About the Honors Program
Jacob Kohlhaas, Ph.D.
The Honors Program is designed to offer an integrated sequence of academically challenging courses unique to Honors students who wish to pursue a broadly-based, comprehensive liberal arts education. The program offers a chance to enjoy academic challenges emphasizing an analytical, synoptic, and creative approach to the various disciplines that comprise the liberal arts. Students in the Honors Program reflect on the use of imagination for problem-solving, the relevance of ideas to society, and ways to engage in the world.
The Loras College Honors Program engages students in real-world problem solving through collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects. Students bring academic research, service, and cultural awareness together to respond to the needs of their communities. As part of the program, groups of students work with faculty mentors for three years. Examples of projects include solar energy, STEM education, veterans and mental health, grant writing and many others.
Students that participate in the Honors Program will receive a $1,500 scholarship for all four years of the program.
- Cohort model with other motivated students
- Experiences outside of your major
- Preparation for Graduate School and Professions
- Leadership and Cultural Awareness Education and Experience
- Scholarship of $1,500 awarded for each year enrolled in the program (not exceeding four years)
- Interaction with peers and professors in lively educational environments
- Direct engagement with professionals in various fields through community partnerships and outreach
- Service opportunities on campus, in the community and internationally
- Research and conference presentation opportunities
Criteria to Qualify
- Apply and be admitted to Loras College
- Demonstrated High Academic Achievement (3.5 GPA or higher)
- Rolling Application and Acceptance
A great opportunity to think outside the box and get to know your peers!
Honors students graduate from Loras with a depth of experience in collaborative research and problem-solving that brings the insights of academia into conversation with the problems faced by a variety of communities. Many people can talk about what is wrong with the world; our graduates know how to analyze a problem from multiple perspectives, address root causes through community resources, and apply their research in the service of others.
When students enter the Honors program they become part of an active learning community that values intellectual curiosity and community engagement. Foundational classes deepen students’ connections with each other and teach the values of the Honors program while developing the critical discernment, creativity, and interpersonal skills that are essential for collaborative, interdisciplinary research. In the first year, these connections are forged and strengthened through students' taking a few Honors general education courses together.
Sophomore through senior year focuses on the collaborative, interdisciplinary research project. Mentored by a faculty partner and supported by the Honors Director, students advance in discovering and applying solutions to problems through community engagement and research. Collaborative research projects have been completed in areas ranging from health education to handicap accessibility to environmental sustainability. In their final semester, research teams will present their research, implemented responses, and proposals for ongoing engagement to the campus and wider communities.
These interdisciplinary research projects, pursued over a three-year span, address a question or problem in a community to learn about the issue, connect with other interested groups, and develop a possible solution. The students work as a collaborative team, but distribute tasks amongst themselves to best use their talents and inclinations to the fullest potential possible.
Goals and Outcomes of the Honors Program
- To provide opportunities for research for students and faculty
- To provide meaningful and reflective service for students and faculty
- To encourage growth in personal compassion, empathy, and cross-cultural competence through exposure to diverse ideas and experiences
- To provide students with opportunities for professional and/or vocational development
- To develop in students an understanding of needs in society and the world, using their talents, abilities, and expertise to contribute in creative and positive ways