The Lenoir-Rhyne Honors Academy Program fosters personal growth and development of highly motivated students through exceptional individual attention. Program students work with their intellectual peers in an enhanced learning environment. The challenging ethos of the program prepares students for success in their post-graduate experiences. The Honors Program cultivates responsible citizenship through leadership opportunities on campus and the larger community.
Two separate Honors Programs are available. The Honors Academy Program is open to students at the beginning of their first year, to transfer students, and to current Lenoir-Rhyne University students, under the criteria listed below. A student’s status in the program is renewed on a yearly basis. Program Honors, on the other hand, are offered in all academic programs to selected students in their junior and/or senior year. Further information may be obtained from the Honors Director at 828-328-7927.
Honors Academy Program
Admission to the Honors Academy Program is by invitation of the University. Students are selected on the basis of scholastic excellence. Honors Academy Program students maintain Honors designation by continuing an overall grade point average of 3.25 although they must attain a 3.5 GPA in order to graduate from the Honors Academy Program. In addition they must meet the following requirements in order to graduate from the Program:
- Successfully complete FYE 191H and FYE 192H–First Year Experience.
- Successfully complete two honors sections of LAS level I and/or level-II courses.
- Successfully complete four Great Books courses (HON 491 and HON 492 ).
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 upon graduation.
- Complete 15 hours community service per year.
- Take either HON 200 or HON 201 .
- Take HON 301 and maintain a portfolio.
- Successfully complete program honors in (at least one of) their major field(s).
- Honors students are expected to be persons of upstanding moral and ethical character.
The specific requirements of Program Honors vary according to the Program offering honors, but all Program Honors guidelines will conform according to the published Program Honors guidelines below. In addition, the following five policies apply to all programs offering Program Honors:
- no comprehensive examination above and beyond normal program requirements;
- any student in the major who can meet the GPA requirements described below shall be able to take any Program Honors course except the Senior Research and Thesis courses;
- a student who completes Program Honors graduates with honors in that program and it is acknowledged at commencement;
- Program Honors are directed by the school involved under the general guidance and coordination of the Director of the Honors Program;
- only the academic Program Committee shall have the authority to allow exceptions or to modify the guidelines pertaining to Program Honors. Appeals and/or waivers shall be made to the committee, in writing, and endorsed by the school chair;
- students shall make a public presentation of their Program Honors work.
A student may, upon invitation of the faculty within a discipline, complete Program Honors within their specific program of study. At a minimum, students invited into Program Honors must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a major GPA of 3.2. Some programs may have higher GPA requirements. Completing Program Honors involves close work with a faculty member involving research within the field of study, culminating in a thesis or significant research-based project appropriate to the field. Students must enroll in a major-specific 499 Senior Honors Thesis course in the semester in which the thesis or significant research-grounded product, whether applied or theoretical, is completed. Some programs also require additional coursework with an honors designation prior to enrollment in 499 Senior Honors Thesis, including a readings course, 498 Senior Honors Research, which may be taken the semester immediately prior to 499 Senior Honors Thesis. A permanent record of the student’s Program Honors work will be bound and maintained in the Library.
The culminating work for graduation with Program Honors, completed in the courses numbered 498 and/or 499, should be significant, beyond that which a student would complete for graduation without honors. In particular, the work should engage the student in deeper thinking and analysis beyond the capstone product or other senior-level work required of all students in the same major.
As such, completing Program Honors requires advanced critical thinking and analysis, demonstrated by written analysis of accepted professional literature in the field of study. Most students will complete theses and will include a research component. Students are expected to leave a permanent copy of their culminating honors work in the library collection. While this culminating work may include a DVD of a recital or student teaching, it should be accompanied by a written undergirding analysis of the support for the work performance in the existing literature.
In general, the final piece of work for Program Honors (no matter the field) should include the following:
- Statement of the problem/question under investigation
- Critical analysis of the literature in the field of study, pertaining to the question
- Materials and methods employed to explore question under investigation
- Analysis of findings/results
- Conclusion/discussion implications of the findings and suggestions for further investigations of the question
- Oral presentation defense of the work before a panel of faculty
Completing the final honors activity for graduation in Program Honors requires careful planning. Students invited into Program Honors will, in consultation with the primary advisor, select a committee of reviewers to guide the work undertaken. The committee shall include at least three members. Two faculty members shall be from the program/School in which the student’s major is housed. The third faculty member must be from outside the School. Students may also invite a professional from the local community as a fourth member, if appropriate. Students should identify their committee at the proposal stage in order to receive feedback throughout the process, not just at the end. Students are expected to complete their work in a timely fashion, as follows:
- Generally, complete the draft proposal and have all approvals not later than the fourth week of the semester in which the culminating work is to be completed.
- Generally, submit the completed work not later than three weeks prior to the last day of class.
- Generally, hold the oral presentation/defense no later than one week prior to the last day of classes.