Honors College offers students a chance to grow

Honors College offers students a chance to grow

President Tallant prepares to cut the ribbon celebrating the opening of Mesquite Village West in 2011.

As much as everyone enjoys the historical parts of TAMUK, there is always room for new additions. The Honors College is a slightly new piece. In 2010 Provost Dr. Rex Gandy envisioned creating an Honors college from the honors program at TAMUK. The college provides a smaller and more advanced environment.

Dean of Honors College, Dr. Dolores Guerrero says, “In Honors College students have an opportunity to take honors courses which are small and offer a much more in depth experience in learning.”

However, unlike traditional academic colleges, an honors college does not grant degrees. An honors college is comprised of academically advanced students that must meet certain criteria. These students attend special honors classes that offer advanced supplemental material, said Gandy.

After noticing that across the country honors programs are being transitioned to stand alone colleges TAMUK’s Honor College was created in the fall of 2010.

“It has been an important step in the university’s goal for academic excellence and attracting high achieving students,” Guerrero said.

In three years, the number of students in the college has increased largely each year. They began with only 15 students in 2010, grew to 150 students in 2011 and in 2012, they increased to 170 students and are now at 200 as they begin this fall semester. The Honors College faculty also resides in Mesquite Village West to be more accessible to the honors students.

“This has established a living, learning community…students living together who are in the same classes and share a commitment to academic excellence,” Guerrero said.

In their first year, they had 90 honor students residing at Mesquite Village West.

“We continue to fill more of the floors with Honors College students as we grow,” Guerrero said.

The Honors College recruits more students in and out of the university throughout the year at Hoggie days, Javelina preview days, etc.

“Our admissions recruiters visit high schools to help with promoting the benefits of the Honors College. We make presentations on campus and community to reach out to current students, receive referrals from faculty, and our students recruit their classmates. In the spring, we send personal invitations to presidential scholars,” Guerrero said.

With only three years in the Honors college has many future plans.

“I would like to see the Honors College continue to grow in size and prestige,“ Gandy said.