New cohort of honors students forming

Published 2:42 pm Monday, December 6, 2010

Students with a strong academic record will have an opportunity to participate in the 2011 cohort of Honors Colloquium students that will meet in the 2011-12 academic year, said Michael Kirkland, director of the Bainbridge College Honors Program.

The Honors Program is open to current Bainbridge College (BC) students and those who are new to BC, including incoming freshmen, said Kirkland, who serves as interim chair of the Arts and Sciences and of the Learning Support divisions.

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He is currently contacting high school counselors in Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller and Seminole counties to coordinate information sessions for potential members of the BC Honors Colloquium’s new cohort. During Spring Semester, which starts in January, and through the summer, he will be establishing the new cohort. Students interested in the program may contact him at the college at (229) 248-2560.

There will also be an open house for interested students. Members of the inaugural Honors Colloquium cohort will be on hand to talk about their experiences with the program and its related travel opportunities.

Among that group were Michelle Hufstetler, who teaches at Bainbridge Middle School, and Joseph Kelly, who teaches at Bainbridge High School. Both spoke of the positive impact the Honors Program had on their academic success.

Hufstetler said that the BC Honors Program “challenged me as a learner and allowed me to interact with students who shared a passion for learning. I was honored to be a part of Bainbridge College’s first Honors Program.”

Kelly, who earned BC’s top academic recognition, lists Honors Program creator and first director Barbara Frieling as the person most influential to his academic success.

“She was very instrumental in my success at BC,” he said, noting that she encouraged him to participate in the inaugural Honors Program and apply for a scholarship that allowed him to study in London for a summer.

Travel to new places and a scholarship that helped offset costs for furthering her education are among the benefits Hufstetler enumerated in discussing her experience in the BC Honors Colloquium.

The initial cohort focused on humanities and traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to see the King Tut exhibit there, seeing for themselves ancient Egyptian artifacts. The 2011 cohort will focus on the history of terrorism, said Kirkland, who teaches history and is planning a trip to Washington, D.C., for the new group.

To be eligible for the Bainbridge College Honors Program, new BC students must have a minimum combined SAT of 1100, a minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 and must enroll in an Associate of Arts degree program at BC.

“Our Honors Program offers the student a lifetime of benefits,” Kirkland said. Students in the cohort have opportunities for in-depth studies in the colloquium’s seminars, additional research in challenging courses, and more interactive discussions with leading professors. They also may choose to participate in study abroad opportunities.

The advantages of participating in the Honors Colloquium extend beyond students’ coursework at BC and special recognition on their diplomas. The program can help students prepare for future educational achievements and enhance their resumes. For example, a student in the second cohort was selected by Georgia University System Honors Program Directors to present at a state conference her paper on the Greek tragedy Antigone.