The Roberts Wesleyan College Global Honors Program is halfway through its first year, with 26 students enrolled. Launched in fall 2016, the two-year program for freshmen and sophomores provides coursework focused on global studies followed by an on-location course in Brazil.
“Our goal is to provide our students with the opportunity to explore and experience the world in order to increase their cultural awareness and develop a deeper appreciation for the diversity that God has created,” said Dr. Amy Kovach, director of the Honors Program. The students are already making a difference: In the First-Year Seminar course, they learned about human trafficking in a global context and were so moved that they started a club on campus to raise both awareness and funds to support organizations in the fight against human trafficking.
In February, Kovach and Director of International Engagement Julie Rushik took four upperclass honors students to Brazil to test the on-location course that will officially launch in May 2018, and the program is in the process of recruiting for fall 2017, with a goal of 35 students. As a part of that recruitment, the College hosted Academic Scholarship Weekend February 3-4, allowing qualified accepted students to apply to the Global Honors Program. More than 80 prospective students participated and applied.
While the Global Honors Program is for freshmen and sophomores, Faculty Senate recently approved the Academic Research & Leadership Honors Program for juniors and seniors, which will start in fall 2018. The program allows transfer students and current Roberts students to apply. Students will conduct a two-year faculty-mentored research project. Participants will also take a leadership course, taught by President Dr. Deana L. Porterfield, with guest lectures by Rochester-area leaders. Additionally, students will take a semester-long mentoring course that will pair them with community members in their field of interest.
Both the Global Honors Program and the Academic Research & Leadership Honors Program will provide engaging experiences for students, connect them with leaders, and provide inspiration for students to transform themselves and the world.