Wilkes University Announces Honors Program Beginning In 2015-2016 Academic Year

by Web Services

New Program Targets Talented And Highly Motivated Among Entering Freshmen 

An honors program offering enhanced academic experiences and grants and scholarships totaling more than $35,000 over four years will be offered to students for the first time by Wilkes University in fall 2015.

The Wilkes University Honors Program will be available for freshmen admitted to Wilkes for the 2015-2016 academic year. Targeting talented and highly motivated students, the program offers a living and learning environment that includes dedicated housing that will enhance students’ academic, social and cultural growth.  Honors students will receive a $7,800 housing scholarship for each of their four years that covers all room costs except meals. 

Honors students also will receive an academic enrichment grant of $1,000 in the first two years and $2,000 in the second two that can be used to fund study-related expenses, such as travel abroad or technology. The enrichment grants and housing scholarships, when combined with other merit scholarships for which students qualify, will bring total annual aid from $19,800 to $23,800 for honors students. Wilkes merit scholarships are based on high school class rank, SAT or ACT scores. The housing scholarship is renewable each year for those who maintain grades required in the program. 

“One of our goals in creating the Wilkes University Honors Program is to provide our most able students with an enhanced, interdisciplinary experience,” said Mark Allen, dean of students and interim head of the honors program. “We want honors students to dream big, and then provide the learning environment to realize those dreams.  Building on the strong academic foundation and mentoring that every Wilkes student receives, our goal is to have the honors program further develop leadership, integrity and self-awareness while pursuing academic excellence. The living and learning environment supports that.” 

Anne Skleder, Wilkes senior vice president and provost, said that the annual enrichment grants reflect the University’s commitment to experiential learning. 

“Our Wilkes Honors Program is quite unique in its strong focus on ensuring a comprehensive program of enrichment in the classroom, residence hall, off campus and around the world.” Skleder said. “Each student receives a grant which they can apply towards learning activities on or off campus — for research, “study away”  including at the Wilkes Mesa, Ariz., center, or study abroad. This distinctive experiential learning approach offers honors students the opportunity to grow in unique ways based on their individual needs and interests.” 

Other program benefits include: 

  • First-priority access to course selection. 
  • Additional support in career counseling, applying for graduate school and for scholarships. 
  • No additional cost for course overload. 
  • Access to field trips, dinners and meetings with notable speakers on campus. 
  • Honors program notation on academic transcript and recognition at commencement. 

Students will be invited to apply to the honors program after being accepted to Wilkes. Accepted students with SAT scores of 1,500 or higher or who rank in the top 20 percent of their high school class will be invited to apply. Selected applicants will be invited for a personal interview based on the quality of their applications. 

Students admitted will be required to take a cohort-based, 3-credit class that will count toward University core requirements. They also will be required to take 18 additional credits – six at the upper level – in addition to the required number for graduation. All will participate in a 1-credit honors seminar as seniors. 

A faculty advisory committee will provide program guidance. Advisory committee members are Fred Sullivan, associate professor, math and computer science; Matthew Sowcik, assistant professor, business and leadership; Joyce Chmil, associate professor, nursing; Suzanne Galella, associate professor, education; Helen Davis, associate professor, English; Jennifer Malinowski, associate professor, pharmacy practice; and Kayla May, student development activities assistant.

To learn more about the Wilkes University Honors Program, visit www.wilkes.edu/honors

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