The Honors Program at Ferris State seeks to provide its students with enhanced intellectual challenges and opportunities so that they can develop intellectual autonomy. An Honors experience is not just a standard collegiate experience with more of the same kind of work, or the same work completed in a shorter sense. Honors experiences are not be ‘harder’ than non-honors courses in this sense.
Honors experiences offer the student more freedom and responsibility in both the construction and execution of their learning. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning through independent and project-based learning rooted in real world issues. Students are expected to seek out the necessary resources for these projects, including where appropriate, faculty supervision outside the classroom.
Consistent with the National Collegiate Honors Council statement on Honors course design, the program offers courses delivered by the participating colleges, where students are encouraged to develop intellectual autonomy by
- exercising their own initiative in identifying what and how they learn,
- demonstrating leadership for the public good considered at both the local and global level,
- interacting with the faculty members beyond the limitations of formal in-class instruction,
- writing and thinking clearly,
- analyzing and synthesizing works of cultural significance,
- thinking and reading critically,
- appreciating creative expression,
- developing empathy,
through enriching activities such as, but not limited to:
- academic service learning,
- engaging with cultural events that expand the students’ cultural or ethical horizons by exposing them to ideas, traditions or values with which they are unfamiliar,
- competing in intercollegiate academic competitions, such as the engineering competitions or debate team,
- researching independently appropriate to the discipline,
- analyzing cultural artifacts independently or as a group,
- engaging with primary sources appropriate to the discipline,
- participating in experimental or innovative pedagogies,
- expressing oneself creatively,
- immersing in an unfamiliar community through travel or other community-based education (i.e. study abroad / place as text).
In addition to content-specific, knowledge-based learning outcomes required for the disciplinary standards, the following competencies may be appropriate for an Honors course.
- Upon completion of an Honors experience, an Honors student should be able to:
- engage with challenging primary sources appropriate to the academic discipline and level,
- articulate areas or topics for further work in the topic area or discipline,
- show improvement in analytic writing and discussion, critical thinking and reading,
- demonstrate improvement in intergenerational and global cultural competency and appreciation of creative expression,
- take more responsibility for his or her own learning.
Each Honors experience points towards the objectives of the Honors Program as a whole.
- Upon completion of the Honors Program, an Honors graduate should be able to:
- Produce a work appropriate to the discipline independently or in collaboration with peers that demonstrates intellectual autonomy, and whose significance, quality and depth of study testifies to independent, critical or creative thinking.
- Exercise initiative to identify, pose and solve problems using multiple modes of inquiry and research, as appropriate to the professional and disciplinary standards.
- Write analytically, think critically and participate responsibly in the public and academic discourse.
- Engage culturally with both a global and intergenerational community.
- Reflect on his or her practice of authentic leadership, and understand how he or she can best contribute to organizational goals.
For a current list of courses offered, visit our ‘Courses‘ page.
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