Top honor for SC Honors College
By Margaret M. Lamb, Margaret@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-5400
The South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina, known for its rigorous curriculum, array of enrichment opportunities for students and its high-achieving alumni, has itself earned a top honor.
In the first-ever ranking of public university honors colleges, the South Carolina Honors College was ranked No. 1, according to the soon-to-be published guide, “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs.”
That’s no surprise to honors college students, all of whom have racked up their own accolades during their academic careers. Just ask senior Samantha Ward. The pre-med biology and Spanish double major from Aynor, SC calls her time as part of a prestigious group of faculty and students a “blessing.”
“The faculty are optimistic and friendly, always available with arms open to their students,” Ward says. “The college provides a plethora of opportunities for students regarding study abroad, research, and fun extracurricular activities on campus. The small class sizes are my favorite aspect of the Honors College because they entice students to work together and foster innovation.”
The ranking is based on honors curriculum, honors retention and graduation rates, honors housing, study abroad programs, and priority registration. USC led the universities of Texas at Austin, Michigan, Virginia, Georgia, Penn State and Minnesota.
Also, a ranking of honors colleges within the context of their universities was conducted and the South Carolina Honors College is among the Top 10. This ranking is based on the same factors as above, with the additional criteria of prestigious undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for the university as a whole.
“This ranking is quite an honor for the honors college,” Steven Lynn, dean of the South Carolina Honors College, said. “It's proof that we're succeeding in our mission, which is to create an environment of excellence, marked by a challenging, well-rounded curriculum, in a vibrant university setting with outstanding facilities and limitless enrichment opportunities.”
Established in 1978, USC’s Honors College enrolls 1,400 students and is known for leadership and service learning, research and internship opportunities, in addition to a curriculum that emphasizes cutting-edge thinking and problem-solving skills. In 2009 a new, LEED-Gold certified honors residence hall with suite-style rooms and meeting space opened. The average SAT of last year’s incoming class was 1427.
The 275-page book, to be published in April 2012, is intended to be used as a guidebook for prospective college students. It reviewed Honors programs at all public universities ranked in the top 75 nationally as well as those public universities that are members of the Association of American Universities.
For more information on the guidebook and rankings visit the rankings site.
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