Meredith McGriff, Japanese and ceramics major, Asian studies minor
"The Honors College has definitely been the highlight of my time at Ball State. Because I'm an honors student, I get to take interesting and informative classes and learn from fascinating people, and I have earned scholarships and work opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to me.
"I really enjoy the small classes the Honors College offers. Instead of being a typical lecture format, the honors classes are usually based on discussion, so they give students the opportunity to interact with professors and other students on a personal level, and they allow the students to take initiative and contribute to the class.
"Being in the Honors College hasn't meant that I have extra work to do—instead, it gives me the opportunity to do challenging work that I find more enjoyable, and I've learned more from doing it. Also, the specific classes that are offered and the required senior thesis let me explore interesting and unusual topics in-depth and within an encouraging academic environment.
"Even better, I am surrounded by people who are just as enthusiastic about learning as I am. The students and professors I meet and work with on a daily basis are wonderful, intelligent people whom I really enjoy being around."
Elizabeth Dalton, English instructor
"It goes without saying that an honors program should offer an enriched education to gifted students. What this means at Ball State's Honors College is the opportunity for students to receive a challenging, coherent, and, ultimately, personal college experience.
"For example, the three-semester humanities sequence allows students to delve into the art, literature, and philosophy of Western civilization. Instead of hearing about the significance of Milton's Paradise Lost, students read it for themselves. Instead of reading dry accounts of Freud's studies, students are likely to examine his very words and make their own assessments. In this way, the story of Western civilization—the story of most of us—is approached as a deep and exciting foundation upon which to build a first-rate education, one further developed by honors science courses, exciting colloquia, and the capstone thesis project.
"Honors College faculty encourage students to see education as a lifelong activity. Thus, the emphasis in our classrooms is not more work but meaningful work. We encourage our students to make connections between the concepts taught in our courses and the lives they envision themselves leading as adults. This is especially evident in the senior thesis, where students are given the time—and the credits—to pursue research or creative projects that reflect their individual interests.
"In this way, our gifted students not only study the discoveries of others, but learn to make discoveries of their own, skills that will take them well beyond their undergraduate years into graduate research or into rewarding professional careers."
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