Honors College curriculum set

April 26, 2013  

The Honors College Faculty Governance Committee has approved the college's curriculum as part of plans to admit first-year students in fall 2013.

The committee gave final approval to the curriculum March 18, and no additional approvals are required. It involves 24 credit hours of coursework and a thesis or scholarly activity, the parameters of which will be determined by the student’s academic college.

The approved curriculum's details are nearly identical to those that Dennis Savaiano, interim dean of the Honors College and professor of nutrition science, provided the University Senate via an update in February. The only difference is that up to 12 -- instead of nine -- credit hours of elective honors courses can be specified by a student's academic college, to which they will be admitted in tandem with the Honors College, says Emily Allen, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of English.

"The true beauty of the curriculum is that it provides a unified experience for honors students at Purdue," Allen says. "This experience will allow them to think critically across disciplines, create new knowledge in their own disciplines, and become engaged citizens of the campus and global world."

Honors College students will be required to take 24 credit hours, Savaiano says. Nineteen of those credit hours will accumulate through elective honors courses. Permitted elective courses are designated honors or honors contract courses, graduate courses not required for the student's major or research courses. The governance committee has recently formed a curriculum committee to advise on the development of new honors courses. 

Five credit hours will consist of interdisciplinary honors coursework, including a two-semester introductory course called "The Sustainability Project,” which will bring together guest faculty lecturers from across campus and engage students in community-service projects.

The Honors College is working with the Office of Sustainability, the Center for the Environment in Discovery Park and the Center for Instruction Excellence’s IMPACT team to produce an innovative model of curricular and community interface that will be used in the course, Allen says.

At least nine credit hours of elective honors courses will taken after the first year. Current first- and second-year Purdue honors students are being given the opportunity to matriculate using the new Honors College curriculum, Savaiano says.

In addition to the curriculum's approval, the Honors College also recently held two inaugural Golden Honors Days, which are daylong, on-campus programs for students invited to join the college. Co-hosted with the Office of Admissions, the honors days brought 1,200 students and parents to campus this year.

In all, about 400 students so far have committed to begin matriculating this fall through the college, Savaiano says. The deadline for students to enroll in the college is May 1.

On May 20, the Honors College's offices will move to the first floor of Duhme Hall in the Windsor Halls complex.

Writer: Amanda Hamon, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu

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