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Honors Program

Honors CrestThe Mercyhurst North East Honors Program offers students an enriched intellectual experience, both in and out of the classroom. The program confers the prestige of graduating with Mercyhurst Honors on those who satisfy the requirements of this designation. Students are expected to be intellectual and creative resources for the wider college and regional communities using their talents and skills to bring classmates and neighbors into the cultural community where they thrive.

The Mercyhurst North East Honors Program offers students several attractive features. They include:

  • Superb faculty. At Mercyhurst, we take great pride in our excellent teaching faculty. From among these outstanding teachers the Honors Faculty are selected each year.
  • A community of scholars. A sense of belonging to an intellectual community is soon cultivated through interaction in Honors courses and social events. 
  • The Mercyhurst North East Honors Program privileges. 
  • Flexibility. In order to meet graduation requirements, MNEHP students may “honorize” certain courses. Informational meetings are generally held once a term or as needed. Credit is given for activities and extracurricular activities that the Mercyhurst North East Honors Program students may have pursued regardless of their honors status.
  • Graduation distinction. The Mercyhurst North East Honors Program courses are clearly marked on all Honors students’ transcripts, and diplomas are specially sealed.

 

Application

All applicants to Mercyhurst North East who feel they would benefit from the Honors Program are encouraged to apply. We look at a number of factors when we consider students for the Honors Program. 

A candidate should have a record demonstrating at least two of the criteria appearing in the bulleted list below. Successful candidates are usually able to demonstrate three or more.

  • High school GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Signs of especially strong motivation.
  • Recommendation from a current or high school instructor/advisor. 
  • We also look favorably upon a record of active participation in extracurricular activities.

In addition to an introductory statement, all applicants must submit a two-page (approximate) writing sample as part of their application. This writing sample should be different than the essay submitted as part of the application to the school. Applications to the Honors Program may be sent in any time after application to the university. Applicants should be aware that the number of openings to begin the Honors Preparation Year in the Fall term is limited; therefore, interested candidates are encouraged to apply early.

 

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Mission

The Mercyhurst University Honors Program serves as a model of and laboratory for excellence in Mercy education through exploring new course offerings and innovative pedagogies. Inspired by the example of the Sisters of Mercy and consistent with the mission of the tniversity, the Honors Program endeavors to create a learning environment both in- and outside of the classroom that engages the whole student, for the value of an education is more than developing the skills necessary for the workplace but is more profoundly about contributing to building stronger communities and cross-cultural understanding. Accordingly, grounded in the multi-disciplinary tradition of the liberal arts, the Mercyhurst North East Honors Program fosters creative, independent, and critical thinking; facilitates a community of scholars among students; supports opportunities to connect theoretical ideas to real world applications; and nurtures students' understanding of the value of service. These aims are supported by the program's pillars of student-directed research, service to the community, leadership development, interdisciplinary learning, and intercultural awareness.

 

Goals

  • Experience in and the ability to create independent research; be deeply knowledgeable about major discipline, advance a recognizable perspective, thesis, or hypothesis; communicate essential details of discipline to non-specialists; and think critically and creatively about the significance of their research for the advancement of their discipline and the real world. In this respect, the curricular design of the program demonstrates:
    • An emphasis on independent research (scholarship)
    • Engagement activities demonstrate an intentional integration of independent research
  • The ability to actively contribute to discussions and projects in courses and take ownership of his/her education, actively contributing to the on- and off-campus community. In this respect, the curricular design of the program demonstrates:
    • An emphasis on the theory and practice of leadership
    • The extracurricular activities demonstrate an intentional integration of the practice of leadership
    • A significant leadership opportunity in research, creative, or service activity is built into the curriculum
  • The ability to be conversant in subjects outside of her/his major discipline and to make connections between other disciplines and his/her own. In this respect, the program's curricular design demonstrates:
    • An intentional structure that integrates diverse knowledge, methods, perspectives, and/or skills
    • Engagement activities demonstrate an intentional structure that exposes students to diverse knowledge, methods, perspectives, and/or skills
  • Knowledge about cultures other than his/her own as well as ethnic and economic diversity on campus and in the local community. In this respect, the program's curricular design demonstrates:
    • A pervasive emphasis on intercultural knowledge and competence
    • Engagement activities demonstrate an intentional enhancement of global learning
  • A search for knowledge not as an end in itself but as the means to making a positive contribution to the world; he/she understands and can articulate the value of service and empathy. In this respect, the curricular design demonstrates:
    • A pervasive emphasis on service
    • Extracurricular activities demonstrate an intentional understanding of the value of service and empathy

 

Outcomes

  • Apply discipline-based and/or cross-discipline-based knowledge to design a problem-solving strategy. Conceive, plan, and execute a high-quality research аnd/оr creative capstone project in the appropriate disciplinary or multi-disciplinary context. Demonstrate the ability to select evidence to investigate a point of view or form a conclusion. Demonstrate the ability to explore issues fully and deeply
  • Make substantial contributions to course discussion and/or group work. Demonstrate ownership of his/her educational process. Facilitate the discussion of a topic individually and/or as a member of a group
  • Integrate diverse knowledge, perspectives, and/or skills from different disciplines or research traditions into arguments and/or strategies. Design and produce a creative project in the appropriate interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary context
  • Express and evaluate his/her own cultural awareness. Synthesize and internalize intercultural experiences from the perspectives of own and other world-views. Articulate an understanding of cultural differences in verbal and nonverbal communication. Actively explore and answer complex questions about other cultures
  • Articulate a personal view of the value of serving others. Explain how service experiences have expanded their understanding and increased their sensitivity to issues like injustice, responsibility, community, and empathy