Honors Program Mission and Goals
Honors students graduate from Loras with a depth of experience in collaborative research and problem-solving that brings the insights of academia into conversation with the problems faced by a variety of communities. Many people can talk about what is wrong with the world; our graduates know how to analyze a problem from multiple perspectives, address root causes through community resources, and apply their research in the service of others.
When students enter the Honors program they become part of an active learning community that values intellectual curiosity and community engagement. Foundational classes deepen students’ connections with each other and teach the values of the Honors program while developing the critical discernment, creativity, and interpersonal skills that are essential for collaborative, interdisciplinary research. In the first year, these connections are forged and strengthened through students' taking a few Honors general education courses together.
Sophomore through senior year focuses on the collaborative, interdisciplinary research project. Mentored by a faculty partner and supported by the Honors Director, students advance in discovering and applying solutions to problems through community engagement and research. Collaborative research projects have been completed in areas ranging from health education to handicap accessibility to environmental sustainability. In their final semester, research teams will present their research and propose actions to the campus and wider communities.
These interdisciplinary research projects, pursued over a three year span, address a question or problem in a community to learn about the issue, connect with other interested groups, and develop a possible solution. The students work as a collaborative team, but distribute tasks amongst themselves to best use their talents and inclinations to the fullest potential possible.
Goals and Outcomes of the Honors Program
To provide opportunities for research for students and faculty
To provide meaningful and reflective service for students and faculty
To encourage growth in personal compassion, empathy, and cross-cultural competence through exposure to diverse ideas and experiences
To provide students with opportunities for professional and/or vocational development
To develop in students an understanding of needs in society and the world, using their talents, abilities, and expertise to contribute in creative and positive ways