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Honors College at ASU and U of A

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Replies to: Honors College at ASU and U of A

  • sylvia4sylvia4 14 replies7 threadsRegistered User New Member
    So glad to see updated posts. I will be visiting ASU towards the end of the month, along with Texas A & M. I would love to know if there are a large number of engineering students living in the Honors dorms and if the honors course load is managable to add to any major. I posted a question a few days ago and didn't receive very favorable comments on either school...your posts helped put me at ease. Thanks!
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  • BusinessGuyBusinessGuy 543 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    There are quite a few of every major in honors, I know all sorts of engineers just on my floor. You only have to take two additional courses as an honors student, you just would have to fulfill the rest of your honors credit through doing a bit of extra work in the normal classes that you take. I see honors classes more as a priviledge than something that I'm forced to do -- they're small, you get close contact with a professor, you can have some great discussions, and the topics of the courses are far more interesting than most standard classes. Granted, a large number of honors courses are humanities in nature rather than science, but that's not to say that those who are focused on science are left out.
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  • farseer0514farseer0514 77 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    everything BusinessGuy said is on the mark. I am a freshman (living in Hayden as well, coincidentally) and I like it so far. Granted, you're going to be forced to take some "regular" classes to get ASU requirements out of the way, like ASU 101, the stupidest course in existence that's just been created to boost Michael Crowe's already-inflated ego. I miss Vassar, where I had top-notch, Ivy-league worthy professors in EVERY class. Still, if you're an honors student, you have to take this class called the Human Event, which is a mix of philosophy, religion, history, and English. It's fantastic! Definitely something to look forward to.
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  • BusinessGuyBusinessGuy 543 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    I agree that ASU 101 is stupid for most students. However, if you happen to be in Business Honors, the Business Honors advisors actually teach the section that you'll take, and it's a lot better than the normal ones -- hardly any busy work and a bunch of interesting speakers about studying abroad and the different majors. I didn't find it particularly helpful, but I'm already pretty proactive when it comes to researching things on my own.

    I bet Vassar does have better professors on average, but if you're careful with your class selection you'll generally be fine -- plus the price tag is a LOT nicer.
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  • txchica70txchica70 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Business Guy - long post and several questions for you. Other Barrett students/future students feel free to respond as well.

    My dd was offered National Hispanic Finalist Scholarship for OOS. Like the other mom said - we hadn't known anything about ASU, but the great financial offer and the information re: Barretts seems like an amazing opportunity. We attended a dinner presentation in Houston last week with Dr. Jacobs, who was very informative and entertaining. DD is 85% sure she's going to ASU, but we haven't made a visit yet. Scheduled to attend orientation in March. She's signed up for Honors housing - I know they're older than any of the other dorms and I worry about the doors of some of the halls opening to the outside (security issues) and that she'd be walking outside to get to the bathroom.

    Are you aware of any security problems since you've been there? Also, do you think the new Honors complex is really going to be completed by fall 2009? (it looks amazing) Do you know any Sustainability majors and if so, are they happy? Do honors freshmen also get priority registration? Any problems (or know someone) regarding maintaining the 3.25 GPA to keep scholarships - Dr Jacobs mentioned something like only 17 students out of close to 3000 didn't meet the minimum...?

    Thanks in advance for responses. I'm sure I'll have more questions as we get closer to decision time.....
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  • christalena2christalena2 1640 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Hey there, I am currently a Barrett Freshman living in the honors dorms...thought I would put in my two cents.

    Since I have been here, I have not heard of one security issue regarding the halls leading to the outside (Hayden W and E, Irish B and C). The complex is surrounded by a gate that requires a sun card to get through, so that helps a lot with disallowing strangers in the complex. Not a problem at all.

    I couldn't tell you whether or not the new honors community will be finished on time. They have been promising us the opportunity for a while, and they are usually good about keeping their word, but who knows...things happen. But for now, we're all staying pretty optimistic about the whole thing.

    I have personally not met any Sustainability majors, but have met a lot of Biological Sciences (Ecology or Evolution) types, all interested in Sustainability. I know one of the Irish halls next year is specifically being used as a sustainability community, which will be cool. Sustainability sounds like an interesting major, but if for some reason your daughter isn't enjoying it, there are so many more majors to choose from, all involving that type of learning.

