questions for … Maria Fracasso
Photo by Kanji Takeno
Honors College dean looks to the future
By Jan Lucas
With renovated quarters in Stephens Hall, a new assistant dean and an ongoing faculty fellows program, she's preparing to enhance and expand the college's curricular and co-curricular offerings.
What’s new at the Honors College?
We’ve moved from Cook Library to Stephens Hall. The college has an office suite with spaces for assistant dean Erin Mountz and me, plus a small conference room, seminar rooms, a thesis-presentation room and a room for the faculty fellows working in the Honors College. There’s also a very comfortable, nicely equipped student study room. One big advantage to being in an academic building is that we see more of the honors students. They’re here every day, so we’re in much closer contact with one another.
Where does enrollment stand?
Honors enrollment stands at 694 students, or about 4 percent of the total undergraduate population. TU definitely has a significant honors program, and I attribute that to the support and resources we’ve received from President Caret and Provost Clements. Over the coming years, we’re going to focus our efforts on expanding and strengthening the college's curricular and co-curricular experiences for our students.
What are Honors College students seeking?
We enroll academically talented students in search of unique experiences and a sense of community. They come here from high school with high GPAs (3.95 average) and substantially higher-than-usual SAT scores (1855 combined), so they’re accustomed to a rigorous curriculum and hard work.
What can these students expect from the college?
We offer 30 to 35 honors sections per term—never with more than 20 students per section —and aim to cover the content in more depth and with more innovative teaching techniques. Courses unique to the college are designed to be interdisciplinary. Honors students are also entitled to live in the honors residence hall and to take part in the social, cultural and leadership opportunities unique to the college. When they graduate, their diplomas identify them as University Honors Scholars.
Would you tell me more about the faculty fellows program?
The Honors College faculty fellows program is a unique professional-development opportunity for members of the faculty who are interested in the college and who have experience with innovative course development and a demonstrated record of scholarship. Faculty fellows are asked to teach, advise and mentor students as well as to design a creative project that will influence the Honors College curriculum and the co-curricular experiences available to honors students. Honors College faculty fellows are provided with an office in Stephens Hall and assistance from college staff.
For more information, go to The Honors College at Towson University
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