Honors College Program
You’ll experience an intensive and rigorous education that will challenge you to identify your true passions and prepare you for a rewarding career or graduate school.
Honors Scholars are required to complete a series of co-curricular requirements that, when added to a rigorous curriculum, foster intellectual curiosity, support the development of lifelong learning and service, and move scholars from learners to leaders.
Being an Honors College Scholar goes beyond academics. We also serve our communities, whether that be on campus at SOU, in Ashland and the greater Rogue Valley, in the communities we grew up in, or communities across the globe. All Honors Scholars are required to give two days of service each year. The Honors College organizes group volunteer days at the SOU Farm each year. Scholars also find their own ways to volunteer, including volunteering for food banks and drives, community cleanup events.
Freshmen and Sophomores must attend a minimum of three “Pick and Choose Activities” and submit an analytical synopsis of all three each term. The philosophy behind the Honors College “Pick and Choose” requirement reflects the core values of a “liberal education.” A liberal education is grounded in “a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of values, ethics, and civic engagement” (Association of American Colleges and Universities). An Honors Scholar should remain intellectually curious, developing life-long skills derived from their liberal education that will serve them long after they graduate from SOU. Even though only Freshmen and Sophomores are required to document that they attend and/or participate in three pick and choose activities and/or events each quarter, it is the sincere hope that Honors Scholars will remain intellectually, culturally, and civilly engaged for the rest of their lives.
Learning to Lead is a major component of the Honors College at SOU. Through service, coursework, and two “Take the Lead” projects, Honors scholars learn that leadership is more than being in charge of a group, a project, or an activity. Leadership is about making a commitment to serve, understanding community, remaining intellectually curious, and committing to a lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Scholars should start planning their “Take the Lead Projects” in their sophomore year and ideally should complete their two required projects before the beginning of their senior year. To satisfy their “Take the Lead Project,” SOU Honors College scholars must submit a satisfactory proposal to the Honors College Moodle site before starting the project and submit a formal reflection upon completion of the project.
A “Substantive Educational Experience” may include but is not limited to a community partner mentor-internship sequence, an internship or practicum, student teaching, a service-learning project that significantly exceeds any course requirements, study abroad or study away, or National Student Exchange experience. The substantive supplemental educational experience requires a formal proposal, documentation of hours and effort, culminating reflection, and prior approval from the Honors College Director.