    Honors freshman do get priority registration, along with all other honors students, we even get to register before seniors. It's great! Especially helpful when you have to sign up for a gen ed class that fills up rather quickly.

    I have not met a single honors student thus far that is unable to keep the 3.25 minimum GPA. I was worried about it myself going in to be honest, but as long as you keep up with the work/reading, it will be no problem. Plus, Barrett offers every student so many resources, that if there was some situation where a GPA was hard to keep up, they will gladly help you out any way they can.

    I went to a "lunch with the dean" event one day, which is possibly for any honors student at any grade level. He's such a great guy. You can tell he really cares about his students and they're success. I'm very excited for my future here.

    Hope that helped!
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  • txchica70txchica70 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks so much for your response Christalena. The more I hear about Barretts, the more excited I get for her. I worry about her being so far from home, but it sounds like she's going to be in good hands in Arizona and shouldn't have trouble finding her niche there.

    Would love to hear from other Honors students, too. Thanks again.
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  • BusinessGuyBusinessGuy 543 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    Christalena already answered most of your questions, but I'll comment on a couple of them. I happen to live in one of the dorms that have doors opening to the outside and it's not a problem at all. I have never seen any non-student (besides faculty/staff of course) in the honors complex and definitely no suspicious behavior. Some girls dislike walking across campus at night, which is understandable, but we do have a safety escort service that you can call to be picked up and brought wherever you need to go. I've walked around campus many times between 12 am and 4 am without ever feeling unsafe or noticing any activity that is out of the ordinary.

    I haven't met any Sustainability majors either, but most of the people that I know are either business majors or humanities majors as those are the two areas in which I take classes. There are so many students here that you can easily feel like you have lots of opportunities and people to meet without even leaving your own college (business/engineering, etc.). You do have a lot more variety within the honors complex though.

    Priority registration is amazing -- honors is worth it for that alone. Also, keeping a 3.25 GPA is no problem at all, I got a 3.97 without too much trouble. The land on which the honors complex is to be built looks like it's being worked on (I don't see it all that often) so I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be open for Fall 2009.
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  • AS08AS08 2 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hi, I'm a HS senior also considering Barrett.

    I've seen a lot of positives discussed in this thread, which is great (Barrett is my first choice). However, I was wondering if any current/past Barrett students had any negatives or constructive criticisms to share about the college? Thanks.
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  • christalena2christalena2 1640 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Um, the dorms could use a little work, some general tune-up, but we recently won the university-wide spirit award, which includes 50,000 to be spent on the complex, which will help a lot. Otherwise, to be honest, there isn't anything that I can think of that is truly wrong or negative within the honors college.
    All of the problems that they have had complaints about in the past, like the need for more honors-only classes, and more honors faculty, all seem to have been taken care of.
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  • farseer0514farseer0514 77 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The main complaint I have is the need for more honors-only classes. The honors contract, where you take a regular class but get honors credit, is so not worth it. The reason I'm in the honors college now is because I want to be surrounded by people who are invested and interested in their classes. When you're in a regular class, you will get many greatly talented people (even if they're non-honors) but you will also be stuck with kids who don't give a damn and just slow everything down.
    The biggest plus is the Human Event, though. That's quite an experience.
    As for the dorms: they're run down, but I really have no complaints. They're quiet (sometimes too quiet!) and there are community showers, but I'm in college; I'm not looking for a 5 star hotel experience :) Some people are though, in which case I would recommend Hassayampa.
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  • worried_momworried_mom 2157 replies48 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Regarding the run-down condition of ASU's Honors dorms --

    Don't forget that Barrett Honors College has only one more year (2008-09) in its existing dorm complex. In the fall 0f 2009, BHC will move into a brand new "honors village" that will include not only new dorms, but also new classrooms, dining halls, and recreational facilities just for BHC students. It's under construction now and will be awesome when it's done. President Crow has put a lot of money into BHC.
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  • csquaredxcsquaredx 27 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    hi! i'm a high school senior considering barrett on the national merit scholarship and this thread has been immensely helpful in aiding me with my decision..thanks!
    i have just a couple of questions right now and i would appreciate if anyone could answer them..
    -as an honors student, do you feel like you are constantly being academically challenged. i know that you are mostly surrounded by other honors students but do you feel like your classes are mentally stimulating/as mentally stimulating as what you would experience at a more prestigious private university?
    -what's the social atmosphere like among barrett kids?
    -what are the differences between the phoenix campus and the tempe campus? if i enrolled at asu i would be entering as a journalism major at the cronkite school..which i think is in phoenix.

