Arete -- The KWU Honors Program

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Dr. Nancy H. Cummings, Executive Vice-President and Provost

Dr. Mike R. Russell, Honors Program Director

"Arete" is the ancient Greek embodiment of excellence, morality, and virtue. It is the value of pushing oneself to be all that one can be. And it is implied in Kansas Wesleyan University's calling to "develop both intellect and character, to stimulate creativity, discovery, [and] to nurture the whole person -- body, mind, and spirit (quoted from the KWU Mission Statement)." Arete -- The KWU Honors Program seeks to bring out and to develop these characteristics to their fullest among our students.

Wesleyan Fellows, students enrolled in Arete -- The KWU Honors Program, will sharpen their already excellent creative thinking, critical analysis, and problem-solving skills while developing a greater intellectual curiosity and engaging in a free exchange of ideas with their professors and fellow students. They will improve their ability to think and work independently while communicating effectively in both the spoken and written word. And they will appreciate the world's rich panorama because, by developing the ability to think outside of the box, they can see things from a variety of perspectives.

An interdisciplinary program, the honors program features unique courses, seminars, colloquia, and the opportunity for independent research or performance that support the mission of the program and of Kansas Wesleyan University.

Course size is generally smaller with more in-depth study and includes a variety of viewpoints from faculty and guests across the academic disciplines. Courses often have significant reading assignments and are conducted to encourage academic rigor.

Admission

Admission to the KWU Honors Program is by invitation through nomination by faculty and approval by the Honors Program Committee. Students interested should contact the admissions office or their faculty advisors. Typically students invited have at least an ACT composite score (or equivalent) of 26 and a high school (or college) cumulative GPA of 3.5. Please find nomination and application forms above right in the purple menu box.

Benefits

  • Mentoring relationships with faculty, administration, and local professionals.
  • Additional assistance in employment and graduate school applications and scholarships.
  • An “Honors Program” designation on your transcript.
  • Opportunities to meet speakers, guests and performers hosted by Kansas Wesleyan University.
  • Opportunities to use leadership skills in campus issues of interest.
  • When appropriate, opportunities to engage in research with faculty.
  • Credit in Liberal Studies Electives Section (dependent on content).

Curriculum

Courses are available each semester and vary in topic, rotated to emphasize different areas of knowledge. Topics will include such themes as: Leadership; Critical Analysis; Global Awareness; and Impacting the Future. To take an honors course, a student must be a Wesleyan Fellow or have special permission of the course instructor.

All Wesleyan Fellows must:

  1. Be accepted into the Honors Program.
  2. Be a member of the Honors Program in good standing at the time of graduation.
  3. Complete the entire 18 credit sequence, in the order listed below.

Honors Program Requirements – 18 Credit Hours

*HONR110 -- Honors Seminar in Leadership (satisfies one Liberal Studies requirement in Personal Awareness*) -- 3 credits.

*HONR150 -- Honors Seminar in Critical Analysis (satisfies one Liberal Studies requirement in Human Expression*) -- 3 credits. Prerequisite: ENGL120 or equivalent.

*HONR250 -- Honors Seminar in Global Awareness (satisfied one Liberal Studies requirement in Community and World Exploration*) -- 3 credits

*HONR270 -- Honors Seminar in Impacting the Future (satisfies one Liberal Studies requirement in Natural World Stewardship*) -- 3 credits.

HONR310 -- Honors Issues (a problem-solving course with changing sub-topics) -- 3 credits.

HONR499 -- Senior Honors Project (may be cross-listed with required 499 Senior Thesis/Project course in students major department) -- 3 credits.

*Students in the honors program are encouraged to use the four HONR designated Liberal Studies courses to satisfy one course in each of the four Liberal Studies areas.

Honors Program Course Descriptions

*HONR110 Honors Seminar in Leadership - 3 Credit Hrs. ................................................................... Fall

In this Honors course, the student will develop a sense of who they are as an honors student and the responsibility that comes with that goal and calling. The purpose of the seminar is the explore leadership opportunities and to improve leadership skills. We will explore theories of leadership as well as research about what an individual can do to be an effective leader. Specific focus will be placed on 1) what makes an effective leader, 2) methods of social influence, and 3) managing small group interactions. Acceptance into the Honors Program or instructor permission required for enrollment.

