University Honors Program
It is easy to talk about values, difficult to commit to them, and harder still to apply them to our lives. These are the attributes we affirm in the Program. We look for them in those who apply. We encourage them whenever we can.
The first requirement of an outstanding student is curiosity. The HP is not the place for those who don’t want to know. Why are things the way they are? What do they mean? How does change happen? An intellectual life rewards the curious, and college is a once in a lifetime opportunity to indulge that curiosity in any area you choose. What could be better than that?
Creative thinking is crucial to prospering in a global economy in which change and innovation are the only constants. College is not primarily about acquiring facts but developing creative habits of thought. Creativity has to be nurtured, and we believe a broad based education in the arts, sciences, and humanities, on which a more specialized degree program is built, is the most effective means for enabling creative processes.
In 2009, Honors Program students led an initiative to develop our Community Standards document. The Community Standards document sets out expectations for HP students in areas from academic honesty to personal conduct. To read the document click here.
Talk is cheap. What have you done? All the intelligence and potential in the world must eventually lead to tangible accomplishment. Start today, not tomorrow. Make it happen.
We are responsible for ourselves. There’s no one else: not our family, not our friends, not the government. It’s important to claim that responsibility, to own it, and wear it proudly. We all face different obstacles and challenges, and some have it harder than others. Be that as it may, we have no excuses and no one to blame. In the Book of Job it’s written that God said to Job, “Gird up your loins,” which in the ancient world meant something like “put on your big kid underwear,” and that’s probably good advice.
The Honors Program is not a family nor can it replace the families we have. But it’s very much like a family, and we place a premium on the value of community. Community is recognizing our connections to each other, some stronger, some less so. Community is keeping in touch with each other and ourselves. Community is reaching out to others in need. Each of us in some way has been welcomed into the Honors Program community, and it’s up to each of us to welcome others and greet them with respect.
Every person regardless of age or condition owes a debt to society. Our successes are possible thanks to the care and labor of others before us. The philosopher Rousseau was perhaps the first to advocate a “pay it forward” approach to this debt. The HP @ UNA requires civic participation – but this is key – we ask the student to develop her or his own approach to serving the community. This can take many forms, but the student must be intentional about a cause or goal for that service. Causes adopted by our current students include children’s issues, the environment, hunger, affordable housing, animal welfare, care for the elderly, with many others possible as well.