    thanks!! any help would be much appreciated :)
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  • farseer0514farseer0514 77 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    csquaredx...
    I think that, if you take as many honors courses as you can, your Barrett experience can be every bit as fulfilling as the experience you would get at a prestigious, private university. I actually transferred from Vassar, which is a elite, private liberal arts college on the East Coast. The bottom line: I prefer ASU. Because I'm not paying as much for tuition (less than $5k a semester, vs. Vassar's $48k) my parents are willing to pay for study abroad stuff. With the national merit scholarship, you will be able to take advantage of those opportunities as well! There are great trips (for seven honors credits!) to Greece, France, Russia, and China every summer with Barrett ONLY students...meaning you will be stuck with people who value learning and are as passionate about their classes as you are :)
    Furthermore, I do honestly feel like I'm being academically challenged. The Human Event, a seminar that every honors student has to take, has been a lot of fun... but you also have to work at it. For me, that's definitely positive. Unfortunately, because I transferred, I couldn't take advantage of priority registration and was therefore stuck with a few non-honors classes that are really boring. However, priority reg. is guaranteed for all honors students, so you should have no problem getting the honors classes you want. They are taught by some great professors.
    The social aspect of Barrett is a lot of fun as well. It's like this little hub of intelligent, fun people within a huge research university. This isn't to say that non-honors students aren't smart (there are brilliant students who just don't feel like going the honors route) but you will, in general, be surrounded by people who love to learn for the sake of learning.
    I think the best way to get the full Barrett experience is to live on the Tempe campus, in the honors complex. That's why I think it's a pity that the journ. school is moving to Phoenix. I was hugely involved in journalism in high school though, and so I'd urge you to consider other majors besides journalism. To be a good journalist, you can always major in something broad and then go on to become a broadcast/print journalist. That way, you could also get hte cool experience of living on the Tempe campus :) Still, if you have your heart set on journalism, you should go with that.
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  • azsummerazsummer 104 replies15 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I live in Phoenix and the truth is that the school is struggling and has had to "dumb down" the curriculum because the quality of students is so poor. Sorry, not trying to start something, but it is general knowledge and often spoken about within the writers circles here in Arizona.
    At one time the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism was considered one of the best in the nation, unfortunately, because of Arizona trying to keep it's local students, it's quality has quickly fallen and the professors we know there are very discouraged about the future of the program.
    Many of the better professors have been looking elsewhere for new teaching positions because they are so disgusted by the lack of work ethic and quality of student that now attends the university.
    From what we know, both U of A and AU are struggling to keep good students. It appears that many of the brighter students transfer out after their first year there because the courses are not challenging enough. (My dad knows most of the Pros there in those departments.)
    Hope this helps.
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  • BusinessGuyBusinessGuy 543 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    I can't speak for the Cronkite school, but I have not noticed this problem in any other area of the university, especially not in the honors college or the business school.The top students here tend to take advantage of special opportunities such as individualized instruction, research assistantships, and specialized pre-professional programs for business majors (investment banking and consulting).
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  • hawaiiboy15hawaiiboy15 831 replies104 threadsRegistered User Member
    What are the requirements to get into Barrett?
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  • ASUhopefulASUhopeful 107 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    there are none necessarily, but you should have a 3.8 and like a 28+
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  • MathMom123MathMom123 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    We live in Flagstaff (appx 3 hrs drive) so ASU is quite appealing for this mom. S will probably major in math, physics or engineering. UA has always had the reputation as a better school for science. Most of the students posting so far seem to be business or english. Any science, math or engineering majors who are in Barrett have any comments?
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  • countryboycountryboy 78 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The son of a good friend majored in a genetics related field and participated in Barrett. I know he really liked the social and academic aspects of the program. He had lots of good internships, but I don't know if those were because of Barrett or if they would have been available to anyone. One advantage for students in Barrett is priority in registering for classes. This should be a benefit to any type of major. Starting this fall, another advantage will be the entirely new housing complex for Barrett students.
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