Students in the Pierre Laclede Honors College of all university majors share a commitment to a challenging, innovative Honors curriculum, comprised of general education courses, upper-level seminars, writing courses, and research and internship opportunities. In the Honors College, students and faculty work together to foster an intellectual climate in which democracy, diversity, civility and excellence are fundamental values. The Honors program offers small seminars that emphasize critical reading and open discussion. Students also pursue independent study, undergraduate research and internship opportunities as they develop skills and knowledge crucial for success in graduate programs and careers.
In addition to just over 500 students, the Honors College has seven full-time faculty members: Dean Robert Bliss; Associate Dean and Director of Writing Nancy Gleason, Teaching Professor; Assistant Dean Dan Gerth, Associate Teaching Professor; Dr. Kimberly Baldus, Teaching Professor; Geri Friedline, Assistant Teaching Professor; Chad Hankinson, Associate Teaching Professor; and Dr. Birgit Noll, Associate Teaching Professor. In addition to our full-time faculty members, we have three staff members who work with the faculty to serve the college: Ashley Budde, Admissions Representative; Sherry Gerrein, Administrative Assistant; and Pat Sanders, Office Support Staff.
The college recruits high achieving candidates in coordination with the campus recruitment team. Students must apply to the Honors College with a supplemental application form, two writing samples and two letters of recommendation; students must be accepted to the University before we can accept them to the Honors College. Applicants are accepted on the basis of: an interview, ACT scores, GPA, class rank (if available), scores from the writing samples, and letters of recommendation.
The Four- and Two-Year Certificates allow for both first-time college students and transfer students to take part in the Honors College Program. The Four-Year Certificate requires 40 hours: 33 hours or 11 seminars (including the freshman and junior level honors equivalent of the campus requirements for these classes), 6 hours of independent study which includes study in the student's major, independent writing projects, internships, and research. The last hour is Honors 4l00, a one-hour independent study project that assists students with their writing progress, applications for graduate school or resumes for careers. Students may take Honors 4l00 for two hours credit, if they wish.
The Two-Year Certificate requires 22 hours: l5 seminar hours (including the junior-level writing requirement), 6 hours of independent choices (same choices as above) and Honors 4l00.
We also offer a Two-Plus Program for students who transfer to the university after one to three semester(s) of college work. This program's requirements are formulated on a case-by-case basis after examining the student's transcript from another institution. It contains X number of seminars, plus 6 hours of independent study and Honors 4l00.
Qualified students who are admitted in good standing are offered Honors Merit and Housing Scholarships, in addition to any scholarships offered by the University and/or outside donors. We also offer Named Scholarships from various donors in addition to the Merit and Housing Scholarships. Those are donor specific, and must be applied for separately.
The Honors program offers l000- and 2000-level courses that satisfy General Education requirements. The 3000-level courses are frequently cross listed with various departments and satisfy degree hours. Other 3000-level courses that are not cross listed may satisfy requirements for majors, minors, other certificates (for example, the Writing Certificate) or electives; thus, strengthening the students' academic records and experiences. 4000-level classes include the portfolio class, independent study, internships and research projects.
Central to the Honors program is Honors advising and the Honors Portfolio. Each student is assigned an Honors advisor, in addition to his or her major advisor. The full-time faculty advisor assists students with selecting a major, mapping his or her progress and academic program, and plans each semester's course schedule. Each student in the college builds a writing portfolio beginning with the two application essays, and once enrolled in the college, students submit one essay per semester until graduation. During senior year-first or second semester, students take Honors Writing Portfolio 4l00. This one-hour, independent study allows the student to review and analyze his or her writing portfolio and writing progress, as well as prepare for their future careers or graduate school application processes.
In addition to the classes, advising and writing in the Honors College, students have exciting opportunities in research, internships, student government, and social and service events. The student government PLHCSA offers students the chance to socialize and engage in college and campus events. The Mentor program, SMART, provides service to the college and at the same time, creates ways for students to develop their own skills in student recruitment and retention.