Honors Program Helps Students Advance Academically, Spiritually

Honors Program Helps Students Advance Academically, Spiritually

The honors program at Southwestern Adventist University is an opportunity for students to participate in classes and activities that will help them advance both academically and spiritually.

“Honors program is traditionally for high achieving students,” explains Dr. Renard Doneskey, director of the honors program. “Which is to say, students that have come out of high school with high GPAs. And so, the classes will be intellectually challenging.”

All SWAU students are welcome to join, but Doneskey recommends that students join their freshman year. A 3.5 GPA is required to enter the

Dr. Renard Doneskey heads the honors program for SWAU.

honors program, and they must maintain a 3.4 to stay in the program.

In total, 18 credits of classes are offered by honors, with nine of those credits counting toward general education requirements.

“Anybody can join, but people who are juniors and seniors would end up having to take extra time if they haven’t already joined the honors program. So, we really try to get freshmen to make the decision to join honors,” says Doneskey.

In addition to classes, honors offers many activities throughout the year, the most notable being their annual study tours. In past years, honors has traveled through the American South, France, and Ireland.

Next summer, honors will travel to Greece May 6-16 where students will experience Greek history, culture, music, and food. This will tie in with a Greek literature class that honor students will take in the spring to prepare them for the trip. In addition, a spring trip to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth will focus on Greek statuary to establish a connection to the trip.

Service is an important factor in the honors program as well, with this ideal incorporated into the curriculum of the first class honor students take. Community service is carried out with two questions in mind: “What can we do for other people? How can we reach out?”

“Dedication. Scholarship. Community. Those are the three words that represent the honors program,” says Doneskey. “Students should strive to be their best self. And if they’re eligible for honors, we can help them achieve that.”

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