Overall, the Honors Program takes the view that it should be a planned set of arrangements, opportunities, and exposures to serve the needs of talented, gifted, and committed students. Its purposes also include identifying and recruiting students of superior academic ability, potential, performance, interest and commitment to accept the designed academic challenges, so much so that the Honors Program will ultimately serve as a standard of excellence and a paradigm of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff students.
The objectives of the Carolyn F. Blakely Honors Program are to:
stimulate creativity, intellectual curiosity, and critical evaluation of ideas and behavior in courses, seminars, and forums;
enhance the skills of research, writing, and speaking;
develop the capacity of independent learning;
provide academic opportunities of such caliber that students are challenged to perform at the highest level at which they are capable and through which they may become independent learners;
generally symbolize the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s commitment to excellence by augmenting the public image of the university as a place where superior scholarship is honored and encouraged;
give faculty members the intellectual reward that derives from working with gifted students;
attract scholars and speakers to the campus;
foster networking opportunities between students of similar motivations and interests, and to work closely with professors;
assist in attracting and retaining students of outstanding academic ability; such students are an asset for their participation in the Honors Program and for their contributions in leadership roles on campus; and
assist in attracting and retaining faculty members who are committed to quality education.
Benefits to the University
The Honors Program expects a long-term duration and projects long range benefits to the University through (1) the recruitment of a higher caliber of students, (2) the interaction of these students with the general population resulting in raising the general level of academic excellence, and (3) the involvement of these students with others nationwide through the attendance at, and participation in, regional and national honors meetings and other professional meetings in their disciplines.
The most important advantage of enrollment in honors is the opportunity to participate in demanding, high-quality courses taught by some of the university’s best professors. In addition, the Honors Program provides a stimulating learning environment outside formal course offerings.
Departmental Honors Sections
Departments within the university offer courses taught by their strongest faculty and intended especially for honor students. Departmental honors sections of general education courses are smaller than regular courses and provide greater occasion for classroom discussion and additional reading and writing under the supervision of the professor.
Honors Housing, The Honors Study Lounge, Special Activities
Scholars in the Honors Program benefit most directly from their association with fellow honors students and with honors faculty. To encourage interaction among students outside of the classroom, limited special on-campus housing is available. Students share dorms with their peers, but efforts are made to place scholars in the Program together.
Scholars also have access to private computer labs and other equipment and resources including MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, and GRE study materials and more, along with a quiet study area and meeting spaces within the Honors Program office suite.
Scholars are also encouraged to participate in the research process and compose papers that are eligible for publication and campus, regional, and national conference presentation. Scholars in the Honors Program also often receive first notice of internship and scholarship opportunities, including study abroad and nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. They also participate in Scholars Seminars that focus on content-specific learning and discussion.
The Honors Students Association publishes a regular newsletter, sponsors social and educational events, provides student advisement, and serves as an important advisory body to the honors Director and Advisory Council and much, much more.
Upon graduation, scholars who remain active in the Honors Program and Honors Student Association receive distinguished honors cords during a special Senior Send-Off program. These cords will be worn during the commencement ceremony.
“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again - and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.” ---Twain