For The Stallion
Reflecting a recent and exponential upward trend in ABAC’s academic status, as more and more qualified students make ABAC their college of choice and take advantage of its rapidly expanding selection of bachelor’s degrees, the Honors Program on campus has seen a monumental spike in enrollment with a total 50 freshmen registered for the 2013-2014 school term, more than doubled from last year’s 23.
Indeed, there is much to be excited about—it isn’t only the numbers that have expanded. The program itself offers students a range of new opportunities never before afforded. A new honors hall, for example, opened in Lakeside, filling the need for a separate space for Honors students to live and study together, and furthering the sense of community and academic unity within the program. An honors lounge, ideal for in-between class study, has been opened on the third floor of Conger Hall, and three new honors classes—Biology 1107H, Biology 1108H, and History 2111H—have been added to the curriculum.
The Honors Student Association, of which all honors students are members, is also preparing for a semester packed with campus and community involvement.
Brianna Roberts, a junior who has been heavily involved in the Honors Student Association and currently serves as its public relations officer, recalls from her freshman year at ABAC, “When I really started to get involved with the HSA, I found a group of students who had similar interests and the same drive to succeed as I did.” She added that the group “eventually became like a family, and now some of my best friends are the ones I found here [in the HSA].”
Stories of familial closeness and community are common among members of the Honors Program, and are often tied to stories of academic success. Sophomore Lindsay Partridge, a business major, says of activity in the HSA that “having peers that you see both at club meetings and in daily classes allows for people to connect and form friendships very easily,” and these friendships lead to many a successful study session.
To better foster this sense of community—and, along with it, that academic success—within the incoming freshman class, the Honors Student Association has begun a peer mentorship program in which upper-class honors students are assigned freshman students to befriend and introduce to college life.
Already, the mentorship program has succeeded in exciting the freshman class about the opportunities available to them through the program. Luke Langley, a freshman wildlife management major, says, “I look forward to challenging myself and seeing what I can do, not only in my classrooms through the Honors Program, but across campus and Tifton through the HSA.”