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Honors Program

Are you looking for a program where your intellectual curiosity is encouraged and rewarded? Where discussion is the norm? Where your individuality is respected and accepted? Where the atmosphere challenges you to be the best you can? You’ll find all this and more in the Westfield State University Honors Program.
 

Browse through past issues of the Honors Program Newsletter The Squirrel Squire for a glimpse into Honors courses, activities, and student achievements.

The Honors Program empowers students to be active and engaged in their experience at Westfield State University, fostering their academic, personal, and professional development in an innovative, dynamic, and inclusive learning environment. We are a diverse community of intellectually curious learners and leaders inspired to explore and develop our passions through small, student-centered classes, faculty and peer mentorship, project-based learning, research and creative work, civic engagement, presentation opportunities on and off campus, and social activities. Opportunities for personal growth, community building, and critical thinking abound!

Students in the Honors Program work closely with faculty members and are encouraged to present their projects at local, regional, and national conferences. Honors students are personally advised by Honors Program administrators and peers. Honors students register early for all courses, not just honors courses.

Honors classes are different:
  • More personalized:  Honors classes are typically capped at 15 students, whereas most core courses have 25-35.
  • More interactive.  Honors courses are intellectually challenging and student-centered with an emphasis on discussion and hands-on learning.
  • More experiential: Honors courses offer special features such as guest speakers, field trips, and independent research projects.
Honors students can complete a Senior Honors Project:
  • In-depth research or creative work: Complete an extensive, independent project over two semesters  on something you’re passionate about.
  • Individualized mentoring: Work one-on-one with a professor who will guide you through the year-long process. Develop a mentoring relationship that will launch you into your professional or academic future.
  • Professional Development: Present your work on campus and beyond and develop a work sample that will impress future employers and graduate schools.  
  • Welcome Weekend helps introduce new commuter and residential Honors students to the Program, the campus, and their peers. First-year residential students also get to move in one day early.
  • Incoming Honors students are matched with peer mentors who help them get off to a great start at Westfield State.
  • Residential students have the opportunity to live in the Honors Living and Learning Community in University Hall.
  • Commuter students can enjoy programing specifically designed for them.
  • The Honors Student Lounge is a great place to meet other students and build community, chat with Program staff, use the computers, print papers, or just relax.
  • The Honors Program hosts special events throughout the year, including receptions with guest lectures, field trips to cultural events, and fun social outings.
  • Both residential and commuter students can build leadership skills by being involved with the Student Honors Advisory Council and the Honors Advisory Committee.

The Westfield State University Honors Program is part of the Commonwealth Honors Programs consortium, which sets guidelines for Honors Programs across the Massachusetts public higher education system. To graduate as an Honors Scholar, which includes recognition at graduation and a notation on your transcript, you need to complete 18 credits of Honors work.  Honors students take Honors sections of Common Core courses as well as upper-level interdisciplinary Honors seminars.   There are two tracks in the Honors Program:

o   Commonwealth Honors Scholar: To earn this highest academic distinction awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you must:

§  Take at least 4 honors courses, at least one of which will be an upper-level interdisciplinary Honors seminar.

§  Complete a six-credit Senior Honors Project, working closely with a Faculty Advisor in your department.

§  Achieve a B or higher in all of your Honors course work.

§  Maintain an overall GPA of 3.30 or higher.

o   University Honors Scholar:  To earn this distinction you must:

§  Take at least 6 Honors courses, at least one of which will be an upper-level interdisciplinary Honors seminar.

§  Achieve a B or higher in all of your Honors course work.

§  Maintain an overall GPA of 3.30 or higher.

  • Caitlyn Blanchard is pursuing a Doctor of Medical Dentistry degree at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
  • Connor Blanchette is a Solution Developer I for TJX Companies.
  • Jessica Cardin is an Elementary Education teacher in Lawrence, MA.
  • Megan Ceniglio is a paraprofessional in Westhampton, MA.
  • Kelsey Colbert is pursuing a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
  • Patricia Coughlin is a Tax Compliance Associate for Savos.
  • Brian DeMars is pursuing a graduate degree at UMass Amherst School of Counseling.
  • Carolyn Dufraine is a counselor at the Westfield YMCA.
  • Bryce Fournier is pursuing a Master of Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis at Westfield State University.
  • MaryRose O’Grady is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University.
  • Helena Rheault is pursuing a Master’s degree in Ecology and Conservation Biology at Trent University.
  • Kiara Rossborough is pursuing a Master of Social Work at Boston College.

Applying to the Honors Program

Students in the Honors Program are academically motivated. Most had high school GPAs above 3.5 and were involved in extracurricular activities and leadership. Incoming, transfer, and current students are eligible to apply.

Application for incoming first-year students
Application for current students
Application for transfer students

Transfer students who graduate from a Commonwealth Honors Program at a Massachusetts community college are guaranteed admission to the Honors Program at Westfield State University and must contact the Honors Program Director to make their status official at honors@westfield.ma.edu .  Transfer students from other institutions should complete the transfer student application form.