Mike Knecht, Director of Library Services at Henderson Community College, describes his own experience in an Honors Program:
I participated in the honor’s program at Emporia State University (KS) from 1985 to 1989. The program mostly consisted of general education courses with emphasis on philosophy and ethics. The pace of learning was fast and my instructors’ expectations were high. I had never been exposed to books such as The Decameron, Democracy in America, The Prince, or Confessions by Saint Augustine. Nor had I ever been assigned an entire floor of my university’s library as a textbook for my history class. My endeavor to be a special student was immediately humbling, and if it hadn’t been for the support of my instructors and fellow honor’s students – I would have reverted to the path most traveled.
Additional honor’s courses were available outside the general education core to involve most academic majors offered by the college. For me, this meant greater exposure to economics, finance and business law. The related work permitted little free time, and for the first time, I had to consciously prioritize my academic, work and social activities. (In retrospect, this experience forced me to improve my time-management and study skills, and, ultimately, helped prepare me for graduate school).
I greatly enjoyed the honor’s program at my college. Although competition existed, the prevailing motive was personal satisfaction. We worked closely with faculty who were leaders in their respective professions. We experienced late night study sessions with bad coffee, cold pizza, and cheap beer. We harassed librarians for odd reading material – because the internet didn’t exist, and we developed long-lasting genuine friendships. In the end, we simply had fun.