Student Advising Handbook

Welcome

FAQ

Welcome

The purpose of this handbook is to serve as a go-to resource for all Honors Students, providing necessary information about the Honors College and the resources at students' disposal in one place.

Message from the Interim Dean

Welcome to the Honors College. It is an exciting time for Honors Students as we transition from the Honors Program into the Honors College. In this transition, there are numerous opportunities and advantages for students in selecting Valdosta State University. The Honors College is a program built on innovation and creative engagement, and is oriented in preparing students for a 21st century world. With qualities such as critical reflection, engagement, and global awareness as implicit parts of the Honors curriculum, Honors graduates are well prepared with the necessary skills to excel.

The Honors College is housed in the former home of Dr. Bailey, VSU's seventh president. It is the hub of activity for the Honors Student Association and a great place to relax, study, or socialize. We also have a designated Honors residence in Reade Hall. Honors students have an opportunity to become a part of many activities, undergraduate research opportunities, and learning experiences. In addition to engaging initiatives, social benefits such as the camaraderie between you and your fellow Honors students are an important aspect of the Honors tradition.

The faculty also takes an active role in student life not only as instructors but as advisors and mentors as well. As Honors students bring the desire to learn and grow, the Honors faculty volunteer to work closely with them, fostering an academic relationship based on excellence and scholarship. Most importantly, Honors students serve as the model for the student body and community. I am happy to welcome you and look forward to working with you as part of the Honors College here at VSU.  

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our website. It also lists the requirements, benefits, and activities of the Honors Program (for those accepted before fall 2011) and Honors College (starting in fall 2011), their schedule of events, scholarships, and many more. We invite all prospective students to fill out an application and join the College. Please come and see us in person in the Honors House. The faculty, staff, and students of the VSU Honors College look forward to meeting you and working with you. Thank you for visiting our website!

Sincerely,
Michael P. Savoie
mpsavoie@valdosta.edu

Introduction

The Honors College offers interdisciplinary seminars, a special track of core curriculum courses, Honors sections in various majors, and opportunities for independent research that lead to a Certificate in University Honors. The curriculum of the College is designed to provide for the stimulation and challenge of academically motivated students so that they achieve their full academic potential, while at the same time providing recognition for such students' endeavors. The Honors College encourages connections between disciplines, interdisciplinary programs, innovative and unusual approaches to subject matter, strong undergraduate research and/or creative focus, and a reliance upon experiential learning and a global perspective that are fully integrated into the course content. The courses and seminars are designed to give all students in the Honors College a shared intellectual experience in order to develop a community of learners and to encourage a spirit of collegiality in the pursuit of knowledge, a spirit that is essential for intellectual growth and personal fulfillment

Offerings Include

1) Limited-enrollment classes in anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, economics, health, history, literature and languages, mathematics, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology. All of these courses satisfy core curriculum requirements, depending on the student's major.
2) Special honor seminars with an interdisciplinary focus. These explore a wide range of interesting, controversial, and timely issues. These seminars can satisfy core credit in area B of the core.
3) Honors Research Methods course (or a similar approved course, depending on the major) which satisfies a requirement in the major or college.
4) Honors sections in various majors.
5) A capstone experience including, but not limited to an Honors Thesis, Independent Study, Internship, or Study Abroad.
Fora, a series of discussions and lectures led by faculty, visiting scholars, and distinguished members of the community.
The Honors College also sponsors the Honors Student Association, open to all students members of the College. The Honors College is affiliated with the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Southern Regional Honors Council, and the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council. These affiliations afford wide opportunity for travel to academic conventions and conferences.
For more detailed information about the Honors College, please consult our Mission Statement.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Honors College?

The Honors College offers enriched courses and special activities in the Core and in the individual majors designed for academically prepared and motivated students. Honors classes are small--on the average about 16 students per section--and uniquely interactive, guided by the conviction that the best education involves questioning as well as memorizing, evaluating as well as comprehending. The Honors College is committed to fostering creative thinking, active learning, undergraduate research, global awareness, and community service.

