Students can look forward to expanded options in the Honors Program as university officials seek transformation into a college.
The change will bring an increase in course offerings and further growth and prestige of the program, said Heather Galloway, program director of University Honors.
Students must have access to diverse interdisciplinary and departmental classes to be fully developed through the National Collegiate Honors Council. There are 26 honors courses offered for the spring 2011 semester. The Honors College will bring an increase in the number of courses offered, Galloway said.
Galloway said the program has grown from about 400 to 1,200 students in the past three years, and from around 14 to 25 classes per semester. Galloway said her goal is to offer 35 classes per semester.
“Lots of growth is happening in Honors, and it will continue to happen,” Galloway said.
Honors student Holly Watson, management senior, said the Honors College would bring growth for the program. Watson took honors classes in exchange for basics, but would have taken more classes if they went towards her degree.
“It’s a great opportunity to get Texas State a stronger name, and give the Honors program a stronger name as well,” Watson said. “It’s great idea to expand it. Honors classes are more concentrated, and you get more out of it.”
The Honors Program is currently part of University College. The program will become its own college and report directly to the provost if the change is approved, Galloway said.
“Our support is beyond mere encouragement and other support like that,” said, associate provost of Academic Affairs. “It’s monetary support to offer more honors courses. It’s providing more funding to expand the Honors experience for special, talented students who might want to apply for fellowships.”
Bourgeois said he wants to make the Honors College more pervasive across the campus by attracting more students and increasing course offerings. He said having a “vibrant” Honors College will elevate the prestige of the university.
The official request for approval will take place next semester, Galloway said.
The Honors College needs to go through an administrative change request for the proposal to be approved. This request is a proposal that must be approved at all levels of the university and through the Board of Regents, Galloway said.
“The idea of developing Honors more has been around for a long time,” Galloway said. “Partly as the quality of Texas State students has increased, the idea that there’s more students here doing exemplary work needs to be supported in that way.”
The Honors College would be implemented by Sept. 1, 2011 if approved, Bourgeois said.