per year)
- Academic and Multi-year Ambassadorial scholarships require language proficency of proposed study country.
- Initial application through local Rotary Club.
The Career Services Office in the college’s Experiential Learning Center offers a number of services and activities for students exploring options for graduate schools and careers. For those with graduate school in their plans, students may take computer-administered tests for the GRE and the GMAT. Other computer-administered tests such as Focus II, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Self Directed Search help students gather information about their interests and values as related to career choices. The office also provides information about opportunities for summer employment, internships, or volunteer services which can help students gain valuable experience as they explore vocational choices. Students are encouraged to visit the office early in their college career.