USD Honors director presentation


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This presentation discusses the strengths, challenges/limitations, and opportunities of the University of South Dakota's Honors Program.

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USD Honors director presentation

  1. 1. Quality in Context: An Analysis of the Honors Program at The University of South Dakota<br />Carol A. Leibiger, Ph.D., MSLIS<br />Associate Professor<br />Information Literacy Coordinator<br />University Libraries<br />
  2. 2. Who am I?<br />Academic preparation<br />Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics and Older Germanic Literatures (U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985)<br />M.S. in Library and Information Science (U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987)<br />Experience at USD<br />German Language, Literature, Linguistics, Teaching Methods, Honors<br />English Literature, Honors<br />Information Literacy, European Literature, Women’s Studies, Honors<br />
  3. 3. Who am I?<br />Honors courses taught<br />Fantasy, Truth, & Perception (UHON 210)<br />Women, Identity, and the Narrative<br />Women of Ideas of the Nineteenth Century<br />Evil Lurks Among Us (with Dennis Sjolie)<br />Rings of Power/Roots & Branches<br />Love Stinks!<br />Library liaison to Honors (acquisitions, IL instruction in Honors English and Speech, and UHON 211)<br />Honors parent<br />
  4. 4. The Honor’s Program’s Strengths: HLC Self-Study statements<br />“Largest and most vibrant Honors Program in the state”<br />“The University Honors Program provides ‘especially motivated, creative, and thoughtful students an enriched academic experience grounded in the liberal arts that promotes lifelong learning, responsibility in citizenship, effectiveness in vocation, and appreciation of culture, while enhancing the intellectual environment and community of the University.’”<br />
  5. 5. The Honor’s Program’s Strengths<br />Over 350 academically strong students (8% of student population)<br />Average ACT: 28.9<br />Average HS GPA: 3.89<br />4-year graduation rate: almost 55%<br />Over 20% of 2010 entering Freshmen ranked #1in their HS classes<br />79% of nationally competitive scholarship winners<br />27% of leadership positions in campus organizations<br />
  6. 6. The Honor’s Program’s Strengths<br />Traditional Honors curriculum<br />Freshman: Honors English and Ideas in History<br />Sophomore: Interdisciplinary Civilization I & II<br />Junior: Honors seminars<br />Senior: Honors thesis<br />Innovations<br />Sophomore mini-thesis<br />Junior XDIS participation<br />
  7. 7. The Honor’s Program’s Strengths<br />Hardworking , dedicated Honors staff<br />Director (50%)<br />Assistant Director (65%)<br />Director, Center for Academic Engagement (33%)<br />Program Assistant I (100%)<br />Honors faculty dedicated to excellent teaching<br />Cadre of Honors English and UHON 210/211 faculty<br />Honors seminars taught by credentialed faculty<br />
  8. 8. The Honor’s Program’s Strengths: What Our Students Say<br />Academic preparation:<br />Provides resources to “balance the odds when competing against students from larger or better-resourced universities”<br />Exposure to a variety of disciplines and ways of thinking takes students “above and beyond”<br />“Mind-expanding” content and rigor of Honors seminars <br />Seminars develop critical thinking and communication skills in speech and writing<br />Mini-thesis and Honors thesis are preparation in disciplinary thinking and writing for graduate school and beyond<br />
  9. 9. The Honor’s Program’s Strengths: What Our Students Say<br />Social and intellectual involvement in a community of scholars: <br />“By creating a community of students who are oriented towards engaging each other around ideas, you create a subculture…in which the social norm is intellectual curiosity and engagement.”  <br />Passionate instructors who “take students seriously as academics” and demonstrate that “academia is something that [can] be enjoyed.”<br />“The Honors Lounge is an amazing perk.”<br />
  10. 10. Challenges (from documents):Honors<br />NCHC, Basic Characteristics of a Fully <br />Developed Honors Program<br />Mission statement <br />Instructional excellence<br />Scalability (resources)<br />Honors staff<br />Honors faculty<br />
