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Duane Nellis speaks before the 2017 Interfaith Walk in front of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on University Terrace. (FILE)

New honors program to begin this fall

Ohio University will pilot a university-wide honors program for the upcoming academic year.

President Duane Nellis announced an honors task force last October during his inaugural address and since, the task force developed a program to give all OU students access to more interdisciplinary academic experiences.

“The OHIO Honors program will strengthen a University-wide academic culture that celebrates all forms of interdisciplinary and experiential learning,” Nellis said in a press release.

The program has three pathways: community engagement, leadership and research or creative activity. 

Students will select their pathway at the end of their second year. Throughout their academic career, they will complete 14 experiences, which include a variety of honors courses and hands-on experiences such as community service and internships.

Students in the pilot program will take an introductory course in the fall semester and an “honors engagement lab” course in the spring. The lab will give students the opportunity to work with campus and community leaders for hands-on experience in community-based problem solving. 

The first honors program cohort will include 45 to 50 incoming first-year students from the College of Arts and Sciences Scholars Program, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business. 

The task force will continue to work on the initiative by further developing course offerings, expanding the 2019-20 cohort to students across more colleges and taking feedback from students in the upcoming cohort. 

“I’m excited to formally welcome our inaugural cohort this fall, and I look forward to hearing their input as we work collectively to guide and expand this new program forward,” Nellis said in a university press release. 

Beginning Fall Semester, the task force and the Office of Instructional Innovation will host course adaptation workshops for faculty members. Those aim to help faculty adapt existing courses to honors students by introducing components such as additional tasks and assignments. 

Honors components of courses will evaluated; however, it will not be graded in a traditional way so that students have room for creativity and innovation, according to the press release. 


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