The new UT Honors College is the evolution of the Honors Program that has met the needs of academically talented students at the University for 47 years.
The creation of the Honors College, which will replace the existing Honors Program, was approved last week by the UT Board of Trustees.
“We have been underselling honors by calling it a program,” said Dr. Tom Barden, director of the Honors Program and professor of English.
There is enhanced prestige associated with an Honors College and this change will put the University’s honors curriculum in line with many other major institutions in Ohio and around the country, Barden said.
“This will make a significant difference in the quality of students we attract to The University of Toledo,” he said.
The UT Honors Program started in 1963 in the College of Arts and Sciences and was expanded University-wide in 1986.
There are currently 923 students in the UT Honors Program, which is housed in Sullivan Hall, and the newest class has an average ACT score of 28.1 and 3.92 high school GPA. “Those statistics already put the program in line with national standards developed by the National Collegiate Honors Council,” Barden said.
The Honors Program also requires a thesis and has three existing scholarships.
“The creation of an Honors College will build on our successful Honors Program that has long provided a challenging and nurturing environment for our students,” said Dr. William McMillen, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
McMillen and Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity, also provided the Board of Trustees with an update on the new students at the University.
Total enrollment rose slightly at the University to 23,085, but the first-year student class of 3,841 is smaller by design.
Under the direction of the Board of Trustees and UT President Lloyd Jacobs to recruit better-prepared students, the University this year deferred 300 underprepared students to spring semester. The UT colleges of Business Administration, Nursing and the Judith Herb College of Education also raised their academic admission standards.
Burns and McMillen emphasized that deferments and raised standards are part of UT’s strategic enrollment plan. The University expects next year’s freshman class to grow, as well as to contain better-prepared students. The trend will continue with the goal of 4,000 freshmen in 2014 with a 24 composite ATC score.
Jacobs and the Board of Trustees expressed their support for continuing these strategies to raise the academic profile of the University.