By Paul Whitbeck
For fall 2015, 60 new students have joined the Honors College, which is more than double the number of students who enrolled last year. Many of these new students come from the immediate area, as well as other states and countries. The Honors College was created this fall from the former honors program to provide students a heightened level of education, and an experience that is beneficial to continuing future education, and a professional career. Last fall semester, 29 students enrolled in the honors program.
Athletics brought many students into the Honors College. Golf and tennis have drawn students from other states. Of the students coming from North Carolina and South Carolina, one student is coming to play golf and the other to be on the tennis team. The equestrian team has drawn some students in as well. “One of the girls on the equestrian team has come with her horse from Canada,” said Dr. Joan Digby, the Director of the Honors College and Professor of English.
A large portion of the Honors College is made up of students majoring in musical theater. In Digby’s freshman English class alone, five students are musical theater majors. Post’s theater company attracts many of these students by recruiting at events all over the country. The students who make up the Honors College come from many different backgrounds and cover a broad range of majors such as business, art therapy, the fine arts, biology and many more. The diversity makes for a “richer, deeper, [and] a more cultural experience,” said Digby.
Tracey Christy, assistant to the director of the Honors college, said, “since we were transitioning from an honors program to an Honors College, we wanted to have a nice enrollment for that.” Honors students are required to take honors level courses, giving them a deeper insight into a broad range of subjects. Honors courses usually have smaller class sizes.
Hannah Fitch, senior arts management major who is enrolled in the Honors college, said “smaller class sizes allow you to talk to your professors more individually.” Fitch explained that she got to know Professor Barbara Applegate, who later became her thesis advisor, because of her classroom setting. Being a student in the Honors College is also beneficial in helping prepare students who plan on going to graduate school.
Digby is pleased with the increased enrollment in the college this year. “The more students we have, the more courses we can offer, and greater variety we can put together,” she said. One of the most important aspects of the Honors College is to gain knowledge, and to become educated in areas outside of your major. A larger variety of courses will provide more opportunities to study different subjects, and improve the Honors College overall.
The Honors College is not closed off to students who haven’t enrolled yet. Students who enrolled at LIU Post as freshman are able to join the Honors College until their junior year. Christy explained, “I know a lot of [students] have put entering the Honors College on hold,” since they are concerned about transitioning into college and other factors. They are able to enroll in subsequent years, by filling out an application available on liu.edu.
“My biggest goal now would be to have our Honors College considered one of the best honors colleges to attend in the country, and I think that is a reasonable goal and I think we achieve that,” Digby said.