The mission of the Honors College is to “provide a more meaningful educational experience for select high-achieving students,” according to PSU’s website.
30 students from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska have been selected to join the Honors College.
The top 12 will receive the Presidential Scholar Award, the next 12 will receive the University Scholar Award, and the remaining six will receive the Crimson and Gold Scholar Award.
“It’s gonna be another really great group for sure,” said Craig Fuchs, Honors College Director. “The overall average ACT was a little higher this year in the cohort and of course some of that has to do with the fact that we used superstores. But certainly, academically they’re very well prepared even given the COVID situation they’ve had to deal with… We’ve got a Nebraska student and a Colorado student so it’s nice to have students from distance that are looking at Pittsburg State for their education…”
Members of the Honors College are automatically members of the Honors College Association organization, which meets monthly.
Allison Gregg, president of HCA and senior in psychology, says that being a member of the Honors College, and the HCA, students have many opportunities to build relationships.
“Through… (HCA), students are able to have an enriched experience that is unlike many other honors programs,” Gregg said. “Incoming HCA members receive an upperclassman peer mentor to help them transition to college over the summer and during their first semester… Through Honors Engagement and Academic Honors requirements, students are able to explore their personal areas of interest and complete more in-depth studies on topics that inspire them… The HCA affords members valuable connections. These connections are seen in student-faculty relationships, an intricate alumni network, and peer to peer friendships. HCA members are introduced to other members and faculty that share their high standard of performance and opportunity.”
First consideration was given to students with an ACT superscore of 28 or higher and a 3.5 unweighted GPA. Second consideration was given to students with an ACT superscore of 25 to 27 and an unweighted GPA of 3.5.
These students were juniors in the spring of 2020 when COVID-19 hit.
“…Most of the public schools had policies where you could do the work if you wanted to,” Fuchs said. “It would help your grade, but it wouldn’t hurt your grade. So, just from anecdotal evidence, a lot of students just weren’t engaged in their spring semester because there wasn’t any reason to be. The quality of instruction.., in my opinion, was a much less last spring because people were trying to transition to remote learning, and they weren’t really being held accountable for assignments… This fall some schools were hybrid, some were face-to-face, some were totally online. So, once again the students had a variety of delivery methods that probably didn’t present them with the same educational opportunities they would have gotten in a non-COVID situation… ACT tests were cancelled back in the spring also. These students typically take the ACT multiple times and some of them just weren’t able to because the tests were cancelled.”
The roster includes 19 students from Kansas, eight students from Missouri, one student from Colorado, one student from Nebraska, and one student from Arkansas.
“Ultimately the HCA fosters college students that are connected to one another and to their university because through the honors program they believe in their ability to impact the world,” Gregg said. “I am leaving Pittsburg State University confident in my capacity to influence my community because I saw the impact I had on my peers and experienced the impact faculty and other students had on myself. I love the HCA.”