Students seeking a greater educational challenge and intellectually stimulating experience can participate in Honors College.
The combination of the unique learning curriculum leads to creative and independent thinking among the courses.
Located in Engleman Hall B225, the program caters to high-achieving students.
Samuel Martin, a junior special education major, is part of the Honors College. Martin explained the three-step process it takes to apply, which includes submitting a common application and composing an essay.
The Honors College then hosts an essay day where a topic is presented, and students must write about said topic.
According to Martin, only about 40 to 45 students are accepted into the Honors College and it has a more challenging interdisciplinary system.
“The Honors College replaces the LEP system and students think creatively,” he says.
“Students in the Honors College can form their own project, for example choosing to study abroad.”
Sarah Gossman, a senior history major, says her experience in the Honors College has been great.
“I was thankful enough inside and outside of the Honors College professors being able to help me and willing to meet in office hours and alleviate some of that stress and anxiety but the benefits of it have been outstanding,” says Gossman, who is president of the Student Government Association. “I would have never pictured myself writing a thesis right now but here I am doing it.”
Throughout the Honors College experience, Gossman says she has learned to formulate arguments and feels comfortable voicing her opinions both inside and outside of the classroom. She says the friendships she has made have been great.
Being able to have a close-knit community of students and faculty to help better understand the work and guide students along is extremely helpful to Gossman.
“The faculty within the Honors College program is very unique,” she says. “I have some of the most understanding faculty and outside of the honors college as well.”
Victor Corona Galan, a senior computer science major, says he found out late about the Honors College in his senior year of high school. The challenging classes and scholarship opportunities are what drew him into the Honors College.
Corona Galan says, “The Honors College is stressful at the beginning but fun as you get to know the people and professors.”
Another reason he wanted to be a part of the Honors College was because once he started taking classes, he saw the people initiating conversations and discussing significant issues of the current day.
One of his favorite classes in the Honors College was about “teaching students to never assume anything, and to question everything.”
Currently, Corona Galan is working on a senior project about engagement within the community. Galan says he enjoys these types of projects because it gives him an opportunity to give back to his community.
Heidi Atuaful, a first-year nursing major, applied to the Honors College after taking a gap year. According to Atuaful, the process of applying to Honors College is rigorous.
The topic she chose for her application essay was about the mistreatment of black women in the medical system.
“In Honors 150, we read The New York Times opinion articles and create summaries of the articles,” says Atuaful. She explains it is crucial to stay on top of the work and to not be afraid to fail.
“I would say it is more discussion base in class during the lectures and outside of the class is more thinking critically,” Atuaful says.
Atuaful lives in the living learning community in West building complex. She says, “I like it a lot, it keeps me motivated and I don’t feel alone, I have three classes with my roommate.”
Regina Misercola, a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing, says Southern was her top choice because of the Honors College. Students in the Honors College do not have to take the LEP requirements, instead the Honors College offers interdisciplinary courses.
“The Honors College wants you to see different professors and topics not just in your major,” says Misercola.
One of the courses she took featured a math professor and an English professor co-teaching the class.
“I’ve met really cool people through the Honors College with really different stories, but this one part of the school has brought us together. I’ve really learned to appreciate that,” Misercola says.
Mia Torruellas, a freshman elementary education major focusing on early childhood, says she found out about the Honors College through an email and from hearing great things about it during her freshman orientation.
She applied because she wanted to prove to herself that she could do it and appreciated the multiple requirements for the application process.
Torruellas says the interview process was her favorite part and the other students in the Honors college seemed to have the same mindset she does. At first everyone was nervous but after doing icebreakers and talking with one another she ended up making a few friends.
Torruellas says, “I like the pace of the work and the professors are amazing.”
She lives in the living learning community in West and knows everyone on her floor. They even have group chats to help one another adjust.
Torruellas believes one of the biggest things that the Honors College professors strive for is to see students push themselves beyond the limit. She advocates for people to apply and says, “tell yourself you are capable of doing hard work and push yourself to the limit.”
Story by: Gina Volturno