The Honors College is committed to the value of a rigorous liberal arts education in support of depth within a discipline that is acquired through formal study in the academic major or minor. The Honors curriculum fosters creative connections among and across disciplines as well as across time.
A liberal arts education is dedicated to lifelong skills, such as critical reading, clear and analytical writing, and effective interpersonal and articulate public speaking. The ability to read a text (or see a work of art or listen to a piece of music) from “the inside out,” to respond to it intelligently, and to communicate that response to others in an understandable and persuasive way is not innate: it must be cultivated and trained. Liberal arts in general, as well as programs like the curriculum in the Honors College, emphasize the development of precisely these skills; students and faculty test evidence against assumptions, learn to distinguish what is important from what is trivial, make connections across disciplines and genres, and practice critical reaction to their judgments by discussing them with one another and with faculty mentors.
These skills transfer among all disciplines, including pre-professional disciplines. These skills also apply to life situations outside the workplace: sooner or later, most of us will serve in parent-teacher associations, city councils, library boards, service organizations, youth activities, and so on, where the technical skills of one’s profession are not necessarily the most useful skills.