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.
Entering freshmen and transfer students with a combined math/verbal SAT score of 1200 or higher and a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 are eligible to join the Boone Honors program and receive scholarship at the highest level of the matrix used in Admissions/Financial Aid. Students who do not enter Ferrum as honors program members but earn a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.4 or higher after at least one semester of work at Ferrum may petition the honors program director for membership but will not necessarily receive additional scholarship. See the “Handbook” tab for guidelines about the scholarship, including criteria for maintaining the award.
At the core of the Boone Honors Program is an exceptional academic course of study designed to enrich the general education requirements for honors students. Academic components of the honors program are as follows:
- Honors students take five special honors-designated interdisciplinary seminars to fulfill fifteen hours of their general education requirements. These seminars include the Cornerstone Seminar in Leadership, which substitutes for the Gateway course required of most first-year students, and the Capstone Seminar in Values and Vocation.
- Honors students undertake a minimum of 12 hours of honors-enriched courses featuring projects designed by the student. Enrichment projects are undertaken in regularly taught courses, usually in a student’s major or minor, and the purpose of each project is to extend a topic, approach, or project in the course. Some honors students elect to undertake a thesis project that may satisfy up to six hours of enrichment credit, pending approval. The amount of honors-enrichment credit awarded depends upon whether the student’s major program of study provides academic credit for independent research.
- Honors students who enroll at Ferrum in Fall 2011 will undertake six hours of foreign language study. Honors students who enroll at Ferrum in Fall 2012 or later will undertake foreign language study through the intermediate level (through 202).
Students who complete these requirements and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 will graduate with a Ferrum College Honors degree and are presented the Boone Honors Program medallion at Commencement Exercises.
In the interest of developing a sense of community among the college’s most talented and ambitious students, all first-year honors students are housed in a common area of Roberts Hall, conveniently located at the center of campus, adjacent to classroom buildings and Stanley Library. From time to time throughout the year, honors students will enjoy special programming within the residence hall featuring the honors director, faculty, and other special guests and designed to enhance the student’s overall experience.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Every student in the program is eligible to receive up to $3,000 in travel scholarship for Study Abroad. Beginning in Fall 2012, every honors student is required to undertake a Study Abroad experience. Many honors students elect to fulfill this requirement during the May e-term, although opportunities for semester-long study abroad are also possible. Honors students have studied abroad in England (Oxford), China, South Africa, Austria, Belize, and Honduras, among others
The Boone Honors Program also offers enrichment of the honors student’s social and cultural experience. The program also provides opportunities for students to broaden their horizons through special exposure to campus guests, as well as off-campus excursions to museums, theatrical events (including touring Broadway productions), operatic and popular musical performances, lectures, and other social activities. These extracurricular components help to create a community within the program that builds friendships while also supporting class initiatives and learning. All activities and outings are at no expense to the honors student.
Benefits of Participation
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 research at undergraduate research conferences, attend special dinners with visiting campus guests and speakers, and participate in special Honors social activities and trips. Besides the academic opportunities (including developing enhanced writing, speaking, and analytical skills), benefits include friendships with faculty and other students from across the college who may share similar interests and passions, chances to examine and clarify values and ideals, having stimulating and broadening cultural experiences, and getting a head start on preparing for graduate school or one’s career. In addition, every student in the program is eligible to receive up to $3,000 in travel scholarship for a Study Abroad experience.