SUNY Broome is unveiling its new Honors Program, which will begin in Fall 2015 for both new and continuing students
This program will challenge students to think more deeply and insightfully in a wide range of classes across all academic disciplines. Capped at 20 students, classes are also smaller than average, providing a more intimate environment.
“SUNY Broome has always attracted our share of top students. It’s a unique aspect of the college due to our exceptional faculty,” said SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm. “Now our Honors Program requires both students and faculty involved to push learning even further than has been our academic tradition. It’s an exciting addition to our academic community.”
Students admitted to the program have first access to Honors-designated courses and distinguished regalia for commencement, as well as special social activities, networking opportunities and enhanced transfer and job placement opportunities.
“I charged the committee to explore creating an honors program to help raise the awareness of the academic excellence found at SUNY Broome, and as a way to recognize the impressive work and ability of Honors Students across this region,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Francis Battisti. “This program will challenge our talented students and also showcase the work of our excellent faculty.”
For Professor Steven Call, the program’s chair, education goes beyond the classroom and books. Rather, it’s a lifelong adventure that involves experiences and conversations, discovery and enlightenment. He noted that its essence is reflected in a famous dictum of Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
“To me, the examination of life, and the world that encompasses life, is living,” he said. “It is also growth, and it is the path to wisdom. And, if it is done right, it is a real gas! For this Honors Program, I hope to share this attitude with as many as are interested.”
Once enrolled in the program, students need to complete at least 12 credits of Honors courses and a one- to three-credit Honors project, as well as maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA.
“The SUNY Broome honors program will give selected students the chance to rival themselves in a challenging, competitive academic environment,” said SUNY Broome student Kyle Henry, who will graduate in May. He noted that its focus on both academics and the outside world will allow those in the program “a chance to rise above the status quo of the everyday student.”
New students must arrange to send their transcripts to the College confirming their class rank and GPA as of Dec. 31, while continuing students must have at least a 3.5 GPA in the last 12 college-level courses they have taken at SUNY Broome. Both must complete the online SUNY Broome Honors Program application, provide a list of extracurricular and/or leadership activities, and complete a 300-word essay or project that answers the question “Why do you want to be part of the SUNY Broome Honors Program?”
SUNY Broome previously had an Honors Program that went on hiatus in 2006. Professor Rachael Hagerman, chair of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Technologies, went through that program when she was a SUNY Broome student.
At the time, Professor Hagerman had already earned a bachelor’s degree, but returned to college to be retrained. Her advisor recommended the Honors Program as a way to stay challenged and involved.
She fondly remembered the trip the program took to Washington, D.C., and her two Honors projects. For one, she created learning materials for students in the medical laboratory technician program that are still used today. For the second, she helped a faculty member learn how to use a new piece of equipment, and taught her peers to do the same in a lab. Those experiences helped shape her future career as a faculty member, she noted.
Hagerman said the committee was determined to offer Honors courses in all divisions, as well as fully online courses so that all students can take part.
“We would encourage all students to apply and participate,” she said.
For more information, visit www.sunybroome.edu/honorsprogram.