To The Editor:
Task Force Chair John McCarty argues that the Honors Program “is not assisting in the marketing of the institution,” and should therefore be eliminated or reconfigured. However, doing so could harm the quality of our school; eliminating it may make this school one where students who want to go “above and beyond” the standard curriculum do not have the opportunity to do so.In the end, it is those students who are hurt and who may be turned away from this institution.
The administration is hailing “transformative change” as a solution, but it is rather presumptuous to assume, before this change is even initiated, that it will sufficiently fulfill the role the Honors Program
This ties into my second argument, which addresses McCarty’s point that the high degree of intelligence of incoming students also calls for a change. As a college community, we must be careful not to equate intelligence alone with the mission of the Honors Program. Prospective honors students must demonstrate not only intelligence, but also the desire to take their own learning to the next level and to engage in active dialogue with their peers and professors. Regardless of how intelligent students here are becoming, a subpopulation that is truly “honors” will continue to exist.
Until it can be proven that the more intensive courses promised under transformative change will meet the academic needs of Honors Program students, and until it can be proven that all of the students who attend this college would apply and be accepted into the Honors Program, do not consider eliminating it.
Besides, in a school that limits spending on advertising to devote money to the quality of education of its students, it would be disappointingly ironic to allow “marketing concerns” to drive a shining star of its quality of education to extinction.