How do I become eligible to join the Honors College?

As an entering freshman, you should have a combined SAT score (Verbal and Math) of at least 1130 or an ACT composite score of 25, along with a high school grade point average of at least 3.20. If you are a transfer student from another college or university, or are currently enrolled at VSU, a grade point average of a 3.20 makes you eligible to apply for admission to the Honors College..

How do I complete the Honors College Requirements?

The Honors College requires a minimum of 24 Honors credit hours or nine Honors courses completed with a B or better, a selective global experience through foreign language, study abroad, or other approved activities, and an overall GPA of a 3.00. A two-credit gateway introductory seminar (HONS 1990), a two-credit Honors perspective course, an Honors Research Methods course (HONS 3999) in the chosen discipline as well as a Capstone experience (HONS 4990 Thesis, HONS 4000 Independent Study, or any other approved Capstone experience) are part of the requirements. The remaining five courses may be chosen from a mix of Honors Core curriculum courses, Honors sections in the major, and Honors Option Credit in the major (taking a non-Honors course for Honors credit). Upon completion, you receive an Honors College Certificate, special notation on your transcript, and public recognition. Upon graduation from VSU, you receive a gold diploma seal, a gold honors cord to wear at graduation, and other forms of public recognition. Most importantly, future employers as well as graduate and professional schools will recognize your commitment to perseverance, academic excellence, and intellectual exploration.

What else is special about the Honors College?

The Honors College offers you priority registration, which will make a big difference, especially in your first year on campus. Also, we offer you use of the Honors Center at the VSU Honors House. Here you will find comfortable study space, a lounge area, computers and printers, two seminar rooms, and the Honors Library. The VSU Honors House is open during normal business hours. The Honors College also offers Honors housing at Reade Hall, a thriving Honors Student Association for social and extra-curricular activities, and many events both on and off campus throughout the year. The Honors College strongly emphasizes commitment to undergraduate research.  It is an institutional member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Southern Regional Honors Council, and the Georgia Honors Council, which sponsor numerous research and activity opportunities, as well as exciting conferences in major cities throughout the United States.

Where will Honors Courses fit into my curriculum?

All Honors courses are Core Curriculum or major courses, counting just the same as a non-Honors Core course would in your college requirements. Every Honors course taken counts toward graduation.

Do I have to take all Honors Courses?

No, not at all. However, to make progress in the College and to remain eligible for priority registration, you must take at least one Honors course a semester after you have been accepted. In general, most students will sign up for one Honors course and the introductory Seminar (see below) in the Fall semester, and then will sign up for one or more Honors core courses in succeeding semesters.

What about my GPA?

Many students are worried that being in the Honors College will hurt them, that the courses are harder and the grading standards more difficult. You will probably be expected to work more independently than in regular sections, and most honors classes emphasize understanding principles and ideas rather than merely accumulating facts. Given these qualities, it stands to reason that most students in the Honors Program maintain a "B" or better grade point average.

What are the Honors Seminars?

An Honors seminar is a special course that explores interdisciplinary topics not covered in traditional classes. Some include a additional service requirement. In the past, seminar topics have included Myth and Ritual in Modern Society, The Question of Evil, Native American Religions, Cosmology, Contemporary Views of Man, Ecology, Geomythology, Issues in Civilization, Women in the Arts, The Role and Function of a University, The 1930's, Religion and Violence, and The Myth of the Frontier.

What Honors Courses are offered?

Click here for the Honors College Advising checklist containing the most current rotation of Honors courses. Click here for the current semester's offerings.  

How do I get more information?

Come by the VSU Honors House, located at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Oak Street, call us at 249-4894, or e-mail the Honors College Dean at honorsatvaldosta.edu. You can also apply online to join the Honors College.

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