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Honors Program

Shaw University's Honors Program nurtures excellence in select highl motivated, talented and gifted students who demonstrate a commitment to the learning process in reaching their potential to become successful scholars, leaders and role models. It is an innovative and multifaceted program designed to enhance the success of student scholars at Shaw University. The Honors Program's initiatives and activities develop students intellectual, ethical and leadership skills.

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Program Goals

  • To provide mentoring, nurturing and academic support to guide promising students in reaching their full potential and future success.
  • To promote intellectual inquiry as a way of life or future pursuit.
  • To instill an understanding of the academic culture of higher education and expectations of serious students for the future as they contemplate graduate study.
  • To enrich the university community by sponsoring and co-sponsoring worthwhile academic and co-curricular activities and events.

Program Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes below reflect the general commonalities found in honors courses as determined by the National Collegiate Honors Council, the professional association of undergraduate honors programs and colleges; honors directors and deans; and honors faculty, staff, and students. NCHC supports institutions and individuals developing, implementing, and expanding Honors education through curriculum development, program assessment, teaching innovation, national and international study opportunities, internships, service, leadership products, and mentored research. More generally, NCHC carries out this mission by serving honors professionals and by advocating support for and excellence in higher education for all students.

  • To help students develop effective written communication skills.
  • To help students develop effective oral communication skills.
  • To help students develop their ability to analyze and synthesize a broad range of material.
  • To help students understand how scholars think about problems, formulate hypotheses, research those problems, and draw conclusions about them; and to help students understand how creative artists approach the creative process and produce an original work.
  • To help students become more independent and critical thinkers, demonstrating the ability to use knowledge and logic when discussing an issue or an idea, while considering the consequences of their ideas, for themselves, for others, and for society.

Likewise, the National Association of African American Honors Programs was formed in 1990 to promote the continued empowerment of its constituents (students) through enhanced cognitive and compelling experiences. These goals further emphasize the need for empathetic responsiveness on the part of these constituents, who, through inspiration from this organization, will be encouraged to serve as catalysts for instigating a better way of life in their communities, the nation, and the world. Some of NAAAHP’s goals are to:

  • Stimulate and encourage community service and leadership as one of the highest aims of education;
  • Facilitate the enrollment of African-American students into graduate and professional schools;
  • Promote a curriculum that fosters a lifelong disciplined approach to knowledge and scholarship through inquiry and exploration; and
  • Develop an undergraduate educational environment that promotes scholarship, knowledge, and an appreciation of African-American culture as a mirror for understanding other great world cultures.

In concert with these general goals and in consideration of Shaw University’s unique characteristics, students participating in the program will:

  • Develop proficiency in research, creative and technical writing, and oral communication skills.
  • Engage purposefully in leadership, service, or mentorship activities and apply leadership principles and strategies to enhance personal, professional, and community growth.
  • Develop a knowledge base of their own culture, respect for human diversity and, assumptions, stereotypes, and biases when confronting differences
  • Develop strategies to further their education and/or professional development initiatives to ensure the highest level of service in their chosen fields.