Registration getting tough in Honors College

Registration getting tough in Honors College

Registration getting tough in Honors College
November 26
08:55 2013

Andrew Freeman / Staff Writer

It’s registration time again, which means the scramble for classes that quickly fill up, which can cause frustration for some UNT students.

The Honors College, which has only been around since 2005, offers about 70 classes a year for more than 1,100 members. But despite being able to register before all other undergraduate students, some students struggle to find classes to fit their schedule.

“There are problems in the conceptual sense, and then there are actual problems,” Honors College Dean Gloria Cox said. “We do have classes close out on first day of priority registration, but we try to create other sections for the classes.”

Students usually come across the issues when registering for higher-level classes.

“There are plenty of lower-level honors classes you can take to help finish your university core, but most of the 3000 and 4000 level honors classes are major-specific,” mechanical and energy engineering freshman Clark Limbaugh said. “For example, honors medieval literature. Taking that as an engineering major would not help me at all.”

Limbaugh said he isn’t worried about not earning his honors, but that he would like a larger selection of classes.

“There is a wide enough variety of low-level courses that you most likely won’t run out of honors classes to take,” Limbaugh said. “If I could change anything, I would like to see more high-level math or science honors classes added. Right now, the upper-level honors courses are mainly English, philosophy, music or something along those lines. Having more advanced honors courses that would count toward my engineering degree would be nice.”

The English, biology and music departments offer the highest number of classes.

However, until the college can add more classes, there are other options students can take to earn their 18 hours required to graduate with honors, said Sean Ryan, senior academic counselor for the Honors College.

“Students should schedule an appointment with me, and we’ll figure things out,” Ryan said. “There are options like the undergrad thesis, study abroad and an honors contract.”

An honors contract is an agreement that allows a student to earn honors credit in a non-honors class by writing an extra paper and maintaining a certain grade.

This year the college added two psychology classes, a biology class and a music class.

“Honors is moving like UNT is moving – getting better all the time,” Cox said. “The big issue is money, but that’s always the problem, isn’t it? Just ask any department.”

The Honors College pays other university departments $2,500 for them to offer honors-credit courses, but sometimes the departments offer the classes without charge.

Cox said she hopes that one day, every department offers at least one honors class.

“Some departments have never offered an honors class,” Cox said. “However, others don’t even accept our money, they just want to offer the class. We would like to get to that point where we have a free class offered every semester.”

Despite the lack of upper-level classes, some students are content with their experiences in the Honors College.

“I think the honors program is a great thing for college students that want to take a step forward and get the best they can out of their college education,” computer science senior Nicolas Amezquita-Piñeros said. “The class selection may sometimes seem limited to core classes or the more common majors like business, but the experience in them is great and far superior than normal classes.”

Cox said the college will continue working with what it has at the moment.

“The bottom line is we would love to offer more classes,” Cox said. “I’m working with wonderful students and creating wonderful opportunities. I love our college and our students.”

Feature photo: Students walk into Honors Hall on Nov. 11. Honors hall is located on the corner of Eagle Drive and Ave. C. The Honors College encourages it’s students to live in the Honors Hall during their first year on campus. Photo by Kelsey Littlefield / Intern Photographer 

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