Honors Program to graduate 40th class

Amy Kreeger

This spring the honors program at NIU will graduate its 40th class.

The program has added new courses, including studying abroad courses, and has also made advancements on mini-sections, which are the groups of honor students taking regular courses as honor courses.

The changes in the program were necessary, said Honors Program Director Daniel Kempton.

“There have been things going on around campus that the Honors Program hasn’t responded to,” Kempton said.

These changes include engaged learning and study abroad courses can be taken for honors credit, mini sections can be set up through MyNIU and can be carried from semester-to-semester and students that are enrolled in a departmental or college honors program can now take their seminar inside their department.

There is not a direct fee that all students are paying for the honors program, but since the most qualified teachers are teaching them, and those teachers also teach other courses, in a sense everyone is paying for them, Kempton said.

The school invested $58,000 just in new courses for honor students this year. The money comes from the Office of the Provost and Strategic Planning.

“They gave four $6,000 grants out last year,” Kempton said.

Being in the Honors Program does not guarantee that a student will get more financial aid and does not cost anything to be in the program.

When a teacher wants to create a course, they typically teach it to honors students first because the classes are smaller, Kempton said.

“We are taking the resources Northern already has and making them better and more accessible for students in the program,” Kempton said.

Kate Abell, freshman operation management and information systems major, said she joined the honors program because it looks good on her resume and likes the smaller classes.

“It’s like going to a Liberal Arts College while going to a public school at the same time,” Abell said.

Sophomore nutrition major Madelaine Dickinson said she joined the Honors Program because of the skills you develop both personally and professionally.