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Honors Program- Useful?

blossom27blossom27 Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
Hi, I was wondering what people here's experience with the honors program at TCNJ was? I'm a little torn whether or not to stay in it (I'm going to be a freshman). As I'm not going to be there for all four years (I'm on a three year track as part of the BS/MD program), I'm worried that the classes will be too much to add to my schedule (and pointless). Also, I'm not sure if I want to live in centennial. Everyone I know in my program is not doing honors. I have to drop out soon if I choose to, but it's a little hard for me to let go. I'm used to taking every honors or AP class in high school. Also, I'm afraid that dropping out would lead to a disadvantage if I decide to apply out of the program to other medical schools.

Replies to: Honors Program- Useful?

  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,479 Forum Champion
    Things to think about:

    1) Look at what "perks" you get in the honors program. Do those seem beneficial to you? I think they can be if you make use of them.

    Can live in Centennial with other Honors students
    . Stimulating and challenging interaction with professors and peers
    A community of scholars dedicated to personalized education in small classes
    Eligibility for the Honors Program Outstanding Scholar Award
    Opportunities to present research at national and regional Honors conferences
    See past conferences here.
    Recognition for academic achievement and enhanced value of the undergraduate degree
    Close association with other talented students from diverse academic programs
    Students influence the design and operation of the program through participation in the Honors and Scholars Program Council.
    Team-taught interdisciplinary courses provide unique educational experiences unavailable elsewhere in the College.

    2) Honors is not forever...you can start in the honors program but don't have to continue.

    3)Will honors matter for med school? Not sure...you want the best GPA possible and also to do well on MCATs. Would honors help you achieve that? Would you get to know a professor better in honors program?
  • NJRoadieNJRoadie Forum Champion Rowan, Forum Champion TCNJ Posts: 573 Forum Champion
    I was in the honors program long ago at TSC (yes THAT long ago).
    My mom used to say "you are who your friends are". I found that to be so true. I rose to the level I was around - being around the super smart honors kids raised my game. We are still friends today.
    Centennial looks to have been renovated 7 or 8 years ago. It used to be a dump. Now it seems to offer some nice community and a lot of chances for social interaction, which is so valuable your first year. If it also offers you a chance to live with upperclassman as a freshman, even better. I always had that, and I strongly disagree with putting all freshman together in one dorm.
    Best of luck to you!
  • College2018HopefulCollege2018Hopeful Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Bopper above has some excellent point!
    This really should come down to 2 points... Do you benefit from being in and/or Does the next school recognize that you were in it?
    I have always treated Middle School as a step to HS.... the HS as a step to College... College as a step to Grad School. At each step you need to evaluate what helps you in the next step as much if not more than your current. I usually talk to multiple options in the next step to get their views and that helps me make my decision. If I were you I would see if the Honors Prg offers advantages TO THE MD PROGRAM then speak to an Honors Advisor at TCNJ to determine your personal benefits
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,479 Forum Champion
    But as a freshman it comes down to: Do I want to live in Centennial or the Towers?
    I don't think you have to live in Centennial if you are in the honors program.
    And as a freshman you would just be taking an honors FSP.
    Do you want to be surrounded by people who are more academically oriented? A bit quieter? or the freshman frenzie that is the Towers?
  • stones3stones3 Registered User Posts: 842 Member
    for whatever reason , just about everyone loves those towers and say they miss it when they move on. I don't get it either as they are dang old but from what I've seen from my son (3.9gpa, always on the schools deans list, etc) students with very few if any exceptions love their experience in those towers. Go figure.
  • mommyrocksmommyrocks Registered User Posts: 1,218 Senior Member
    At my daughter's U, the honors program offers special tutoring almost daily just for honors students. It also hosts lots of social events, and provides opportunities for leadership roles (mentoring, honors ambassador, etc.). There is usually a lot more to an honors program than just honors courses. What's more, the honors courses she has taken include interesting seminars that she appreciated, and core courses with much smaller enrollments than regular classes.

    She chose not to live in the honors dorm at her U, and she has not taken advantage of the honors tutoring (because most of it takes place in the honors dorm which is a hike from the main campus). However, she really loves being a part of the program. I think she also enjoys it being part of her "identity" as you described -- she has always been an honors student taking the highest level classes, and that is hard to let go of.

    I don't think it's a big deal that you won't be there for the last year, which is typically when students would work on an honors thesis or project. I recommend starting out in the honors program, and deciding later on if you want to leave it. It is likely easier to leave later than to rejoin after turning it down.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,205 Senior Member
    Honors helps in many ways - some obvious, like you saw above, and some qualitative and experiential so hard to define.
    My advice is to stay in Honors for this year, then decide if you want to stay sophomore year or not.
    BTW honors classes won't be harder than regular classes, just more interesting.
  • stones3stones3 Registered User Posts: 842 Member
    I am not sure some of the above posts are referring specifically to TCNJ honors program or just "university" experience.
    At TCNJ it is a smaller school to begin with and most students are like minded to begin with. As stated ,ours has a better than 3.9 gpa in a difficult major so don't be mistaken about the academic level of those who have chosen not to do honors. There are academically strong students in all areas of TCNJ. That's our experience.
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