Ohio University’s OHIO Honors Program, or OHP, will limit the number of students it enrolls in future classes following the induction of its largest class during the Fall Semester.
The OHP began in the fall of 2019 as a supplement to the Honors Tutorial College and its enrollment numbers have continued to grow. According to The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics, 413 students enrolled in the OHP during the 2020 Fall Semester. A year later, during the 2021 Fall Semester, 589 students were enrolled in the OHP.
At the beginning of the 2022 Fall Semester, OU introduced the 1804 Scholars Program. The new program is non-curricular and exposes students to both on- and off-campus experiences, Geoff Buckley, the interim associate dean of the OHP and the 1804 Scholars program, said.
“This is an exciting opportunity for students who want to be part of a high-achieving residential community focused on wellbeing and enrichment experiences outside of the classroom,” Donal Skinner, dean of the Honors Tutorial College, said in an email.
“The Honors Tutorial College is sort of the umbrella for honors at Ohio University,” Buckley said. “You've got the honors tutorial side, you've got the Ohio Honors Program and now we have 1804 Scholars, so there are a few different options, and a lot of flexibility, to meet the needs of students who want an honors experience at Ohio University.”
The 1804 Scholars program inducted 153 students and the OHP inducted 437 students during Fall Semester. Although the number of students in the OHP program decreased, the number of students in OU’s honors and scholars programs has increased, Jim Sabin, a university spokesperson, said.
Despite the record number of students who enrolled in the OHP in 2022, the university was able to house every residential honors student in designated honors housing, Johnna Matulja, the director of business operations for housing and residence life, said.
Buckley said he anticipates the OHP’s growth to stabilize despite the possibility that the program will become more popular as more students learn about it.
“I think that OHP … will stabilize between 400 and 450 (students),” Buckley said. “I think that would be sort of ideal in terms of size to fit very well with the resources we currently have.”
Skinner said the number of students able to enroll in OU’s honors programs will not continue to increase due to intentional restrictions on enrollment.
“While we were thrilled at the interest in the honors offerings at OHIO, we’ve had to intentionally restrict enrollment to ensure we deliver on the excellent experience we’ve promised students,” Skinner said in an email.
Despite the hundreds of students enrolled in the OHP program, Buckley said the curriculum will continue to expand and offer more experiential learning opportunities to its members.
“That’s one of the things I've been trying to work on right now is building partnerships with local groups and also national groups that could provide experiential opportunities for our students,” Buckley said.
Honors faculty is aware there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to an honors education, Skinner said. It will continue to strive to help high-achieving students with any academic challenge they would like to pursue.
Although OU’s honors and scholars programs are larger than ever before, Buckley said the faculty is dedicated and ready to assist with its students' academic aspirations.
“I really hope that (students) take away that you've got really dedicated faculty here at Ohio University, who are very willing to go the extra mile,” Buckley said.