A brief encounter with the Honors Program: Perspective of a transfer student
Rachel Lindo, Staff Writer
I am going to be upfront before I start this article: something hasn’t been sitting right with me with Augsburg’s Honors Program.
I know I’m coming off aggressive in this; I’m a cranky creative who was promised that this was a university for everyone. I strongly believe once one steps foot in university and college life, it is a fresh start and everyone –– yes, everyone –– has a chance for an education.
Why were honors courses required for the general courses? I’ve been in honors and gifted courses most of my life in K–12 education. Usually, it means that it relates to a college-level course. That’s it. So when it came my time to transfer in, I was told I would have to argue to not retake honors courses for credits that have already transferred over.
That’s fishy to me. Maybe it’s because I have anxiety, but that does not sit right with me. I went in and changed my mind, telling my advisor that I know that this honors program would not fit for my ADHD. Now, I do not discourage anyone who has a learning disability from taking honors classes, but I do hesitate at a required morning class and a lab much later in the day. I, at the time, was a student who had to commute to get here, so, again, this was another barrier I would have to break through.
When I thought I withdrew, I thought everything was fine. No. I still was receiving emails from the honors program; I hadn’t seen any reimbursement of my money paid for the program (which, yes, had a whole semester to get back to me with). It wasn’t until I went to another advising appointment for the next semester. They still had me registered in the program, even though I believed that my advisor would communicate to Professor Adamo that a student would be withdrawing. I believed I would receive an email with anything required for me leaving a program I knew wasn’t good for my ability to have academic success.
Now, as the advisor I worked with at the time was searching for a link to the withdrawal form, another odd thing happened: it was nowhere to be seen. I would have to jump through more hoops to withdraw from a program I wasn’t given enough information about to make a proper choice. Looking into the general information, the honors program promises a different way to learn something when we’re at a private university with enough money to grant us unique classes so we, as students, have a choice on how we want to learn.
It doesn’t take much to know that hearing is not the same thing as listening. All I’m asking with this is that we, as students, faculty, staff and anyone else hold someone accountable for not holding up to the standards Augsburg University has promised to all of us.
Now, I’m still up for looking for more things wrong that need fixing, and it seems there are plenty of things to fix.
This article was originally published in the Feb. 8, 2019 issue.