Academics

Honors Program
(440) 826-2242
honors@bw.edu

OVERVIEW

As a part of the Office of Honors and Scholars, the honors program at Baldwin Wallace helps motivated, high-potential students make the most of their college experience. As a 4-year experience with a foundation in mentorship and community, the honors program emphasizes the development of 21st century skills to ensure students leave BW as the most competitive candidates for whatever opportunity is next for them.

The Liberal Arts — Redefined

Interdisciplinary and experiential, the honors program offers unique courses and an enhanced core curriculum that blend the theoretical and the practical. Encouraging academic exploration and independent thinking, the honors program can augment any program of study and expand the opportunities available to students.

Your Success – At the Heart of Everything We Do

Through honors classes, leadership opportunities and co-curricular programming, honors helps students develop the skills they need and the knowledge of how to use them. The Honors Colloquia Series brings alumni and other speakers from around the country into virtual and in-person conversations with our students ten times every semester to share their career paths, life experiences and expert advice. Mentoring from peer leaders and honors advisors provides ongoing support for students to ensure that they get connected on campus and take advantage of everything BW has to offer.

  • Image of Klementyna Pozniak

    Alumna Wins Fulbright Award to Teach in Ukraine

    Klementyna Pozniak '20 will be teaching English in Ukraine starting in January 2021.

  • Image of Jessica Villacres

    Alumna Wins Fulbright Award to Teach in Mexico

    Jessica Villacres '20 won a Fulbright to teach in Mexico.

  • Photo of William Lekan in Taiwan

    Alumnus Awarded Fulbright

    William Lekan '19 spent the 2019-20 academic year on the Taiwanese island of Kinmen where he taught English to middle school students.

  • Photo of Tessa (Smith) Fenstermaker in graduation gown

    Alumna Wins Elite Fellowship in Germany

    May honors graduate Tessa (Smith) Fenstermaker ’19 was chosen for an all-expenses-paid, year-long fellowship in Germany.

  • Photo of Honors students interacting in one of the program's living and learning communities

    Living and Learning Community

    The honors program offers vibrant residential experiences for first-year students and upperclassmen in three unique residence halls. Honors students enjoy the stimulating intellectual and social atmosphere of living with other engaged students.

  • Honors students standing around BW professor playing piano in classroom

    Not More Difficult, but More Deeply Engaged

    Honors program courses are innovative and experiential. A recent course, "Philosophy Through Sound: The Music of John Cage," examined American avant garde composer John Cage's music and the philosophical questions he sought to answer through sound.

  • BW student Autumn Richards (right) with two children in the Dominican Republic on an Honors Program trip

    Learning Through Service

    Honors students engage in service locally and around the world. Many projects can generate honors credit or be financially supported by the honors program. 

CURRICULUM

The honors program prepares students with the skills needed to address the complex problems facing our communities and our world. To that end, the honors curriculum assists all students in developing transferable skills such as independent thinking and research. These outcomes encourage students to understand multiple perspectives, conduct serious investigations into important questions and develop their own well-informed voices.

Additionally, students will select one of three focused areas of skill development to enhance their versatility and career readiness: study of a non-English language and culture outside of the US, data programming or statistics. These skills represent the humanities, STEM and social sciences, and ensure that all honors graduates leave BW ready to live meaningful lives, provide substantial value to organizations and continue their education at the most distinguished institutions.

Interdisciplinary and Experiential

The honors program offers a new set of courses each year that help students engage in thinking across subject areas and between the theoretical and the practical. Often involving hands-on work in the classroom, community or laboratory, honors classes provide a setting for experimentation and rich engagement with the liberal arts. Honors courses count as honors electives in our requirements and fulfill requirements of the University general education core.

Not More Difficult, but More Deeply Engaged

Intended to be exciting, distinctive and skill-building, honors courses do not require more work than non-honors classes and should not be thought of as “harder” than non-honors classes. Our courses take a deeper dive into a subject than a typical introductory course and provide special opportunities for enriching your education regardless of your area of study.  

Admission to Honors

The BW honors program seeks academically motivated students who demonstrate the potential to excel academically and as leaders on campus. We value a diversity of experiences, backgrounds and identities, and look for students who will contribute to our vibrant community of scholars.

Admission from High School

Students admitted to BW with a 3.75 weighted GPA will be automatically invited to apply to the Honors Program at the time of their acceptance. Students who are not automatically invited to apply, but who believe they have strong potential for success and achievement in college, should ask their admission counselor about honors or contact the honors program staff directly.

Admission of Current BW Students

Students who do not join at the start of their first year at BW have an opportunity to do so in their second semester. The honors program solicits nominations from faculty and encourages students to self-nominate for consideration. Students with a nomination and a 3.5 GPA after the first semester are invited to learn more about the Honors Program and can join during the middle of spring semester.

Transfer Students

The BW honors program welcomes interested transfer students to contact us directly or speak to your admission counselor about whether honors could be a good fit for you. Transfer students must have above a 3.0 college GPA.

Student Experiences

Honors Welcome

The first-year student Honors Welcome offers an empowering beginning to your honors experience. Before the academic year commences, the honors program hosts an overnight orientation for incoming first-year students. Designed to initiate new students into the honors community, the Welcome packs in exciting team-building activities, as well as book discussions and workshops on the transition to college.

Begin Building Friendships Immediately

The Welcome provides an opportunity for new students to start developing friendships that will last for a lifetime. Sharing this experience means that honors students have something in common right away and can build on that foundation as their relationships develop in the coming months and years at BW.

Mentoring and the Honors Community

First-year students are not the only students we involve in the Honors Welcome — we also include a group of upper-class honors peer leaders who act as mentors, friends and advisors through the experience. These peer leaders will work with the first-year class throughout the entire first year of college, helping new students adjust to life at BW and get engaged with campus resources and opportunities.

Mentoring is also a central aspect of the relationship that honors students have with their honors advisor. Honors advisors are the instructors for honors first-year seminar courses, ensuring that a strong relationship is established from the very start of a student’s time at BW. Those relationships continue for the full four years, evolving from a focus on engagement and developing connections to one of future planning and resume development.

Honors Living and Learning Community

Honors offers a vibrant residential experience for first-year and upper-level students in one of the most desirable residence halls on campus, Carmel Living and Learning Center. Centrally-located and adjacent to the student union and largest dining hall, Carmel features suite-style double rooms with two rooms connected by a shared bathroom. The hall also includes eight large common rooms with a variety of amenities. 

Academically Supportive Environment

Join a community of ambitious, intelligent and passionate students. You will be able to live and work in a welcoming environment where other students respect your goals and share your commitment to excellence.

Learning Outside the Classroom

Living together will encourage you to attend campus events and join student organizations with your honors peers. You will enjoy the stimulating intellectual and social atmosphere of living with other engaged students and together take advantage of programming sponsored by the honors program, honors leadership board and residence life.

Feels Like Home!

Being a part of a supportive, close-knit environment with other dedicated honors students helps you form friendships that last all four years and beyond. Carmel Living and Learning Center is air-conditioned, carpeted and equipped with a kitchen and multiple student lounges to help you feel at home wherever you are in the building.

FACULTY & STAFF

Dr. Amy E. Lebo
Associate Dean, Office of Honors and Scholars
Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Oregon
Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies, University of Oregon
M.A. in Philosophy, University of Oregon
B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, Emory University

(440) 826-2266
alebo@bw.edu

Margaret Stiner
Associate Director, Office of Honors and Scholars
Lecturer in English
M.A.T. in English, Brown University
B.A. in English and Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross
(440) 826-2242
mstiner@bw.edu

Frequently Asked Questions