Honors program helps students excel

By Noelle Westfall
March 28, 2010

The Cabrini College honors program gives select students the opportunity to benefit from a range of challenging classes and special off-campus events. Co-directors of the honors program, Dr. Leonard Primiano and Dr. Paul Wright, have been making the honors program a source of achievement and enjoyment for Cabrini students for many years.

“The honors courses are typically different from regular courses because they involved more in-depth material at a faster pace,” Keri Bensley, freshman biology major, said. “The workload is more and usually more difficult, but what advanced course isn’t that way? The professors still offer extra help to those who struggle to keep up or to understand the material.”

Others have said differences between honors courses and regular courses are that the honors have a more specific focus than other classes and have greater emphasis on class discussion and writing.

“I think honors courses are a way for a more intellectually gifted student to feel more challenged by the work,” Elena Brown, junior psychology major, said.

There are a variety of honors-level courses to challenge students’ minds and ideas. A few of these include Honors Sects and Cults in American Society, Honors Baseball and the American Tradition, Honors Existentialism and Honors Engagement in the Common Good (ECG).

Even if there is an opportunity to take a course that is honors, but not in one’s major, it can be a good experience to try something new.

“I think the honors classes have been interesting even though they’re outside of my major,” Joe Cahill, junior communication major, said. “It gives me a new perspective for new areas of study. Most of my good friends from Cabrini grew out of the honors program.”

The honors programs are not all pencil and paper work. Trips are offered throughout the semester to students who are enrolled in the honors program to give them a taste of culture and history outside of Cabrini’s campus.

“We were invited to Woodmont, the living quarters of followers of Father Divine. We were also given a tour of a Masonic Temple in Philadelphia and given free tickets to the Curtis Symphony Orchestra,” Bensley said. “An assignment usually preceded each event, but it was definitely worth it.”

“My sophomore year there was a concert at the Kimmel Center and a dinner for the senior members hosted by Dr. Primiano,” Joe Kimpflen, senior history and political science major, said. “There are periodic concerts in Philadelphia, field trips organized by the teachers and dinners for the students in the program hosted by the college.”

With a long list of things to keep track of at the beginning of a school career, honors courses should be thought of not only as something challenging for the present, but something to carry into the future as well.

“The main benefit to honors courses is the fact that a student will graduate with honors at the end of their college career,” Kimpflen said. “I have learned more than I would have otherwise about the specifics behind causation of terrorist actions, gotten to study the specifics of the past and present of baseball, learned about the doctrines and beliefs of multiple obscure sects of religions, as an example of a few subjects.”

As students move on from high school to the college world, the honors programs give the opportunity to grow in oneself and feel the pride of accomplishment.

“A benefit to the honors courses is not only the professors, but the way they treat you,” Bensley said. “In regular courses I often find that I’m being spoken to as if I’m still in high school. The honors courses give the student more responsibility, and the instructors treat you as adults.”

Noelle Westfall

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