*HONR 150 Honors Seminar in Critical Analysis - 3 Credit Hrs. ....................................................... Spring

The Honors Seminar in Critical Analysis is a course with variable subtopics that provide Honors students a platform where they will develop necessary skills with which to engage knowledge and distinguish themselves as a thinker. This knowledge will present itself in several forms – in both reading and writing, certainly, but also in the ongoing interaction and informed exchange of ideas among students. The course is structured as a forum or seminar with a discussion format specifically intended to facilitate this free and open exchange. Through critical thinking and problem-solving, student will evaluate a variety of important issues and ideas that have and continue to influence the human story, paying particular attention to how these ideas have developed and how their proponents and detractors have presented their arguments. In so doing, students will engage primary and secondary sources, and one another as well, to evaluate the quality of important arguments, both in content and in delivery. This course satisfies the Liberal Studies Requirement for Human Expression. A student must be accepted into the KWU Honors Program or have permission of the professor to enroll in this course. Additional prerequisite: ENGL120 or equivalent.

*HONR 250 Honors Seminar in Global Awareness - 3 Credit Hrs. ........................................................ Fall

"Honors Seminar in Global Awareness" is a course with variable subtopics that provides Honors students a platform where they will develop an appreciation for others and the importance of reaching beyond oneself. The course is structured as a forum or seminar with a discussion format specifically intended to facilitate the free and open exchange. Through critical thinking and problem solving, students will evaluate a variety of important issues and ideas that have and continue to influence the relationship of the individual to their communities, local and global. In addition, students will have the opportunity to engage in a service learning or community service project and to reflect on this experience. This course satisfies the Liberal Studies Requirement for Community and World Exploration. A student must be accepted into the KWU Honors Program or have permission of the professor to enroll in this course.

*HONR 270 Honors Seminar in Impacting the Future - 3 Credit Hrs. ............................................... Spring

In this Honors course, the student will practice identifying and addressing complex world problems, in preparation for student-led problem-solving courses to folow. Topics vary, depending on the expertise and interests of the course facilitator, but will emphasize the interactions between humanity and environments, and focus on problems with a global impact. A student must be accepted into the KWU Honors program or have permission of the instructor to enroll in this course.

HONR 286 Special Topics Honors Seminar – 3 Credit Hours.................................................. On Demand

Interdisciplinary course open only to Honors students. Small class size. Will include in-depth study and expose students to a variety of viewpoints from faculty and guests across the academic disciplines, focusing on a topic of a multidisciplinary nature. Honors students are expected to read and interact to a wide spectrum of more challenging and thought provoking material than found in a typical course of a similar level. The pace and work is more rigorous and accelerated than a standard course. Because every offering of this course is different, enrollment may be repeated.

HONR 310 Honors Issues – 3 Credit Hours .......................................................................... Fall & Spring

The issues course is directed by a faculty facilitator, but is primarily student-led. It is application in nature, with the goal of affecting public policy on real issues. The course involves group research and student development. Because every offering of this course is different, enrollment may be repeated.

HONR 499 Senior Honors Project – 3 Credit Hours ............................................................... On Demand

Students complete an advanced project in an area of personal interest. The project typically results in a substantive paper and public presentation to an appropriate audience. Automatically cross-listed with any departmental 499 course, and may be cross-listed with a departmental 490 course with the approval of the Honors Program Committee.

*Denotes Liberal Studies course.

Learning goals of the honors program

To develop and demonstrate a facility in inter-disciplinary thinking and synthesis of ideas and proposals in clear oral and written form.

To demonstrate scholarly investigative research skills.

To demonstrate the ability to understand and to intelligently discuss and argue the merits of arguments in various sides of significant contemporary issues.

There will be numerous opportunities for students to demonstrate goals and concepts through a variety of means. Learning strategies will vary throughout the courses.