The Wittenberg University Honors Program is making room for some changes. As of right now, the program is only offering one seminar opportunity for its students in the spring semester because it is currently being restructured. While many components will be the same, James Allan, interim director of the honors program, mentioned that there are some pilot programs to tie into the university’s program.
“Right now, we are basically looking at a lot of different aspects of the program,” said Allan. “It’s becoming harder to offer the seminars, given the size of the program.” Allan says these changes will provide more flexibility for the honors students to complete the program.
In the spring of 2012, 53 students graduated with honors. Beth Hallauer, Administrative Assistant for both the Honors Program and math and computer science departments, stated, “The 53 students was the most since 2004. The least was 21 in the spring of 2008.” 24 students graduated last year with honors.
This year, as of right now, 15 students have signed up for a fall or spring honors thesis, and one student has for the department honors. “They can sign up for either one semester or the entire year,” Hallauer said. More people will likely sign up over the next few weeks.
Clinton Rodgers, senior, had the opportunity to be part of the honors program, but opted against it, due to time restraints. “I wanted to fit in everything, to get all of the classes I wanted to take.” With a double major in both English and history, Rodgers’s schedule has been packed, and part of him wishes he could have completed it. “There were times where I wished I was doing an honors thesis, but I don’t have time at this point.”
To graduate with honors, students must complete the honors thesis, take two semester honors seminars, and have a GPA of 3.5. It is a lot of work, but students can do it. It takes careful planning for all of the courses for the student’s four years.
The changes to the program are set to go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year. While nothing is set in stone as of yet, the honors program is piloting new programs to try and have the best opportunities for students. “It’s a really great distinction,” Rodgers said of the honors program. “I can’t imagine a school not having one.”