James A. Tuedio, Ph.D., Director
Ellen E. Bell, Ph.D., Co-Director
Office: Innovative Center
Phone: (209) 667-3180
The Honors Program brings together a community of faculty and students to study and discuss issues and topics of current interest. Honors students work closely with one another and develop close ties with their faculty mentors. Our program offers an engaging learning environment for students desiring to engage academic studies with vitality, discipline, critical perspective, and intellectual curiosity.
The program is open to students from all majors. We admit cohorts of freshmen and juniors, and accept sophomore and mid-year applicants on a space-available basis. There are specific course requirements in each year of the program.
The Honors Program “First Year Experience” curriculum emphasizes humanistic inquiry and helps students develop and refine their skills for intellectual reading, writing, thinking, discussion, and research.
In the sophomore year, Honors students focus their studies on social issues and institutions. This stage of the program emphasizes team-based research, and integrates a well-focused service learning experience.
In the junior year, students explore diverse investigative methods, gain facility with a broad array of research tools (including information resources, research protocols, and methods for conducting research across disciplines) and contribute to a team-based analysis of complex problems. Juniors also identify a faculty mentor to sponsor and guide their Capstone research project.
In the senior year, students conduct research or creative work leading to completion of a senior capstone thesis or project under the guidance of their faculty mentor. The faculty mentor helps develop a creative and compelling research proposal, helps guide the research project, and provides feedback on the emerging thesis or project. Students meet in seminars throughout the year to discuss the focus and results of their research and to develop and critique their presentations for the annual Honors Research Conference.
Students should plan to complete the Honors Thesis or Capstone Project by mid-spring, as well as an overview article for the annual senior journal and a public presentation for the Honors Conference in May.
Co-curricular experiences and field trip excursions help to expand the scope of learning beyond the classroom.
Honors students participate in a well-focused academic learning community. We emphasize multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary study of relevant social topics. Our goal is to promote intellectual curiosity and a personal engagement with learning. To this end, we focus on a broad spectrum of research and emphasize a rich variety of methods for investigating, analyzing, synthesizing, and communicating information.
There is considerable scholarship support for students in the program.