About the Campus Honors Program

Submitted by admin on October 18, 2007 - 9:33pm

Growth, learning, and aspiration...

The Campus Honors Program (CHP) offers special challenges and opportunities to a small number of academically talented and highly motivated undergraduate students. It fosters collaborative relationships between students and distinguished faculty through small intensive classes, a faculty mentor system for introducing students to the intellectual standards and methodologies of academic disciplines, and informal contacts encouraged by cocurricular offerings. CHP sponsors four series of noncredit cocurricular events: a "Scholar Adventurers" lecture series on faculty research; a "Study Abroad at Home" series of seminar-workshops centering on other cultures; a series of dress-rehearsal visits at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; and an "International Tasting Club" lunch series. The aim is to encourage breadth and excellence from the outset of the student's college career, and to facilitate interaction with scholars at the cutting edge of their disciplines.

Only approximately 125 new students can be admitted to the CHP each year as first-year students. A few additional students, however, may join the program on an off-cycle basis at the beginning of the sophomore year. Designated as "Chancellor's Scholars," CHP students may be enrolled in any undergraduate curriculum. Those who meet retention requirements continue as Chancellor's Scholars throughout their undergraduate career. Required CHP coursework is concentrated in the freshman and sophomore years, when students take intensive and specialized versions of general education courses. At the junior and senior level, when students are necessarily involved in their majors, they are required to take one advanced CHP seminar. In short, our emphasis is on fundamental principles and interdisciplinary connections, because the CHP is directed at students who desire an undergraduate education that is broad and general as well as professionally specialized.

It is as important to understand what CHP is not, as to understand what it is. CHP courses represent additional opportunities for academically gifted and adventurous students; they are not an alternative curriculum. Basically, they provide an honors-quality way of satisfying general education requirements for graduation and of helping students to discover the interrelations between their own discipline and other disciplines. Nor does CHP supplant or conflict with departmental honors programs. In consultation with their departmental academic advisors, Chancellor's Scholars develop their own combination of regular and CHP courses. Accordingly, most of the courses our students take are regular University offerings.

Most important, CHP is a challenge. A Chancellor's Scholar must make a special commitment to intellectual life, and to the dialogue and community in the Honors House.