For Transfer Students Only
Transfer students are most welcome in the Honors Program. They make up about a third of the total number of students in the program (550 or so).
It is easy to understand how a transfer student might seem a bit lost at first. Not only is this a new environment, but the professors and requirements are also entirely new. It is hard to know where to park, where to find a cozy spot to study, which professors have the best reputation and who might be able to answer a dozen other questions. Alone on a large campus, making friends is not so easy. Students who began as freshmen at Post have already built communities of friends, and those living on campus have built a life away from home. If this sounds like your situation, help is on the way!
Fortunately, the Honors Program Office, 201 Humanities Hall, houses an important support system. It is a cozy place to study, and it is full of people who are only too glad to answer questions. In the Honors Lounge, transfer students can get recommendations for courses and professors and can begin to meet similar students in their own majors. If you are a transfer student, plan to spend free time in the Honors Lounge and make the connections that will help you adjust to campus life. The Honors Program keeps academic records on all of the students who have been accepted into the program, so that it is easy for the director to sit down with you whenever you want help, review your plan of study and make suggestions that will help you complete your degree. It is important to know that you will graduate under the requirements specified in the undergraduate bulletin current in the year you were admitted. It is a good idea to have a copy of that bulletin as well as the Student Handbook.
Now, about your degree. Most transfer students enter the Honors Program as a Two Year participant and some as a Three Year Participant. Typically, Two Year Participants have completed an Associate’s degree at a two year college with a GPA of at least a 3.4, while a Three Year Participant has transferred from a two or four year university with a 3.4 GPA after the freshman year. Transfer students entering with the Transfer Excellence Award or the Transfer Scholars Award must participate in the Honors Program as a condition of that scholarship. Other transfer students who meet the 3.4 G.P.A. requirement are welcome to join the Honors Program and apply for scholarship funding directly from the program.
Two Year Participants in the Honors Program are responsible for completing 12 credits in Honors over a period of two years. Three Year Participants are responsible for completing 18 credits over three years.
- 2 or 4 honors courses (Advanced Electives or Core) 6 or 12 credits
- Honors Tutorial (research on a topic in your major (3 credits)
- Honors Thesis (the written product of that research) 3 credits
Most transfer students enjoy the Advanced Electives more than the Core classes. These are special topics that are not intended to be linked to a major but are simply interesting. It is best for a Two Year Participant to start with one of these in your first term on campus.
During that first term you should make every effort to get to know faculty in your major department. That is the key to feeling a part of academic life on campus, especially since it is the real beginning of declaring a major and knowing where you are going. Go to department parties and lectures. Make time to talk with the departmental academic advisor and with the Chair of the department. This is important because you will need to start thinking about a research subject for your tutorial and thesis, and the key to a great thesis is having a great mentor. When you do your tutorial and thesis you will be under the supervision of a full time faculty member in your major department. You choose both the subject and the faculty member. So, use that first term to get to know your department.
If you are ready, you can take your tutorial in the second term. This is usually spring of the junior year. That will give you the summer to finish any extra reading or research that you want to do. Then you can write your thesis in fall of the senior year. It is ideal to have your thesis completed a full semester before you graduate. This takes the pressure off that last semester, which you can use to complete your other honors elective course.
Along with the Honors Program you are also a member of the Merit Fellowship, one of the most innovative components of the C.W. Post Honors Program. The Merit Fellowship program broadens a student’s horizons and exposes the student to new and different things and ways of thinking. Students choose to attend five enriching events per semester from a variety of options including theater productions, the Ethics Center Film Series, lectures, or events sponsored by the Hillwood Art Museum. During the fall semester students are expected to attend an all-day Honors Program conference, which is usually held the first week of November. Conference topics have included War and Peace, Energy, What is Right? and Research – Who Does it and Why? All schedules for the semester or the conference day are distributed in the Honors Program Office. A message on the listserv will tell you when the schedules will be available for you to pick up. Drop by the Honors Office or monitor any listserv messages from the Office to be aware of any changes to the schedule. To receive credit for Merit attendance, students must sign an attendance sheet at the end of each lecture or presentation. Don’t forget to sign your name legibly to the sheet before leaving the room.
The most popular Merit Fellowship option for students is Community Service. Students volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per semester at a school, hospital, or organization. When the community service has been completed submit a letter from your supervisor at the organization verifying that the hours are complete. You will also need to submit a two – three page paper explaining what you did and what you got out of the experience.