Meeting Date: 
November 10, 2022
Date: 
11/10/2022 8:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: 
Zoom Meeting
Agenda: 
  1. Introduction
  1. Discussion
    • Hiring & Structure
    • Support of New Students
    • Number of Students in Honors College
    • Next Year’s Numbers
    • Ecampus Update
  1. 2022 Summer Read
Minutes: 

Voting members present: Noah Barnett, Eliza Young Barstow, Hilary Boudet, Michael Burand, Jessica Fujinaga, Adam Gross, Matthew Johnson, Sam Logan, Kathryn McIntosh, Bo Sun
Voting members absent: None
Ex-Officio members present: Toni Doolen – Honors College
Guests present: Susan Rodgers, Sahana Shah

 

Introductions

  • After introductions, Toni Doolen offered us an operational update on recent hiring and structural changes (to administrative positions) within the Honors College (HC), and she also discussed some beginning-of-the year support for new students, numbers of students in the college, applications for the next year, and our preparations for eventually admitting Ecampus students.

Discussion

  • Regarding hiring and structure, we learned about new positions that have been added in the last year: Courtney Lira was hired as Recruitment and Student Engagement Coordinator, and Adriana Fischer as Media and Communications Representative. Some individuals who were already working for the Honors College took on larger roles; for instance, Kevin Stoller is now the Assistant Dean of External Relations and Student Engagement, Gildha Cumming is now Assistant Dean of Admissions, First-Year Engagement and Communication, and Bailey Garvin is now HC Student Engagement Coordinator and Data Analyst.
  • In terms of support for new students, we learned about some of the programming the Honors College has done to support new students. The HC held 11 sendoff events, and 332 incoming student families attended either a sendoff, a parent info session, or both.
  • Numbers of students in the HC at present: 604 students joined HC this year; total number is 1763.
  • Looking towards next year’s numbers: As of now, there are 1681 HC applications, which is up 339 applications from last year at this time.
  • Ecampus update:
    • The CAT I proposal for creating an Honors Degree for Ecampus students has been approved by the Faculty Senate.
    • We have approval to charge $250 for Honors College differential tuition (rather than $500) for part-time students. This is important, as a large percentage of Ecampus students are part-time students.
    • Within Ecampus, the largest enrolled programs are 1) Computer science, 2) Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation, 3) Natural Resources, and 4) Psychology; this means we’re focusing on those programs as we roll out the Ecampus Honors degree. These programs are in the College of Engineering (COE), the College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS), the College of Forestry (COF), and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).
    • At present, we need to work on strategies for giving Ecampus students the FULL honors experience, but we also need to acknowledge that this experience will look somewhat different for Ecampus students that it will for students at the Corvallis campus.
    • We need to work on course development and mentoring students doing theses asynchronously.
      • We do already have a number of online honors classes, so we’re not starting from scratch.
      • The partnering colleges-- (CAS, CLA, COE, and COF) are all committed to online mentoring and thesis support.
    • Sue Rodgers is coordinating a faculty learning community where faculty are talking about a) transferring honors courses to Ecampus and b) making larger enrollment Ecampus courses appropriate for honors classes.
    • To better understand what Ecampus students currently think of the Honors College (for example, have they even heard of it?) and what they might want from an honors degree, Ecampus partnered with the Honors College to survey current Ecampus students, with at least two years left in their studies. The survey intended to:
      • Understand the level of awareness and familiarity our target audience has with honors education and the OSU Honors College. Capture the audience’s previous experience with honors education at the college/university level.
      • Confirm or deny assumed audience perceptions about honors education.
      • Determine the level of interest in enrolling in the OSU Honors College/earning an honors bachelor’s degree from OSU.
      • Identify the most and least preferred experiential learning options.
      • Understand how much in added tuition the audience may be willing to pay each term to enroll in the OSU Honors College.

Here are some highlights:

  • 47% had not heard of the Honors College (but this doesn’t mean disinterest…just lack of information at this time).
  • Students assumed that the degree would be harder and that many employers might not understand what it means to have an honors degree.
  • Despite points a and b, more than 60% were interested (with 32% “very” interested) in potentially pursuing an honors degree.
  • Ecampus students indicated that they would be enthusiastic about having more opportunity to connect with professors and potential employers; they appear to be less interested in group activities with other students. (Here, remember that the average age of Ecampus students is in the upper-twenties, and many students have jobs and children.)
  • There was a low level of enthusiasm for paying more each term, but students consider a $500 charge (each term) to be within the realm of the reasonable. $1000, in contrast, appeared to be a no go (which is fine, as we don’t charge $1000!).

2022 Summer Read

  • After Toni’s presentation, Sue offered us insight into the nature of the 2022 Summer Read. While past years have generally given students five books to choose from, this year students were all asked to read Caste by Isabelle Wilkerson. This year – unlike previous years – ALL entering students were asked to read the book. Thirty-eight faculty and staff volunteered their time to lead hour-long discussions of the book. In selecting only one book for students last summer, the objectives included choosing a book that very much aligned with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)-focused Learning Outcome that the Honors College is working on. And the shared experience of reading one book can help shape conversations among students who entered in the same year. (Eliza Barstow noted that she’d already seen first years engage in a conversation about this book approximately one month into the fall term; this was during an honors section of World Religions.)
  • Noah Barnett asked what other activities – beyond the Summer Read – will contribute to the DEI- focused Learning Outcomes for the Honors College, and this was a really useful question, as we’ll be continuing to think about activities that support DEI as the HC moves forward with the new learning outcome.