If you’re already worried about surviving college coursework your first semester, you might be thinking there’s no way you want to increase the pressure by adding honors classes.

But remember, honors classes are not designed to be more difficult or cover more material. Instead, the goal is to get you to challenge yourself and inspire you to think critically. If you’re graduating high school with a 3.5 GPA and an ACT score of 27 or SAT score of 1210 or higher, you may be eligible to be admitted to the Jane Stephens Honors Program at Southeast.

1. The Best of the Best Professors

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Faculty members who teach honors courses have to apply and be selected to teach them, meaning you’re getting the cream of the crop when it comes to the person teaching your classes. Honors professors come backed by a doctoral degree (or the appropriate terminal degree), a demonstrable record of excellence in teaching and at least two years of experience teaching at the university level, and the recommendation of their chairperson or dean.

2. Your Classmates

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Speaking of the best of the best, the other students in your honors courses are just as dedicated to their education as you are to yours. More than likely, you won’t be the only one in the class who wants to form a study group for midterms or stay after class to dive even deeper into the lecture material with the professor. And when you leave Southeast after graduation, these are the people you’ll be glad to have in your network because, like you, they’re going to do big things. Plus, honors class sizes tend to be even smaller than the already small Southeast class size, so there’s a good chance you’re going to really get to know the people you’re learning alongside. 

3. Honors Housing

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Honors students are the only ones who can choose to live on the Honors Floor of LaFerla Hall. LaFerla is one of Southeast’s newer halls and is located right next to the bridge that leads to the Student Rec Center, Aquatic Center, Show Me Center and MMTF or “Pig Lot,” the parking lot most first year Redhawks get passes for. There’s also a lot to be said for living among other students who are just as intelligent (and maybe only slightly weirder than) you.  

4. Honors House

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Not to be confused with another residence hall, the Honors House is a cool historic building where honors students can come to study and hang out. The building is exclusively open  to students in the Jane Stephens Honors Program, so having access feels kind of like being a celebrity. The Honors House is also home to special events like Grill & Chill, Murder Mystery Dinner, Puppies at the Honors House plus trivia nights and service projects.  

5. Priority Registration

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Once you’re in the program, you get to build your schedule before the other Redhawks in your class. Junior honors students pick classes at the same time seniors do, and sophomore honors students pick classes when juniors do. That means a major increase in the likelihood the section with your favorite professor and at your preferred time are still open when you select courses.