Honors program expands, moves to Founders

The Honors Learning Community moved from the Harshman Quadrangle to Founders Hall this year to better accommodate students.

The Honors Learning Community is an academic program where students can live and take certain credit hours to later graduate with honors. Students can be in the Honors Program without living in the community.

Jodi Devine, director of the Honors Learning Community, said the community moved for various reasons.

“We wanted to be more centrally located and we also wanted to have housing that met the needs of both our freshman and our upperclass students,” she said.

The honors community has moved approximately 10 times since its creation, Devine said.

The amount of students in the community has increased dramatically since the move this year, Devine said.

Last year, the honors community had about 200 students, and this year they have about 300.

Junior Anna Voinovich, who lived in the community her freshman year and is still a part of the Honors Program, said she was told there were no open spaces in the community when she talked to Devine.

“In Harshman, there was always open space, you could sign up Aug. 24 asking to live there and there would be plenty of room,” she said. “They actually didn’t even have enough space for everyone because it’s so popular.”

Students in the honors community have many opportunities to take trips to places like Stratford, Ontario, for a Shakespeare festival. They also have opportunities outside of the classroom as well.

Kacee Snyder, the interim assistant director of the Honors Program, said students living in this community are generally serious about their academics.

“They want to be in a community where academics is important to them,” she said.

The new location may attract more students because it is in a prime location, Devine said.

“Founders is a desirable place for students to live,” she said.

Voinovich said she thinks the move is going to be beneficial for the community.

“Founders is closer to the part of campus that most people spend time on,” she said. “The fact that it’s in a [residence hall] that other people are currently in, they can see it and possibly think about joining.”

One thing Voinovich said would be negative about the move is the price difference between Harshman and Founders.

“Financially, Harshman is cheaper to live in than Founders,” she said. “So for students that are struggling financially, Founders is going to cost them more,” she said.

The community is undergoing construction and is scheduled to finish after fall break, where there will be a classroom added to Founders as well the Honors Program faculty.