During my four years at SFA, I was closely involved with the School of Honors—as an Honors student, scholarship recipient, and also as the president of the Honor Student Association. Following graduation, I worked as a magazine writer/editor in Japan for three years, and after moving back to the States, I completed a stint with a media company as the editor of their U.S. and European publications. I'm now attending graduate school. Without a doubt, the School of Honors was instrumental in preparing me for a post-collegiate career and for graduate school.
I knew early on in my undergraduate career that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree. Honors was instrumental in paving my path to grad school by pairing me with several professors who constantly challenged me academically and held me to the highest standards. From my perspective, faculty such as these are the greatest strength of the School of Honors. They are a dedicated body of scholars who are passionate not only about what they teach, but how they teach. They bring a high caliber of instruction to each class and regularly foster stimulating discussions that help students expand their base of knowledge, seek different points of view, and formulate cohesive arguments. Perhaps best of all, their instruction and guidance doesn't stop at the classroom door. Honors faculty mentor willing students and aid them by offering advice on academic endeavors, encouraging campus and community involvement, and keeping an open door and open mind.
The School of Honors also ensures students have the tools they need to do their best work possible. This begins with tangible resources—chiefly, the Honors lab, a quiet study environment filled with computers, printers, laptops, resource books, and maps. Such resources also include a variety of one- and four-year scholarships distributed annually by the School. For me, holding a four-year scholarship from the School of Honors meant that the money I would have put toward tuition and fees could be spent each summer on educational opportunities in foreign countries.
Equally as important are less tangible resources. Honors is a thriving community of bright, creative young minds engaging in insightful dialogue. In class, in the Honors lab, and at HSA meetings, this group is always looking for ways to grow and improve as individuals and as a collective. They are a tightly-knit community of friends and students from all walks of life; they are inventive artists, accomplished athletes, and budding academicians.
Additionally, one of the most powerful tools Honors gives a student is the opportunity to direct his or her own academic path. In the School of Honors, students aren't limited to the courses listed in the Course Catalog; they can create unique, individualized courses in consultation with professors. Topics that interest them can turn into papers presented at conferences, semesters studying abroad, laboratory research projects, extensive internships—the possibilities are endless.
From my perspective, the combination of tangible resources, individualized instruction from top-notch faculty, and a tightly-knit student community make the SFASU School of Honors exceptional. You'd be hard pressed to find a school with that combines these three tenets of quality education so effectively and for such a good price.