The mission of the Carl and Winifred Lee Honors College (LHC) is to provide a lively, rigorous undergraduate experience for academically talented and highly motivated students. We do this by focusing on the quality of each student’s undergraduate experience. The signature organizing principle for the LHC is the creation of “The Distinctive Student”. Our mission is to help students become “distinctive” in a way of their own choosing. This principle shapes what we do in the LHC. Students are our most important partners in this endeavor. We believe that becoming a “distinctive student” will provide students with a realistic opportunity to:
- Get the job they desire in their chosen field, location, and/or organization
- Get into the professional or graduate school they wish to enter
- Get into the desired theatre, dance company or art institute
- Position themselves for a successful career and life
The academic programming of the Lee Honors College allows students to pursue their major areas of study and to join with other honors students in selected courses, internships, research projects, community work, and social activities. Faculty members who teach through the college are recognized by the University as individuals who are fine teacher/scholars and who enjoy working with students.
The Lee Honors College strives to create an environment for critical thinking and active learning. Bringing together students in small classes allows for a variety of educational approaches which depart from the traditional lecture/note taking format. A variety of programs and activities are available to members of the Lee Honors College. Independent study, special honors seminars, and undergraduate internships in the community may be arranged by Lee Honors College students. The Carl and Winifred Lee Research Travel Award, Nicholas A. and Barbara A. Andreadis Scholarship, The Nancy D. and Joseph S. Ellin Study Abroad Scholarship and the Dean’s Summer Thesis Award, all administered by the college, provides financial support for a variety of supervised undergraduate projects.
Student involvement is an important aspect of honors education. Students become involved with the college not only through courses but through student-led activities and honors housing community. The college sponsors trips, speakers, and other cultural and social activities. Through these activities students enhance their affiliation with the University and prepare themselves for leadership positions in their professional lives.
The Lee Honors College serves as the campus office for the WMU chapter of the national freshman honorary Alpha Lambda Delta, the Honors Student Association, and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for upper classmen. These organizations sponsor academic, social and volunteer opportunities throughout the school year, both across campus and in the larger Kalamazoo community.
The Lee Honors College is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Mid-East Honors Association, and is a founding member of the Michigan Honors Association. Honors college students and administrators of the college have held office in these organizations and regularly participate on regional and national Honors committees, making presentations to other Honors colleagues.
Admission to the Lee Honors College
The Carl and Winifred Lee Honors College admits students as incoming freshmen, transfer students, and current WMU students. Incoming freshman are invited into the college based on high school grade point averages and American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores. Transfer students and current WMU students are also invited to the college based on college or university grade point averages, co-curricular activities, and a written Statement of Goals. Students may obtain detailed admission information by visiting the Honors College website: www.wmich.edu/honors.
The Academic Program of Study
The Lee Honors College partners with each of the academic colleges to provide a robust curriculum. Students choose one or more major(s) or minor(s) and compliment and enrich their undergraduate experience through honors classes and programs. The majority of honors students will take a minimum of six honors-only courses. Honors courses are typically taught in small seminar formats that foster discussion and dialog among professors and fellow students. In this setting learning is not simply rote memorization; it is an opportunity to grow through the dynamic interchange of viewpoints and ideas. In addition Lee Honors College students are required to attend a minimum of six cultural events during their freshman year and all students are required to provide a minimum of 20 hours of community service.
The culmination or capstone of the honors experience is the Honors Thesis Project. Students’ typically conclude their undergraduate academic development by producing a significant research paper or creative work appropriate to their field of study and career interests. They are guided through the project by a mentor and a thesis committee of faculty members and professionals from their field of study. The thesis project often serves as a valuable component of a student’s portfolio for admission to graduate and professional schools and, more importantly, to future employment.
Each semester a variety of honors courses, course clusters, and seminars is offered. Many of these are applicable to general education requirements and other curriculum requirements. Others are variable topic/variable credit courses, enabling the Lee Honors College to offer a wide range of additional seminar and experiential learning opportunities. All courses are described in the Lee Honors College course booklet, which is printed each semester. All honors courses are so indicated on the transcript.
The courses offered by the Lee Honors College change each semester. For a current course catalog and list of requirements of college please see the website at www.wmich.edu/honors. Graduates of the Lee Honors College are recognized at the University’s commencement ceremonies. This honor is also noted on the transcript and diploma.
For further information on specific aspects of the Lee Honors College, visit the honors college website at: www.wmich.edu/honors; write to: Office of the Dean, Carl and Winifred Lee Honors College, Western Michigan University, 1903 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5244; telephone: (269) 387-3230; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.