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Honors Program

Dr. Geoffrey C. Orth, Director

The Longwood Honors Program is designed to offer attractive and challenging opportunities for intellectual growth to well-prepared and highly-motivated students. The theme of the program is citizen service, which students demonstrate through their commitment to their community both inside and beyond the classroom. The emphasis in Honors courses is on teaching students to articulate an understanding of a given field, to relate that field of knowledge to others, to think independently, and to write and speak clearly and cogently. Honors classes are generally small in size and provide opportunities for intensive class discussion and innovative teaching.

Some honors classes are specially designated sections of courses required for general education; others are especially created for honors students and may be team-taught and interdisciplinary in nature. Many upper-level courses which do not have prohibitive prerequisites may be designated as honors courses. Moreover, students formally enrolled in the Honors Program can arrange for up to three advanced courses in the major field to be enhanced for honors credit. Students enrolled in the Longwood Honors Program who also elect to undertake Senior Honors Research may count six hours of that work in place of two of the three upper-level courses.

Entering students are invited to join the Honors Program based on a screening of their high school records and their SAT scores. Entering students offered honors admission typically have SATs totaling in the mid-1200s and above and, minimally, an unweighted grade point average of 3.5 for academic core courses. The Committee also welcomes applications from students at the second-semester level or beyond who attain a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and from incoming transfer students with a grade point average of 3.25. Any Longwood student who meets the qualifications for admission to the Honors Program, but who does not wish to take a full range of honors work, may register for one or more classes.

Twelve competitive honors scholarships are available for those entering the program and may be retained as long as students make satisfactory progress in the program and maintain honors grades. To remain in the Longwood Honors Program a student must maintain an average of 3.25 in honors courses and an overall GPA of 3.25, computed at the end of each year. Honors graduates are recognized at graduation (cum honore) and their honors standing is permanently recorded on their transcripts. Requirements for successful completion of the program are as follows:

  • Maintenance of a minimum grade point average of 3.25, both overall and for all honors courses.
  • The successful completion of eight honors courses, including either Honors Longwood Seminar 100 or Honors 202, and Honors English 400. Three of the eight courses must be numbered 300- and above.

Students enrolled in the Honors Program have available to them in their first year housing on the Honors floor of the Academic Residence Community (ARC); upper-level students may elect to stay on in the ARC. All Honors students are eligible to apply to make presentations at state, regional, and national honors conferences, and, at the third-year level, to participate in the National Honors Semester, held each semester at a designated campus in the U.S. or abroad.

Longwood Honors Courses

Honors sections of many of the general education courses are offered frequently. Introductory and upper-level courses in every academic discipline are also offered, and interdisciplinary, team-taught, and special topics courses are scheduled either in specific departments or as Honors 295 or Honors 495.

Honors Course Descriptions (Hons)

Honors 201. Education for Social Change. The course will focus on the process of building community and fostering participatory democracy. The course will provide knowledge and skills that enable students to become effective advocates/facilitators of community efforts towards social change. The course design is based on the premise that learning occurs in a variety of ways including direct experience, reflection, theory, and application. 2 credits.

Honors 202. Fundamentals of Citizen Leadership. This course will investigate the responsibilities of citizens to their communities in confronting and acting on common needs, such as protection of the environment and the provision of adequate food, shelter, and medical care to those living in it. Students focus on a single need in the local community, investigate the nature of that need, and, working with an appropriate local agency, develop a plan to direct their own personal effort as well as community efforts to address that need. 1 credit.

Honors 250. The Changing Social Landscape. This course is designed to help students understand changes in American society through interdisciplinary analysis. Students will explore the historical, economic, political, demographic, and social shifts that have occurred in American society by examining U. S. census data, national public opinion polls, and other statistical indicators of cultural change. 3 credits.

Honors 300. Freudian Themes In Fairy Tales. An exploration of fairy tales and related literature as a literary form. An emphasis will be placed on the role of fairy tales in psychological development through an examination of their structure, themes, motifs and symbols. Basic elements of literary and psychological perspectives will provide a basis for in-depth discussion and analysis of specific stories within their literary, psychological, cultural, historical and personal contexts. 2 credits.

Honors 350. Surviving Hard Times. This course is designed to foster a deeper and more profound understanding of the elements involved in surviving a "hard time." Students will examine the lives of people who have survived hard times and will develop basic living and survival skills to endure a range of the most challenging circumstances one needs to confront in life. 2 credits.

Honors 400. The Civil Rights Movement in Prince Edward County (1951-65). This lecture/discussion class examines Prince Edward County's place in the national civil rights movement. The focus is on school desegregation issues, including the Supreme Court's Brown decision and the subsequent closing of public schools for five years. Local participants in the events of this era will be guest lecturers. Students will collect oral histories and use primary documents in their research. 2 credits.