  11. 11. Challenges (from documents):USD/Honors <br />USD, The University of South Dakota Self-Study <br />For Reaccreditation<br />Diversity<br />General USD issue<br />Honors education issue<br />Recruitment and retention as USD issues<br />High-quality students<br />High-quality faculty<br />
  12. 12. Challenges: What Our Students Say<br />“Honors should present uncompromising <br />commitment to intellectual standards and a safe <br />space where students can work hard and <br />believe that they will be taken care of well by <br />their mentors and the institution at large. The <br />Honors Program HAS to lead this charge both in <br />the eyes of the administration and in the mind <br />of the student body. ”<br />
  13. 13. Opportunities: Leading from WithinMission Statement<br />Develop and display prominently a mission statement that aligns with USD’s articulated mission statement <br />Articulate goals and objectives of the Honors curriculum<br />Utilize current USD assessment focus, personnel, and process to assess the Honors Program<br />Utilize the assessment findings as “talking points” for in-house structural, curricular, and funding enhancement<br />Utilize the mission statement as a communication tool for marketing, fundraising, etc.<br />
  14. 14. Opportunities: Leading from WithinInstructional Excellence<br />Promote interdisciplinarity and academic rigor in a developmental Honors curriculum<br />Freshman sequence should “hook” students with both skills and knowledge building as well as stimulating content<br />Sophomore sequence should introduce students to interdisciplinarity<br />Honors seminars should be uniformly rigorous and truly interdisciplinary<br />XDIS should be integrated into the Honors curriculum<br />Honors sophomore and major curricula culminate in the mini-thesis and Honors thesis, respectively<br />
  15. 15. Opportunities: Leading from WithinInstructional Excellence<br />Promote instructional excellence and pedagogical experimentation, and market success<br />Feature USD’s best faculty (e.g., Belbas-Larson Award winners prioritized for Honors instruction)<br />Evaluate courses and faculty not just on content, but on pedagogy<br />Make Honors courses the locus of experimental instructional design<br />Extend successful courses to non-Honors students<br />Publicize successes in course building and pedagogy<br />
  16. 16. Opportunities: Leading from WithinScalability of Personnel Resources<br />Scalability of instruction and administration<br />Investigate administrative workload sharing with GAs and internships<br />Introduce efficiencies into Honors seminars<br />Utilize Honors staff as seminar faculty<br />Allow greater flexibility in contracting Honors seminars (e.g., graduate courses)<br />Allow one contracted Honors seminar for investigation of likely Honors thesis projects (with thesis proposal /introductory chapter as required end product)<br />
  17. 17. Opportunities: Leading from WithinDiversity, Recruitment, Retention<br />Honors can lead in promoting an “intellectual environment that fosters…recruitment of the best students and faculty” for USD<br />Enhance diversity by recruitment and retention of bright, ambitious minority students <br />Initiate mentoring of all Honors students by upperclassmen, faculty, and alumni<br />Tie high-achieving students and alumni to USD via post-grad Honors relationships<br />Market Honors research via an Institutional Repository<br />Promote (minority) faculty recruitment and retention <br />Initiate mentoring of new Honors faculty by Honors staff and experienced faculty<br />
  18. 18. Conclusion<br />Challenges<br />Opportunities<br />Mission Statement<br />Instructional Excellence<br />Scalability<br />Diversity<br />Recruitment & Retention<br />Mission Statement<br />Instructional Excellence<br />Developmental Curriculum<br />Pegagogical Experimentation<br />Scalability<br />Diversity<br />Recruitment & Retention<br />
  19. 19. Questions?<br />This presentation is available on Slideshare:<br /><br />To continue the conversation, please contact <br />me:<br />Carol Leibiger<br />130 B I.D. Weeks Library Bldg.<br /><br />677-6089<br />