Hastings College launching academic honors program

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Hastings College is currently accepting students into a four-year academic honors program, which will launch this fall for incoming first-year students.

The program is designed for students who are committed to academic excellence and curiosity, and civic and global engagement. It will focus on providing students with integrative, individualized learning experiences to better prepare them for a career in the 21st Century.

“An integrative learning approach prepares people for a broad range of possibilities; we want to address the tendency to become overly specialized at a very young age,” said Dr. Dan Deffenbaugh, director of the honors program and chair of the Philosophy and Religion Department. “The main thing we try to do is create engaged citizens, not just workers.”

In addition to a regular academic advisor, each student in the program will work with an honors program advisor. Other program features include select honors courses and seminars, smaller class sizes, off-campus activities, priority class registration and an honors designation on official transcripts.  

Eligibility for the Hastings College honors program covers a variety of criteria. Though high grade point averages and ACT/SAT scores comprise a portion of the requirements, acceptance into the program also focuses on several pillars of character. Character traits like self-motivation, commitment, achievement within an activity or discipline and high work quality carry significant weight in acceptance to the program.

“Part of what we do really well as an institution is help students grow individually in ways that they often couldn’t imagine for themselves. The honors program at Hastings College will challenge students who are self-starters to reach their full potential,” said Dr. Liz Frombgen, associate vice president for academic affairs.

The honors program focuses on tailoring a student’s learning by providing the freedom for participants to create an individualized program of study outside their major field. The idea for an honors program with academic flexibility originated with some of Hastings College’s best academic students.

“At the behest of students who found themselves wanting to have a more rigorous academic experience in the classroom, members of the Alpha Chi academic honorary began to meet with faculty and the administration about the possibility of an honors program at Hastings College,” Deffenbaugh said. “Their push and the support of faculty and campus leadership helped it come to fruition.”

Interested high school students can find out more and apply for the honors program online at hastings.edu/honorsprogram.

Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With 64 majors and 15 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to hastings.edu.

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