Whitehurst Family Honors Program

The mission of the Whitehurst Family Honors Program at Barton College is to inspire students by teaching them to think for themselves and live for others. The program engages students in service, culture, and community life while they are enrolled in an academic program that fosters intellectual curiosity and critical inquiry.

Honors Research Minor

The Honors Program at Barton College emphasizes the importance of undergraduate research in the context of higher education. Classes teach research methods, social justice ethics, and interdisciplinary thinking skills. Students take two non-honors courses for honors credit and present their research at the biannual honors symposium. In their senior year, students complete an independent research project in their major working closely with a faculty mentor. Upon graduation, students earn an Honors Research Minor.

Benefits

The Honors Program is a community that offers more than just academics. In addition to research opportunities, students participate in events and gatherings that make connections among peers. Some of these activities include community life events such as social gatherings, concerts, scavenger hunts, and retreats. Other benefits of the program include priority registration, priority housing selection, funding for travel to conferences, and reimbursement for graduate school entrance exams.`

Honors Program Benefits:

  • Priority registration (early enrollment)
  • Priority housing selection (New and returning students receive first choice in housing selection.)
  • Funding for travel to conferences
  • Reimbursements for graduate school placement exams (one-time only)
  • Honors Program special events

Curriculum

Students must maintain a 3.30 GPA to remain in good standing in the Honors Program.

Freshman
HNR 111 – The Nature of Inquiry 2 credit hour
HNR 112 – Community and Social Action 1 credit hour
Sophomore
GEN 290 – Critical Conversations* (part of the College core)
200-300 level course with honors designation** 3 credit hours
HNR 295 – Sophomore Research Presentation 1 credit hour
Junior
HNR 350 – Interdisciplinary Seminar
(May be taken twice provided that course content is different.)
3-6 credit hours
300-400 level course with honors designation** 3 credit hours
HNR 390 – Junior Research Presentation 1 credit hour
Senior
Independent research in major or PSY 490 3 credit hours
HNR 490 – Senior Research presentation or PSY 499 1-3 credit hours
* GEN 290 or and earned Associate’s Degree (AA or AS) is the prerequisite for an Honors Designation course. GEN 290 is recommended for fall of the sophomore year.
** Requires application and permission of the instructor.

 

Classes

HNR 111 – The Nature of Inquiry

This course introduces students to the expectations and best practices of research at the undergraduate level. Course content includes research methods, methodologies, information literacy, ethics, analysis of sources, and understanding of the definitions of research. Students will also be introduced to various epistemologies that encourage their curiosity about learning. Ultimately, this course will introduce students to the value of asking questions and questioning answers.

HNR 112 – Community and Social Action

This course introduces students to the concept of social justice which examines equitable relations between individuals and society at large. Students will engage in readings, discussions, and reflections intended to help them develop a just worldview while also considering the impact their actions have on society. Additionally, students will engage in community service both on campus and in the greater community. An overall goal of this course is to solidify the Honors Program mission of inspiring students by teaching them to think for themselves and live for others.

200-300 level course with honors designation, 300-400 level course with honors designation

Students may apply to take two non-honors courses for honors credit. Ideally, students should take one course from the General Education core and one from their major. Applying for an honors designation is contingent on permission from the instructor. When declaring a course as an honors designation, students will automatically be enrolled in HNR 295, or HNR 390 for 1 additional credit. In these courses, students complete a research project that will be presented at the biannual Honors Symposium.

HNR 350 – Interdisciplinary Seminar

Interdisciplinary classes are taught by multiple faculty from different departments or schools. Drawing upon their unique areas of expertise, these teachers address varying sides of a central theme. Ideally, this class should be taken before GEN 301. The goal of the class is to teach students to think interdisciplinarily, providing synthesis and purpose to their liberal arts core curriculum in the General Education program. This course must be taken once, but it may be taken a second time if desired.

Independent Research in Major

This course is designed to allow students to conduct discipline-specific research in their major. Though the class is an “independent” study, students work closely with a faculty mentor. The three main categories for students’ approach to their research are a systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge or understanding of the subject, an investigation that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline, and an investigation of a question with a defined goal but without a preconceived result. This course serves as the first part of the capstone experience of the Honors Program.

HNR 490 – Senior Research Presentation

In the second part of the capstone experience in the Honors Program, students explore the dissemination of their independent research project. Students review traditional presentation methods such as lecture, poster development, and writing, while also considering multimedia methods such as website development, blog, vlog, podcast, video, and other digital formats. Ideally, this class should be taken in the semester following the independent research in the major.

Co-Curricular Requirements

In addition to the academic component, students enrolled in the Honors Program are required to complete these co-curricular requirements within their first two years in the program:

  • Service: 50 hours of community service (based on National Honors Society standards)
  • Culture: 32 cultural events (minimum of 6 per semester)
  • Community: 12 honors community life events (3 per semester)

Admission Requirements

High School Seniors

Seniors in high school applying for entry as freshmen to Barton College must meet the following academic requirements:

  • 3.50 unweighted GPA 
  • 1200 SAT or 24 ACT
  • Online application

Current Barton Freshmen, Transfer, and Early College Students

Freshmen enrolled at Barton College and students entering with prior college credits may apply for entry into the Honors Program. The following academic requirements must be met:

  • 3.50 minimum GPA as a student at Barton College
  • Online application

Admissions Process

  • Early application deadline: October 15
    • Applications will be reviewed and students notified by November 1.
    • Ensures invitation to Scholars Weekend competition on February 1.
  • Priority application deadline: January 1
    • Applications will be reviewed and students notified by January 15.
    • Ensures invitation to Scholars Weekend competition in February.
  • Late application deadline: April 1
    • Applications will be reviewed and students notified by April 15.
    • Acceptance is contingent on available space. The incoming freshman cohort is limited to 40 students. This cap does not apply to Transfer and Early College students. Additional students may apply at the end of fall and spring in their freshman year.
  • Scholars Weekend
    • Scholars Weekend is the first Saturday in February. This event is a competition for scholarships available through the Honors Program. The competition includes interviews on current event topics, critical thinking exercises, and a classroom session.

Questions?

For more information, contact Gérard Lange, director of the Whitehurst Family Honors Program, by phone at 252-399-6475 or by email at glange@barton.edu.