Honors Program

Program Self-study Results

In 2001 and 2002, a group of students, faculty and administrators undertook an extensive evaluation of Elon's Honors Program, talking with students, checking standards of the National Collegiate Honors Council, consulting with the Undergraduate Research Program and examining practices at other colleges and universities. The group made recommendations for a number of improvements in what was already a strong program. A new curriculum was approved by the university's Curriculum Committee and by vote of the entire faculty. Changes took effect beginning in fall 2003.

Changes included:

  • Accepting fewer students each year, which made the program more selective, leading to better class discussions and an enhanced sense of community, especially within each cohort.
  • Giving every incoming Honors Fellow an academic scholarship on top of a Presidential Scholarship and dramatically increasing the amount of that scholarship.
  • Opening the new Honors Pavilion, a beautiful and unique living/learning community with faculty-in-residence and special programming.
  • Creating a more structured curriculum, which ensures that Honors courses build upon one another and further promote a sense of community.
  • Developing new team-taught courses in the second-year, innovative courses that spur faculty creativity, explore the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and provide more faculty contact.
  • Requiring an Honors thesis, an extensive research or creative capstone project done with close faculty mentoring. This new requirement builds upon the independent research projects that most Honors students were already doing and will better prepare students for graduate and professional school.

Certain key aspects of the Honors Program were preserved, such as:

  • $1,000 study abroad grant for study abroad in Elon-approved programs.
  • Availability of grants for research expenses, and travel and opportunities for presenting research.
  • Close mentoring by faculty as well as a peer mentoring program.
  • A Colloquium program where Honors Fellows attend cultural and intellectual events outside the classroom.
  • Honors residential learning communities.
  • Honors Elon 101 sections.
  • Service to the program and university.
  • Dedicated faculty and staff.
  • High academic expectations.