Designed for intellectually curious, motivated students, honors courses are open to any College of Arts and Sciences student who has completed 15 credits at Shenandoah University and has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
All honors courses complement the Shenandoah University General Education program and the College of Arts and Science’s dedication to advancement in knowledge, critical thinking and communication.
Each course will enhance your learning process by emphasizing the multidisciplinary nature of any career or scholarly activity. Advanced instruction in communication, reflection, and ethical reasoning will also be a key component throughout your honors academic experience.
In addition to the above mentioned honors courses, students who are admitted to the CAS Honors Program will also take three honors seminars. These seminars are exclusively for CAS honors students and focus on how to make a difference within global and local communities.
HON 101: Global Citizenship
Students will explore what it means to be a conscientious global citizen. In doing so, students will identify and discuss global concerns and how different perspectives affect the development of policies for addressing these concerns.
HON 201: Serving your Community
This seminar will focus on identifying and discussing concerns and areas of need within the Winchester area. Throughout the seminar, students will discuss the benefits and challenges of community service and service-learning, as well as the role of effective group work and leadership in order to complete large-scale and/or complicated projects.
HON 301: The Scholarship Process
This seminar will focus on defining scholarship and exploring the process of research within each student’s specific discipline. Students will discuss the similarities and differences between disciplines in relation to scholarship. Students will be expected to outline the requirements to complete a discipline-specific scholarship activity and the role others must play in the project execution.
Honors Course Sections Offered at Shenandoah University
History 104: US History II
Entrepreneur Henry Ford (the creator of the Ford Motor Company) said in 1916 that, “History is more or less bunk.” For someone who actually really liked American history (he created his own version of a Williamsburg, Virginia in Michigan), this is a surprising statement. You can imagine too that this quote is horrifying to history professors and history lovers. While we should live in the moment, we can only do so by looking into the past and examining it with a thoughtful, inquisitive, intelligent, and sensitive perspective—exactly what we will be doing in this Honors course. Most of us also overlook the fact that HISTORY contains the word STORY, and we have learned history not through the eyes of people from the past, but as series of facts. This is boring! We absolutely need to study facts, but in this course, we will concentrate more on the her-stories and his-stories that created American History from 1865-present. You will read a lot—yes, from your textbook, but also from other historical documents and contemporary newspapers; you will actively participate and debate in class; you will design some of your own assignments, and you will write with a critical and persuasive eye. By the end of the semester, you will be saying, “History is more or less pretty amazing.”
English 284: American Literature since 1865
Dive Deeper into the Dream…. Students enrolled in the Honors section of ENG 284 explore profound connections between the course readings and the nation we inhabit. For instance, you will lead a lesson, conduct outreach, and consider potential solutions to the many social issues presented in the readings. With fellow Honors students, you will also re-envision the literary works –and genres, through your combined efforts on a Dream Chasers virtual reality project.
Bio 409: Cell Biology
The honors section of cell biology is specifically designed for students who intend to enter graduate school and/or who have a love for Biology at the cellular level. We will spend a significant amount of time examining current and historical scientific literature that explains the cellular processes we are discussing in class. Through this process, you will develop the advanced reading and communication skills necessary to easily transition to graduate school. In lab, you will conduct multiple advanced cell and molecular based experiments, including learning how to culture mammalian cells and observe their organelles and structures using immunofluorescence microscopy. You will also create an art project using any medium of choice to contribute to our cell biology art show, demonstrating the frequent intersection between science and art. Past projects have included microscopy image collages, watercolor paintings, and 3D models.
ENG 209H: Writing about Literature Honors
According to American poet, William Carlos Williams, “It is difficult/ to get the news from poems/yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.” What is the “news” of poetry or literature, in general? What relevance does it have to your life? In this course, Honors students will read from a variety of stories, poems, plays, and a novel, looking for the “news” in classic and contemporary English literature. Through daily discussion and written responses, you will deepen your understanding of what you read, improve your analysis of writing techniques, and explore possible interpretations of literary theory. You will hone your own writing skills through multiple drafts of creative and academic writing. As an Honors student, you will go beyond the limits of the classroom to research and share your insights and recommendations with a global audience through methods such as a web page, podcast, or video.
