“But information, let us be clear, isn’t learning. Information isn’t poetry. Or art. Or Gershwin or the Shaw Memorial. Or faith. It isn’t wisdom. Facts alone are never enough.” ~David McCullough, from his May 19, 2008 Commencement Address for Boston College
The acquisition of information has always been at the heart of learning. As David McCullough points out in the quote above, however, information alone is not enough. Today’s students are bombarded with social media and sites like YouTube and Twitter. These sites are full of information, some useful and some simply entertainment. When one accesses these sites, information is gained but learning is not. Learning is taking that information and doing something with it. The Rio Grande Honors Program moves students from obtaining information to learning about new topics and new ideas. While obtaining information is important, it is the learning process that is exciting.
The Rio Grande Honors Program is moving in a new direction. The program’s focus is now on semester-long seminars. These seminars are on diverse topics from a wide range of disciplines; for example, in Fall 2012 the Beginners Seminar is on the presidential election and the Junior Seminar is on documentary filmmaking. In these seminars, students learn by participating in the acquisition of information. Honors students acquire that information in a way that mirrors the technological, cultural, and social changes that have happened during their lifetime and use that information to learn how to be not just good students but also compassionate, knowledgeable citizens of our ever-changing world.
In addition to seminars, the Honors Program includes a general education curriculum suitable to the learning abilities and career goals of its participants. This general education curriculum will be a part of the program in Fall 2013. The final element of the Honors Program is a senior capstone project that allows students to work with a faculty member to complete an in-depth project on a topic of their choosing. Both of these program elements help students complete their learning process as well as engage in a hands-on learning experience.
Benjamin Franklin argued, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” The Rio Grande Honors Program is involving students in their own personal information gathering, thus helping them to move beyond just obtaining the facts to an engaging and life-long learning experience.
To learn more about the Honors Program a student may contact the Director:
Dr. Heather Duda
First semester Rio Grande students must meet only two of the following criteria:
- Upper 10% of high school graduating class
- 3.5 high school GPA
- ACT composite score of 25
- Letter of recommendation by a Rio Grande faculty member and/or high school teacher or counselor.
Students who are already enrolled need:
- 3.25 GPA on a minimum of 8 hours coursework undertaken at Rio Grande.
- Letter of recommendation by a Rio Grande faculty member.