Honors College

Investment in the Honors College leverages the power of community to transform Westminster.

The innovative, interdisciplinary learning model of our nationally recognized Honors College encourages students to explore beyond their typical field of study. Our Honors students bring an interdisciplinary mindset to their regular courses and a hunger for challenging conversations to their Honors classrooms. Just as the Meldrum Science Center raised the bar across campus almost a decade ago, the transition to an Honors College is one of Westminster’s top advancement priorities because that expansion has lifting power for the entire campus community. Learn more about the Honors College.
 

Give to the Honors College

Contact Michelle Barber-Lyhnakis mbarber@westminstercollege.edu or 801.832.2755 to learn more about the Westminster Fund.

“I support the Honors College because I can see firsthand the impact our students have on the campus community and larger community. Honors students are committed to promoting social justice, creating equitable spaces, and improving the communities they live in—whether this is through campus policy, student governance, or working with marginalized groups in Salt Lake City and beyond.”

Kristjane Nordmeyer, associate professor of sociology and chair of gender studies

Areas of Need

Establishing a solid foundation is the most critical component in creating a successful future for the Honors College. Honors students are highly involved in high-impact practices that require enhanced support, including undergraduate research, experiential learning, academic conference presentation, and innovative collaborations with partners like Westminster’s Center for Innovative Cultures. Support for the core operations of the Honors College will provide the resources necessary to help every student in Honors find success both in and out of the classroom. In turn, this will unleash even more innovation within this high-achieving population hungry for challenging experiences.

Honors faculty foster a culture of experimentation and improvement, continuously revising curriculum and pedagogical approaches. This environment is further enhanced through team-teaching, which not only provides daily professional development opportunities, but also allows faculty to serve as models of civil discourse—a skill that’s never been more important than it is today. Launched with two full-time faculty for 250 high-achieving students, the Honors College needs to increase its core faculty to ensure consistent curriculum and quality mentoring.

Every day, faculty involved in team-teaching bring new knowledge about teaching and learning back to their disciplinary homes. Endowed professorships bring in highly qualified educators and take pressure off Westminster’s operating budget. Investing in shared faculty lines is the most efficient use of precious college resources—helping two growing departments at once and ensuring a culture of continuous learning across campus.

The Honors College employs admissions practices that emphasize access for students from diverse backgrounds and with high need. One quarter of the 2018 entering first-year Honors class is made up of first-generation college students, while the 2018 lateral-entry class is over 50 percent students of color. These students not only choose to take on an extra challenge by self-selecting into Westminster’s most rigorous academic program, but they also work just as hard outside of the classroom. In fact, over 80 percent of Honors students engage in paid work during the academic year, with many holding more than one job. Signifying their commitment to supporting student success, 100 percent of faculty who regularly teach in Honors have come together to kick off the endowed scholarship fund for Honors students. Growing this endowment will provide life-changing access to education for high-achieving, hardworking students.

Global competency is a central part of the Honors College experience. Not only do Honors students explore global topics in seminars like Global Welfare and Justice, but they participate annually in the Honors study abroad partnership with the University of Glasgow, the invitation-only Oxford University Human Rights workshop, and Honors May Term classes supported by the Kim T. Adamson International Scholarship program. The power of Honors comes from assembling a cohort of high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds and giving them opportunities to engage in meaningful conversation. Situating those conversations in an international setting adds a richness to the Honors learning environment, exposing students to unfamiliar settings and challenging them to reflect deeply on those experiences. Furthermore, an endowed international May Term Honors experience will provide access to global learning for students who could not otherwise afford to study abroad.