Nontraditional Honors and the Hopefulness of Summer ReadingReport as inadecuate

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Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v14 n1 p33-35 Spr-Sum 2013

Having read the essay on "Nontraditional Honors" by Janice Rye Kinghorn and Whitney Womack Smith, author Angela Salas writes that it offered her reminders about the fears and insecurities students carry with them. It also offered Salas the opportunity to reconsider the behaviors she was seeing in her class. She grew to see student insecurity less as a problem they were imposing on her and more as a consequence of their prior bad experiences, which she felt that she had an obligation to help them overcome. The essay also clarified the surprising limitations of assumptions faculty have been working under since the Indiana University Southeast Honors Program was founded in 2006. The majority of students now are non-traditional, whether in age, life experience, financial independence, or familial responsibilities, but the honors program is anchored in courses with defined meeting times, required face-to-face meetings with the director, and on-campus co-curricular activities. They had been proceeding under the assumption that offering "a liberal arts education on a university campus" cannot occur without intensive interactions in "real time." Salas describes positive changes made that have propelled the IUS Honors Program into a new more student-friendly territory, helping to meet the needs of non-traditional students with non-traditional courses as they begin to rethink campus-bound strategies.

Descriptors: Honors Curriculum, College Students, College Faculty, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Nontraditional Students, Security (Psychology)

National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail: nchc[at]; Web site:

Author: Salas, Angela M.


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