Honors Program Reflection Essay

1. Has your time in the Honors Program enhanced your university experience, academically and/or personally? I have really enjoyed my time in the Honors Program. I feel like I was able to meet a lot of really great people and be taught a lot of great professors. I feel like I have a lot more skills in the areas of research, writing and speaking than some of my peers in my program. I have been afforded the opportunity to complete research in three areas of my field that we hopefully make me a better teacher. I also love that the classes were so specific and different, and I loved the small class sizes. I feel like I got to know my classmates on a personal level, but even more so academically, and they all challenged me to my best self. I also loved just being a part of the Honors community and participating in events or just hanging out in the office.

2. Would you recommend the Honors Program to a friend or family member? Yes, I would. I have recommended it to many people because I think the Honors Program offers a great small community, great small class sizes and an opportunity to better yourself. It is a great way to get “more” out of your college education.

3. What do you consider the most important part of your Honors Program experience? I think participating in the classes and the service work were the most important parts for me. I think a lot of great learning comes from those classes and being able to apply the ideas and principles taught to your own field. But, volunteering and leading common experience discussions for the campus community, also enriched my experience and was a great experience giving back to the campus community.

4. Did you partake of the Honors Program’s co-curricular activities? If so, how did you benefit? If not, would you briefly discuss why? Yes, I was a member of HSAB my first three years (I try to help now when I can). I have volunteered almost every semester for open house, I have helped lead two common experience events, I held an officer position in HBSAB my junior year, volunteered at many events, and usually receive the Elmotastic award for attending 10 or more events. I benefited from these experiences because it helped me get to know my fellow honors students and our faculty. I also really enjoy giving back to others, and giving back to Honors Program for it’s given me.

5. Did you partake of conference opportunities? Which ones? Did you benefit from so doing? Yes, I participated my freshman year at the Southern Regional Honors Conference and I hope this year to possibly present the IUS Student Conference. I definitely benefited because I was one of the younger people at the conference and I got to learn so much from other people. I also liked having the opportunity to show what I learned and generate buzz about social change. It also really interesting having people ask me about work, which is going to happen to me more and more as I become a teacher.

6. When you look back upon your Indiana University Southeast experience, would you describe yourself as an Honors Program student? Yes! I always describe myself as an Honors student if someone asks me what I am involved in or if someone asks about the program in general. I always tell people I’ve had a great experience in the program and you don’t have be a genius to join. I did well academically in high school but I wasn’t in advanced classes, or AP classes. The program is for people who are willing to work hard and benefit themselves as scholars and as people.

7. Did you ever receive Honors Program scholarships? If so, how did they influence your life as a student (ie fewer hours in a part-time job; the opportunity to purchase course texts)? Yes, I received one every semester (thank you!) I always applied them towards my tuition, which took stress off my family, then me when I started paying for my own schooling. The Honors Program significantly cut down my costs for summer classes. This past summer I didn’t have to pay for classes and I got to actually buy some of my books! I really appreciate the Honors Program for helping me out financially.

8. Do you consider yourself a better researcher, speaker, and writer than you would have been, had you not been part of the Honors Program? Please be specific. Yes, I think the Honors Program helped me become better in all these areas because of the Honors 103/104 courses. I think the individualized track of those courses really helped me learn as well as the one on one meetings with Dr. Salas. Also, during those courses, filming our speeches and reflecting on them helped me become a better speaker. Also, as I continued into my Tier 2 classes, having more opportunities to research, write and present allowed me to continue to grow past those courses. Finally, completing my own research project independently in my field, taught me even more research and writing skills. It was a long process, but it also showed me that I am capable of high quality work.

9. Given the opportunity, would you have taken on-line Honors Program course offerings? If so, for what reasons? I tool two of my Honors courses online and I had one that was a hybrid. Although I missed the physical class settings, I still really enjoyed and got a lot out both classes I took. They were a little heavy on the writing side, but you know what they say practice makes perfect! And I had to reflect a lot of literature being studied. I also liked them because you could work the assignments on your own time.

10. How, in your opinion, could the Honors Program experience be improved for future HP students? I think the mentor/mentee system could continue to improve. I had a great relationship with my mentor, and my mentee this year, but my middle years I struggled to get to know my mentees. I also think involvement within the program could be strengthened because many people cannot be involved or choose not to. More events on the weekends or in the evenings so more students can attend.