Academic journal article Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council

Success in a Hurry

Academic journal article Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council

Success in a Hurry

Article excerpt

"It is imperative that we offer some of the university's most academically motivated students additional opportunities for enrichment through enhanced curricula and intellectually stimulating activities." These words marked the beginning of the North Carolina A&T State University Honors Program in 1998.Soon thereafter a committee started meeting to explore the feasibility and implementation of an honors program. The committee worked strategically to create the necessary curricula and programming content and accepted the first honor students that fall. The program has rapidly evolved, along the lines of honors programs nationally, to implement academically challenging coursework and co-curricular programing to supplement honors students' traditional studies

By the program's seventh year, multiple pathways to earning honors credit for graduation had been developed. Criteria included maintaining a 3.5 cumulative grade point average in addition to attendance at lectures and cultural events as well as performing at least ten hours of community service each semester. At that point, the program numbered five hundred students. A more rigorous application and selection process was implemented in 2011, when the university adopted a bold strategic plan, A&T Preeminence 2020. With increased enrollment standards and program growth now a priority, the new director and his staff had as a goal the facilitation and encouragement of honors students' applications to graduate programs as well as national fellowships and scholarships As the director has told students, ambitious applications create pressure to develop a corpus of work or that makes you focus on what you've done, why you did it, and what you've learned in order to present yourselves successfully for future jobs and graduate study.

As the program has grown now to six hundred students, it has also seen its graduates achieve the kind of success the director encouraged. In 2013, Emmanuel Johnson, an honors graduate, used his Fulbright post-graduate award to study at Birmingham University in England. …

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