Honors Institute often serves as the unofficial kickoff to Honors in Action Project planning. It’s an opportunity to delve deeper into the Honors Study Topic, gain insights from peers and hear wide-ranging takes on the topic’s various themes from notable speakers.
Now that the 2016 event is behind us, what’s next for your chapter?
Start Planning Your Project
“Honors Institute really gets students focused on the academics,” said Dr. Becky Tate, advisor to the Alpha Rho Mu Chapter from Lone Star College-Tomball in Texas. “It’s a wonderful inspiration for them.”
The Alpha Rho Mu Chapter has been named the Most Distinguished Chapter two years in a row, in 2015 and 2016. Tate typically brings two chapter officers with her to Honors Institute and credits the event with the chapter’s success. She’s developed a timeline for tackling the Honors in Action Project:
- Summer — following Honors Institute, identify potential topics/themes
- Early fall — chapter buy-in, research and project identification and planning
- Mid-to-late fall — project completion
- Winter — writing Hallmark Award applications
Now is the time to research the Honors Study Topic, How the World Works: Global Perspectives. Let your chapter’s Honors Institute participants use what they learned to spark ideas about which theme to use as the cornerstone of your project.
This is also a good time to start studying the Hallmark Award rubrics, which will help ensure that your project aligns with the Hallmark applications.
“The people at Headquarters who created the programming know that the rubrics, which are lists of elements, skills and outcomes that they’re looking for, create meaningful projects,” Tate said.
Turn to Your Region
Some regions will host their regional meetings and Honors Institutes late in the summer. If you weren’t able to attend the international Honors Institute, a regional one can be a good way to capitalize on the experiences of others.
“Our region, Mississippi/Louisiana, hosts a Regional Honors Institute after Honors Institute, so the excitement reverberates back to our region,” said Robin Lowe, advisor to the Upsilon Sigma Chapter at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. “The advisors and students who attend lead sessions about their experience and their knowledge pertaining to the study topic.”
Remember to Share
Let your Honors Institute attendees share what they learned in the Regional Officer training sessions and Honors in Action Educational Forums held throughout the week. If you did not send a representative to Honors Institute, don’t worry: stories about these sessions will be posted on The Reach blog over the next few weeks.
Look for presentations by most of the Honors Institute keynote speakers to be added to ptk.org soon. Share these presentations with your chapter by scheduling some watch parties, and then discuss the ideas related to the Honors Study Topic.
Finally, meet with your college administrators and share what you learned from the speakers, the Place as Text event and from your travels in general. Your enthusiasm will likely be contagious, and you could use it to drive conversations about attending the 2017 Honors Institute.