As the new term began, I noticed an increase in messages from students in the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa. I also noticed more students joining both groups. Given that everyone is studying and working from home, the physical college is closed to everyone but the few employees who must be on campus to do their jobs, and all spring events have been canceled, it’s not surprising that students are looking for ways to connect.
So far, I’ve taken several steps to support the students and help them feel less isolated and more focused on their goals:
- starting a new Lane Honors Program blog and a new Phi Theta Kappa blog;
- using blog posts, email, and social media to share information about publication and volunteer opportunities;
- working with students to research their transfer schools, curate their ePortfolios, and polish up their resumes; and
- developing with Casey Reid a short workshop on building their first CVs based on an earlier workshop that Casey had created.
Later this term, we will hold an online orientation for new honors students, as well.
I’m so impressed with these amazing students. Regardless of sheltering at home, losing jobs or working new shifts, and moving to a remote instruction learning environment for all of their classes, they are persevering. They are, as always, inspiring!
This week, Casey Reid and I organized an information session for the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa. Nine people attended our event. In addition to serving as an information session, this event fulfilled the honors orientation requirement for students in the program.
At this event, we reviewed the benefits of these two honors opportunities, the requirements for each, and the ways in which participating in both could be especially beneficial for students planning to transfer to four-year schools.
We also introduced students to the Honors Librarian, Claire Dannenbaum (far right) and the Honors Writing Tutor, student Sabrina Piccolo (third from right):
A highlight was presenting Sabrina and Holly Kolodziejczak (second from right) with their honors medallions for successfully completing the Honors Program!
And of course, we had lots of snacks!
Casey and I will be offering several more information sessions before the end of this academic year, hopefully in our soon-to-be-realized Honors and PTK Student Lounge!
Starting in September 2018, we brought back the Honors Program and have made a lot of progress creating opportunities for students!
This year, we are offering the following honors classes:
- ANTH 102_H: World Archaeology
- ART 115_H: Basic Design
- BI 101_H: General Biology
- COMM 111_H: Fundamentals of Public Speaking
- COOP 280_H: Co-op Ed: Service Learning
- ENG 105_H: Introduction to Literature: Drama
- ENG 106_H: Introduction to Literature: Poetry
- WR 121_H: Introduction to Academic Writing
- WR 122_H: Composition: Argument, Style and Research
- WR 227_H: Technical Writing
- WR 242_H: Introduction to Imaginative Writing: Poetry
Partnering with Phi Theta Kappa
The Director of the Writing Center, Casey Reid, and I are now the advisors for Lane’s Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. We will be bringing the chapter back in winter of 2019! Honors students can hold leadership positions in PTK to fulfill their experiential learning requirement. Also, we will hold workshops for both Honors and PTK to help students build and maintain ePortfolios, create research posters, and develop their resumes.
We reinstated our agreement with Portland State University’s Honors College. Students completing our program can transfer directly into their college as juniors.
We are in the process of reinstating our agreement with Southern Oregon University’s Honors College.
We are also in conversation with the University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College, which is interested in developing a transfer agreement with us.
Watch for more details on these last two agreements and other developments in 2019!
This morning, I had a great conversation with Casey Reid, the Writing Center Coordinator. We explored ways in which the Honors Program and the Writing Center could support one another. Casey had some exciting ideas that I think will be beneficial to students.
Honors students could be course-embedded tutors for other classes. This option will take some time, as embedded tutors work best when the student and faculty member have already met in a class and established a relationship. There are also scheduling issues to consider, especially given that our students often have jobs and families in addition to taking a full load of classes. Nevertheless, it would be an excellent way for students to engage in experiential learning. I look forward to talking with our coordinator for honors experiential learning and honors cooperative education, Gerry Meenaghan.
Additionally, tutors could be embedded in honors classes, offering a resource to the students in the class and also helping the tutors further develop their skills. I can see this working well in several honors classes, including the seminars.
Our initial steps will be to check in with the current honors writing instructors, Amy Beasley, Anne McGrail, and Eileen Thompson, about these possibilities and to see if there is interest in pursuing them this year. I will also talk with my co-instructor in the seminars, Stacey Kiser, about ways that an embedded tutor could work, especially as the enrollments this year are growing.