Honors students’ learning community

Kelly Metz and Kelly Metz

Thanks to the new Honors Learning Community started fall semester, honors students now have the chance to experience intellectual opportunities outside the classroom.

More than 300 honors students in Harshman-Dunbar have the chance to live and take classes with their peers, something they have not done before and are excited about.

“One of the main goals of starting this community was to provide a setting where Honors students can feel a sense of community while striving academically,” said Jodi Devine, associate director for the Honors Learning Community.

Before this year, honors living was only a part of theme housing, and there was no connection between the students and the faculty members, Devine said.

She said she hopes this will hopefully change with the addition of faculty offices in the residence hall.

“By putting these offices here, students have more interaction and can build better relationships,” Devine said. “Because of access to the offices, faculty can give better academic advice, help students in career building and aid in other issues related to academic development.”

Sophomore honors student Katrina Barton also believes that having more accessible offices will build a community and be much easier for students to have problems solved.

“By starting this community, the faculty members are trying to build something greater within the program,” Barton said. “Although I am not living there, I will have the opportunity to still come to them with my questions and know that they will all be there at once.”

Some other students, such as president of Honors Student Association Jaime Hannan are a part of the Honors Learning Community and get to experience everything it has to offer but do not live in the building.

“We can walk across the street and just in a few moments can sit in The Loft, which is our community center and chat with students and faculty, it’s an amazing experience,” Hannan said.

Not only do students in the honors program have the chance to experience living-learning in Harshman, but they also have the chance to take trips to places such as the Stratford Festival, the Toledo Museum of Art and the Islamic Center.

“These trips provide students with an out of class experience that compiles honors with critical thinking,” Devine said.

The Honors Learning Community is especially excited about leaving tomorrow for their trip to Chicago.

During the trip, which extends till Monday, the students are able to experience living in a hostel; they also are going to museums as well as musicals; and are just going to enjoy the city.

The students not only have this chance to be together in a large group, but also can pick from different activities such as the Sears Tower in smaller groups in their free time.

“This trip is a community building experience,” Hannan said. “We are able to learn outside of the traditional classroom setting and experience culture and have discussions while we have fun. We are going to absorb all the culture Chicago has to offer, that we wouldn’t get here.”

For more information on The Honors Learning Community contact Jodi Devine at 372-8501 or visit Harshman-Dunbar hall.