Dr. Robin K. Payne
Fairmont State Honors Program
Phone: (304) 367-4197
As you prepare to begin your college career, you may be wondering why you’d want to participate in an Honors Program. Honors classes, after all, are likely what you did in high school in order to get to where you were going – and now you’ve arrived here in college! So, why keep at it when you’ve already achieved your goal?
The fact of the matter is that the benefits you can gain from participation in our Honors Program are numerous and will serve you well during your time here at Fairmont State University and beyond. Being an Honors student does NOT simply mean that you do more or extra work. The work is often intellectually rigorous, yes, but this is a common misconception. And, the benefits are far-reaching and extend well beyond the prestige and esteem you will earn when you graduate from the university with Honors.
Those benefits of the Honors Program include, but are not limited to:
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Honors students can achieve their Honors requirements in a variety of ways (see Honors Requirements); however, the defining feature of your Honors course work is that you will benefit from small class sizes that allow you to form stronger bonds with your classmates, forge important connections with your professors, and deepen your learning experience.
As a case in point – Honors students frequently enroll in Honors sections of Core Curriculum classes. This means that rather than sitting in a large lecture hall in a class with 100 other students, you’ll be in a smaller class with 15-20 of your peers. This means you’ll have much more individual attention from your instructors and that you’ll be able to take a deeper dive into the content.
Honors students have priority registration and are able to register for classes for the upcoming semester the first day that registration opens. This ensures that Honors students will have access to the classes that best fit their schedules and that they will not need to worry about classes they need reaching full capacity before they’ve had a chance to register.
Honors students are assigned a peer mentor in their first year of study at Fairmont State University. Your peer mentor will likely be involved in a field of study that is similar to your own and they will support you as you make the transition into college life. This might include giving you advice on which classes to take, providing you with information about campus resources, or participating in social activities with you.
Honors students also have the benefit of working with two academic advisors – the Honors Director, who will help guide you through the Honors Program, and a Faculty Advisor in your field of study, who will help with the particulars of your major and with your future career plans.
In addition to the academic benefits, many of our Honors students report that the most attractive feature of the Honors Program is the sense of community and purpose that comes with the program. Beginning with your first semester, you’ll become part of an Honors cohort that will be alongside you as you progress towards your degree. Though you may find that your major and/or interests are quite different from those of other students in that cohort, you’ll benefit exponentially from being exposed to a wide range of perspectives and forging a sense of solidarity as you hit important mile markers together along the way.
Other opportunities to engage in our Honors community involve:
Honors students have the opportunity to travel as part of the Honors community. Those opportunities run the gamut from attending one of our “Field Day” trips to destinations like Washington, D.C. for a day of sightseeing to participating in our annual study abroad class, which involves eight weeks of curriculum followed by a week-long trip abroad. To date, Honors students have visited exciting places around the world like London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, and Brussels.
NOTE: many of our Honors students also elect to study abroad for an entire semester – an experience that most find truly worthwhile