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Liberal Arts Honors Program provides new opportunity for students

A new School of Liberal Arts Honors Program will allow admitted students access to additional academic resources and classes. The program is an extension of the IUPUI Honors College, but while the Honors College only admits freshmen, all Liberal Arts students will be eligible for the school-based honors program if they meet the requirements.

“The program is a natural extension of the Honors College by which the various schools establish their own honors program to be coordinated with the Honors College,” says Professor Thomas Davis, associate dean of academic programs in the School of Liberal Arts.

To be eligible, liberal arts students must have completed at least 15 credit hours at IUPUI (but no more than 72) and have a 3.5 GPA or higher. The program is looking for students who not only meet the academic requirements but also are self-aware in their goals and work ethic. Students accepted into the program have access to the Honors College activities, an honors advisor, and can partake in special Liberal Arts honors programming.

Eric Saak, associate professor of history and the School’s advisor for the Liberal Arts Honors Program, says the program will offer students great flexibility. “Students will craft their programs for their own plans, goals, and desires, and helping them do so is my job,” he says.

Once in the program, students must maintain continuous enrollment, full-time status, and their GPA. Students must also take one honors class each semester. Davis says the program will help keep students on track to graduate on time.

Students admitted to the program must earn 24 credit hours in honors courses. Davis says the students can also take a standard course with an ‘honors contract,’ which means students will complete regular class assignments but also do additional work. Students will have opportunities to work closely with professors and strengthen critical thinking and analytical skills.

“I benefited greatly from the departmental honors program I had as an undergraduate, and ever since I came to IUPUI I have wanted to do something with honors here,” says Saak. “School honors programs offer opportunities to students who did not begin in the program as freshman, but have proven they are indeed honors students. This program offers honor students opportunities to excel in ways otherwise not available.”

Davis says an honors notation on diplomas “points to the fact that students worked hard in their college program. They’ve completed their classes at an exceptionally high level. For employers it points to drive—students are dedicated and take on additional responsibilities.”

Saak says, “This is an opportunity for the students to develop themselves, to discover themselves, to challenge themselves uniquely, and in turn, to become a part of the School of Liberal Arts history.”

For more information contact Professor Erik Saak, by email or (317) 274-3930.

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09/12/2014