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How Do Honors Students Like the Program?

by Maggie McLeod

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To the Bobcats or Panthers looking to expand their knowledge and challenge themselves in a professional academic setting, the Pitt-Greensburg Honors Program might just be the curriculum. 

The program first became an idea in 2019 when the university was planning to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Academic Village. After work through the cooperation of Academic Village Director and Instructor in theatre arts and first-year studies, Dr. Sheila Confer; Dr. William Pamerleau, professor of philosophy; Dr. John Prellwitz, associate professor of communication and humanities division chair; and Dr. Frank Wilson, assistant vice president for academic affairs; the program came to fruition. 

The main objective of the Honors Program is to “enrich students’ college experience and provide special recognition for their academic talents,” but some students have voiced concerns with the program not living up to their expectations. 

One of these students advocating for change in the program is Rachel O’Neill, a sophomore  business management major.

“Students have had concerns about keeping the required GPA to remain in the program,” O’Neill said. “Others have concerns about the guidelines for Honors courses due to the flexibility that we allow students to have.” 

Other students involved in the program, such as Oanh Nguyen, a junior biological sciences major, feel the program is sufficiently challenging. Nguyen enjoyed the program’s “H-designated enrichment activity,” where students are assigned a project outside of an Honors course that challenges them to expand their knowledge on a specific topic. 

“For my H-designated enrichment activity, I worked with Dr. Asplin outside of the classroom and did a psychology research paper on a false-belief experiment,” Nguyen said. “I believe the Honors Program does challenge me because it requires me to use my critical thinking and community skills.” 

This year will mark the program’s first full year. Dr. Confer, who is a member of the Honors Program Management Committee along with the other founding faculty, hopes to grow the program further and see improvement within the next year. 

“I anticipate and hope we will continue to get feedback from students on how we can improve their experience,” Dr. Confer said. “We appreciate receiving constructive criticism and have very much enjoyed working with the founding cohort of honors students to make the program the best it can be.”

Students interested in joining the Pitt-Greensburg Honors Program can find an application, eligibility requirements, and further information on the Pitt-Greensburg website.

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