With honors: Program at Bay College yields positive results

ESCANABA – Since its implementation three years ago, the Bay College Honors Program has experienced many positive results.

Students accepted into the college’s honors program are able to enroll in special honors courses designed to challenge students academically and apply for honors program scholarships.

What started with an offering of just nine honors program courses for students has now grown to include 16 honors courses, according to Molly Campbell, honors program advisor at Bay College. Campbell recently updated members of the Bay College Board of Trustees and President’s Advisory Council about the success of the program.

“We launched our honors program officially in the fall of 2010,” said Campbell. “We accepted our first group of 20 honors program students that fall.”

Current honors program course offerings include courses in: anthropology, history, communication, English, music, philosophy, political science, women’s and gender studies, and leadership studies. A new nursing honors course called “Nursing Knowledge: Synthesis to Adult Populations” is also being added beginning this fall.

Students involved in the program also have the opportunity to attend many lectures, films, book read discussions, complete service learning projects, and attend regional or national conferences.

The Bay College Honors Program has accepted 44 students total in the last three years. In just the fall 2012 semester alone, 17 honors classes were taken across six different honors course sections. This number has risen for the winter 2013 semester, with 20 honors courses being taken across nine different honors course sections.

In the past year, the program recognized five honors program graduates who completed the program in two years.

Entering new freshman students with a 3.2 high school grade point average or higher, and/or a composite ACT score of 23 or higher, are eligible for the program. Current Bay College students and transfer students who have 12 credits with a GPA of 3.2 or higher are also eligible. Students may complete any number of honors courses to earn the honors designation on their transcripts; however, to successfully complete the honors program, they must complete a minimum of four honors courses, maintain an overall 3.5 college GPA, and complete all their degree requirements, thereby receiving an additional recognition at commencement and on transcripts. “They have to be a current degree-seeking student to take honors courses, so they can’t be dually enrolled,” said Campbell.

She noted those in high school who are dually enrolled and interested in becoming a member of the Bay College Honors Program should look at enrolling in classes not offered through the honors program, so they can take advantage of honors program courses when they get to Bay.

Campbell also said students who transfer to Lake Superior State University may be able to transfer up to 12 honors credits of Bay College honors courses toward the 21 required to graduate from LSSU’s honors program. Though there are certain guidelines and additional requirements, students transferring to LSSU’s honors program receive the same benefits given to other students who enter the program earlier, including priority registration, optional honors housing, and opportunities to participate at honors program conferences.

For more information on the program, contact Campbell at (906) 217-4067 or by email at campbelm@baycollege.edu