The Honors College updated its rules for eligibility, which will be implemented for new honors students in fall 2021. Additionally, it is now offering more opportunities for fellowship and leadership.
“Some of the changes are divided into academic, leadership and service,” Dr. James Huff, Honors College faculty fellow, said. “When we think about what the Honors College is doing for students, we are really focused on a nurturing environment that is going to help students thrive after Harding.”
Dr. Jim Miller, also an Honors College faculty fellow, said the changes will require honors students to complete requirements within three categories: course enrollment, leadership positions and community service.
Moreover, Miller said these changes will only apply to honors students who begin participating in the Honors College next fall. Those currently enrolled are exempt from the reform, although they are encouraged to adopt them, Miller said.
“[Honors students have] been given a lot of opportunities,” Miller said. “They have a lot of abilities and a lot of resources available to them. So we want them to be engaged in the academic offerings of the Honors College and also leadership and community service.”
In order to demonstrate engagement in the Honors College according to Harding’s catalog, undergraduate students must earn at least one unit from either the academic or leadership and service areas per semester. Academic units include completing an honors course, contract, capstone or thesis. Leadership and service units include serving as an elected officer for campus organizations listed on Harding’s catalog, serving as a peer guide for first-year Bible courses or attending at least six Honors Council sessions.
Students who fail to meet these qualifications in a semester will be placed on the Honors College’s probation list the following semester. Students who fail twice will be unenrolled from the Honors College and must reapply the next semester to rejoin.
The Honors College helps many students, like senior Matthew Emlaw, build a firm academic foundation.
“The Honors College has had a very large impact on me personally,” Emlaw, vice president of the honors student council, said. “My older brother was in the Honors College and invited me to come to events, and that is where I have made so many memories and some of my closest friends.”