Over the next two weeks, the West Virginia University Honors College will issue its first invitations to the Honors Foundations Program, a new two-year program designed to enrich students’ first years on campus, particularly their general education and introductory major courses. In addition to Honors versions of traditional courses, students will have the opportunity to take creative and innovative courses that meet general education requirements.

“By focusing on enrichment, innovative learning and the joys of the small college classroom, the Honors Foundations Program will help students build the link between the degree they are earning and the valuable education that degree represents,” says Ryan Claycomb, associate dean of the Honors College, who will direct the new program.

This re-visioning of the Honors College experience follows two years of significant growth—from 580 entering freshmen in 2014 to more than 900 this fall—and responds to the educational needs and instincts of this generation of college students. The new program will launch in fall 2017.

Students in the two-year program will find the benefits of a smaller college atmosphere coupled with the resources of a 21st century research university, including:

  • Smaller class sizes, often under 25 students;
  • Access to innovative Honors course topics;
  • Dedicated Honors housing and community activities;
  • Priority registration for classes before general population students;
  • Honors advising, tutoring, and mentoring;
  • Opportunities for peer leadership and community service;
  • Recognition at graduation and on their transcripts;
  • Connections with a community of Honors students.

In addition to providing innovative learning environments for students, Honors Foundations courses will also provide opportunities for faculty to develop new material and teaching strategies. An Honors Faculty Fellows program will premiere with the new structure to foster creative, engaged and service-oriented pedagogy.

Upon completion of the Honors Foundations Program, students will have the opportunity to continue in the Honors College by applying for a second program, now in development, that will facilitate undergraduate research and experiential learning. This program will also be available to talented upperclass students who did not meet freshman admissions requirements but excelled in their college work and to high achieving transfer students.

“Our long-term vision for the Honors College at West Virginia University is to provide an exceptional education that begins in an engaging classroom and then extends well beyond its walls,” said Dr. Ken Blemings, dean of the Honors College. “Our new programs make this vision possible in ways that will truly resonate with our students.”

Students who wish to apply for the Honors Foundations Program must first apply to West Virginia University. Eligible students—those with a 3.7 G.P.A. and 26 ACT or comparable SAT scores—will receive an invitation to join the Honors College. More information about the WVU Honors College can be found at www.honors.wvu.edu.


CONTACT: Ryan Claycomb, Associate Dean of the Honors College 304.293.2100; ryan.claycomb@mail.wvu.edu


CONTACT: Ryan Claycomb, Associate Dean of the Honors College
304.293.2100; ryan.claycomb@mail.wvu.edu

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