Florida International University Honors College
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|FIU Honors College|
|Location||Miami, Florida, USA|
The FlU Honors College, also known as FIU Honors, is the college of honors at Florida International University. Before the Honors College was a college, it was the Honors Program. The Program got its start in 1990 with an inaugural class of only 100 freshmen. The earliest iteration of the Honors College, the Faculty Scholars Program, was formed in 1972 and became an integral part of FIU’s newly admitted lower-division student body. The program brought together some of the best and brightest students and challenged them to think outside the box of the traditional university curriculum.
Dr. Fernando González-Reigosa was at the forefront of the push to create an entire Honors curriculum. Gonzalez-Reigosa dreamed of an intellectual community in which outstanding students focused on critical thinking, personal and professional enrichment, and excellence working hand-in-hand with a group of dedicated teachers and scholars. This vision led eventually to the transformation of the program into an autonomous college within the university.
In 1997, the Honors Program became the Honors College. Invigorated by a new sense of its growing value to the University, and with a larger space in which to stretch itself, the College concentrated its efforts on providing students with a continually evolving interdisciplinary curriculum.
The community that Dr. González-Reigosa left in 2001. Ivelaw Griffith was appointed the second dean of the Honors College by the Provost. Under his leadership, the Honors College doubled its enrollment and became an even more significant part of the university. Among other things, Dean Griffith added both the Student Research and Artistic Initiative (SRAI) and the Honors Convocation to the College’s offerings. Opportunities for research in the program encompass nearly every academic discipline and artistic endeavor. The program, now renamed Advanced Research and Creativity in Honors (ARCH), gives interested students a chance to learn by doing, rather than sitting in a classroom in a seminar.
After 5 years as dean of the College, Ivelaw Griffith left FIU to become the provost at Radford University in Virginia. The Honors College dean's position was handed to Lesley Northup. Under her leadership, the last 10 years have seen many new initiatives that have led the College into previously untapped areas. Such significant partnerships as the 3 + 3 program with FIU’s Law School and a partnership with FIU’s Athletics Department are now in place, strengthening the Honors College’s ties with the university and helping Honors students advance.
The College has also begun to place far greater emphasis on outreach and service learning, as students are encouraged to take leadership roles and contribute to the community. The pioneering Sweetwater partnership impacts FIU and the surrounding community, as students tutor children, teach sports and hygiene, plant community gardens and trees, mentor seniors in computer use, offer citizenship classes, and put together events with the elementary school.
In 1999, Honors Place was established. The idea was to create a residential living-learning community exclusively for Honors College students, where they could get to know one another, study together, and participate in special programs and events. Since 2000, when Honors Place consisted of a mere 5 rooms, the community has expanded to 70 rooms and been transformed into a community of scholars that was at one point named the “Best Living and Learning Community” in the state of Florida by Florida Leader Magazine.
- "Honors College Facts". Retrieved 2007-11-11.