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Honors College gets jump start on fall semester

On February 26, 2014

The Honors College is finalizing the list of seminars offered to honors students for fall 2014. The seminars are offered to help student improve the honors experience.

Narrowing down the seminars for the following semester is a long and tedious process. A proposal has to be submitted and approved by a committee before the professor is given permission to teach the course.

Associate Dean of the Honors College, Susan Gilpin, said finding professors to teach the seminars is not always easy. Gilpin said sometimes they approach the college about their ideas and sometimes the college has to seek them out.

“This is the best part of my job,” Gilpin said. “I have maybe two weeks to relax before I have to get back at it again for the following semester. I’m talking to professors right now about teaching in the fall of 2015.”

Gilpin said that the Honors College tries to offer a variety of courses from different fields for their students.
Senior social work major Alyssa Sthay said that the seminars are unlike any other classes that Marshall University has to offer.
“We get to explore all kinds of topics,” Sthay said. “The debates and discussions that we have are exactly the type of academic discussion that one hopes for in college. The professors are all so invested in the seminars and it’s some of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had.”

Senior anthropology major Martina Wilkinson said the seminars have been beneficial for her.

“The seminars are a good way to expose honors students to a more hands on learning approach that allows them to apply the things they have learned,” Wilkinson said. “The three seminars I have taken all had a final project where we had the freedom to take what we learned and see how it applies in a practical setting.”

Junior education major, Brittany Young said that the seminars sound great in theory, but they are not always as advertised.

“Sometimes the descriptions of the classes are vague or can be interpreted in several different ways, leading to disappointment when students discover the class they are taking is not what they previously thought,” Young said. “A lot of times it seems as if we are being given a lot of busy work to do to add to the difficulty of the class rather than being given quality assignments.”

Professors teaching the seminars are not allowed to teach the same seminar more than three times to allow variety for honors students. A list of the upcoming fall seminars will be completed within the next week.
Malak Khader can be contacted at

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