ENG 101H Composition for Honors Program— “The Art of Learning”
This course is open to students formally accepted into the Honors Program, as well as those interested in trying an Honors course before applying to the Honors Program. In addition to meeting the objectives of the regular ENG 101 Composition course, the Honors version of ENG 101 will have three areas of focus:
- Identification of students’ own academic interests, strengths and weaknesses, and research into effective methods of learning
- Introduction to various academic disciplines, their methodologies, and ways of thinking and learning
- Analysis of potential challenges or obstacles that might interfere with students’ academic success.
This course provides intensive writing practice with frequent opportunities to receive feedback during the writing process
MCOM 150: Introduction to Public Speaking
The honors public speaking course is a playground for developing and practicing public speaking skills in somewhat unconventional ways. We frequently play with ‘canons,’ visit magical palaces, explore virtual realities, learn cool party tricks, crush debate tournaments, create timeless podcasts, and co-construct a kick ass learning community of self-motivated, knowledge-thirsty Hornets!
Environmental Sciences 101: Intro to Environmental Studies
Students in the intro Environmental Studies learn more than how the world works and how humans mess it up! It’s the perfect balance of foundational knowledge between the physical and social sciences. Honors students gain a new perspective to both historical and modern topics. Working closely with me (the professor), you will have the opportunity to investigate an issue of YOUR choice with the goal of bridging the gap between these disciplines. You may present your findings as a talk, poster, movie, song, or dance!
Wildlife Ecology and Habitat Management is inherently multidisciplinary. Translation: it’s exciting and uses a lot of your brain power! Not only do students get to learn about their favorite animal’s populations, communities, and species interactions, but we also investigate the ethical responsibility of species conservation. Who decides which species gets protected and why? In addition to learning how humans impact wildlife populations and their habitats, honors students delve deeper into the many ways’ wildlife impacts HUMANS through poetry, works of art, non-scientific literature, cultural and spiritual beliefs, and more!
Psychology 320: Abnormal Psychology
This course is designed to provide an introduction to a wide range of mental disorders. The purpose of the course is to provide students with a clear understanding of the major mental disorders, including information related to the causes, diagnoses, and treatment of these disorders. Information will be presented to help students understand abnormal behaviors from a historical perspective. Modern day challenges facing the mental health field will also be covered. This honors course will ask students to deepen their understanding of “second mind thinking,” as it relates to Mental Health Disorders.
Second Mind Thinking is:
- the process of becoming/ being aware of a bias/prejudice/discrimination the student may have and questioning where/how/for what reason it developed and the reason it has been long held
- After the initial process, evoke SMT which encourages an individual to ask themselves the question, “What else might be going on in this (other) individual’s life that may be leading them to think/feel/behave in ways that are different/unfamiliar/harmful.)
This coincides with the BIG QUESTION for this Honors Course.
BIG QUESTION: What does it mean to have and exhibit a truly non-judgmental nature? In order to exist/interact/overcome roadblocks that prevent successful/healthy living).
Psychology 312: Personality Psychology
This course is an exploration of personality psychology, including an investigation of scientific approaches to personality and a critical examination of the major theories, past and present, that have been proposed to explain individual differences in behavior. Honors students have opportunities to create original personality tests and evaluate the fit of classic personality theories in explaining human behavior.
Math 207: Introduction to Statistics
The Honors section of Math 207 offers an enriched introduction to statistics through exploration of a large, global weather data set containing hourly readings from the past 120 years. Students will apply concepts, tools and methods from statistics, sociology, history, computer science and other fields to formulate and answer questions about climate. Honors Math 207 students will gain experience using data and rigorous methods to formulate and present solutions to problems of global significance.
Math 209: Discrete Mathematics
What do mathematicians do all day? Discrete math is often the first course where math and computer science students see what it’s like to be a mathematician. Students explore topics in set theory, graph theory, logic, algorithms, and combinatorics along with their applications. Honors students will have the opportunity to investigate mathematical concepts beyond the classroom. Students will identify how logic plays a role in literature and will explore open research problems in discrete mathematics to investigate and discover new areas of mathematics.
Other Honors sections taught at Shenandoah University
- Chemistry 121: General Chemistry 1
- Biology 121: General Biology 1
- Psychology 405: Independent Research
- Psychology 101: General Psychology
- Biology 316: Genetics
- PHIL 130: Introduction to Medical Ethics
- Biology 231: Anatomy and Physiology 1
- Exercise Science 399: Independent Study
- Rel 391: Special Topics in Religion (Most recent topic: Spiritual Practices for Surviving the Pandemic)
- Exercise Science 399: Independent Study
- History 201: The Practice of History