The class of 2013 has shown a staggering increase in the number of students pursuing Honors projects in comparison to years past.
“A lot of the students in [the class of 2013] are looking at things like graduate school, medical school, education past Knox. And the Honors Project is really useful for that,” senior John Cusimano said.
Cusimano is currently undertaking an Honors project in Biochemistry.
However, with an increase in the number of Honors projects, there are obvious problems for both the administration and students, such as the speed of approving these time-intensive projects. Equally as pertinent a problem is the number of Honors projects dropped over the course of the year — an amount that could increase with the number of projects students are proposing this year.
“Any increase in the number of Honors [projects] has the greatest impact on faculty, since there are three or so members on each Honors committee. In my view, [any issue with the speed of approval] is not administrative support during the period of application but the effect on the workload of faculty,” Dean of the College Lawrence Breitborde said.
This year, there have been revisions in the administrative process for approval, specifically to ensure that faculty are fully committed to serve on an Honors committee.
When asked about his own approval process, Cusimano said that “The process has been pretty slow, but I understand the administration deals with a lot of these applications. They are looked at pretty intensely, and they should be — not every student who applies for Honors should be granted that. I think that students as well as honors committee members would benefit by having the proposals due in the spring, but I also recognize graduation is going on, and there’s a lot that needs to get done over that period as well. So I don’t think the process is great right now, but I also understand that alternatives are not silver bullets to this whole waiting thing.”
Honors project proposals were approved Oct. 5.
Correction: This story was originally headlined “Increase in Honors applications slows approval process.” However, the length of the approval process this year is comparable to that of previous years. We apologize for the misleading headline.