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Western Michigan University

The mission of the Carl and Winifred Lee Honors College is to provide a lively, rigorous undergraduate program for bright, highly motivated, and active students.  The College was founded in 1962, and because of its continued leadership in the national honors movement, it remains a well-respected center for academic training among the 500 institutional members of the National Collegiate Honors Council.

More than one thousand students participate in a learning and living environment that provides undergraduates with the sense of being enrolled in a small private college, but with the resources of a major university.  The Lee Honors College offers a four-year academic program, co-curricular activities, and special opportunities to complement all disciplinary majors.

Freshman/sophomore-level students take linked courses built on the learning community model.  General Education courses are grouped around a general theme or major issues in order to present a more coherent view of knowledge or methodology.  A cohort group of students attends two or three courses or integrating seminars where connections among the disciplines are drawn and assignments are made which are common to the linked classes.  Varieties of clusters are offered every semester; some of these are entitled “Mind and Body,” “Science and Technology,” “Introduction to World Cinema,” and “Looking into Nature and Outdoors.”

At the junior and senior levels, honors course selections consist of seminars with special topics, which bring together multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to issues, events, or problems.  Honors students take a minimum of two seminars and may substitute a research-oriented independent study, foreign study, or an internship for one of these two upper-level honors course requirements.

A thesis, extended project, or performance serves as a capstone to the four-year program.  This culminating activity focuses and applies knowledge and skills of the entire honors program through critical thinking and creative expression.  Upon completion of the honors program of study, students graduate from Lee Honors College with recognition in the commencement program and special notation on the academic transcript.

To assist students in the thesis process, the Honors College administers the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award program for the University.  We also try through various internships, to provide unique opportunities for honors students to learn from valuable contacts with experts in a variety of fields and for each student to gather data for his or her thesis.

The Lee Honors College recruits and advises qualified applicants from the entire University community for six prestigious scholarships: The Rhodes, The British Marshall, The Goldwater, The Truman, The Mellon Fellowship, and The Morris K.  Udall Scholarship.  Highly qualified WMU candidates have recently been recognized nationally; these include two Truman finalists, one Truman winner, one Goldwater winner, three Morris K.  Udall winners, and two state finalists for the Rhodes.

Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University
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