Sacramento State’s new honors program
seems to have struck a chord with potential students. More than 100 students
have applied to the program which begins in the fall, says interim director
Of course, Craft notes, it’s hard to know how many will
actually show up. The plan is to have about 60 students in each cohort.
To increase the odds of keeping most of those students, faculty
and staff associated with the honors program have been in contact with each
of the students to answer questions and generally encourage the students to
take advantage of the opportunity to join the program by attending Sacramento
State. “We have called every student admitted to the program at least
once,” Craft says.
Craft thinks that there’s a good chance some of these
highly qualified students wouldn’t have come otherwise, so the personal
touch seems to be appreciated. “We’ve had students say that ‘No
one else called us.’”
Recruitment efforts for the program have mostly been through
high school counselors who received a postcard describing the new program. Then
as soon as fall applications started coming in, faculty and staff from the honors
program e-mailed any student with a 1200 SAT score or a 3.5 GPA, directing them
to the honors website and inviting them to apply.
In addition to coursework, the honors program will provide social
opportunities as well. The new honors office in Foley Hall will feature a large
student lounge where students can socialize and study.
“For students to be immersed and committed to an honors
program there needs to be life outside the academy,” says Roberto Pomo,
who was recently named the new director of the program. “An active social
life is an integral part of the academic experience.”
Among the plans for other out-of-the-classroom activities is
a colloquia series where student can meet informally with scholars, such as
an evening with the University’s deans. “They all started out as
students,” Pomo says. “How did their academic experience contribute
to who they are now?”
Plans also call for culturally driven field trips such as to
the theatre, galleries or the ballet both in Sacramento and, if funding permits,
in the Bay Area.
With the first group of students arrive this fall, they will
find a first-year curriculum for the program firmly in place, Craft says. The
second year’s courses have been planned but aren’t yet approved
and the upper-division courses are still in the development stage.
Three of the courses in both the fall and spring semester will
be honors courses such as Education, Self-Examination and Living, World Civilizations
I: to 1600 and World Civilization II: 1600 to the Present, Mathematical Reasoning,
Public Speaking, and Critical Thinking.
The courses are all designed to have global outlook. Pomo hopes
to expand on this commitment to internationalization by encouraging each of
the students to study abroad for at least a semester during their junior year.
The honors program is fairly intensive, Craft says, and it will
require a lot of energy, coordination and attention on the part of faculty.
To help them prepare, there will be an honors faculty workshop on May 12 led
by Gail Zimmerman who teaches in the HIS program at McClatchy High School.
For more information, contact Craft at 278-6340 or Pomo at 278-6368.
California State University, Sacramento Public
6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 (916) 278-6156