New honors society at Simpson could be implemented next fall


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by Grace Peck, Special to The Simpsonian

INDIANOLA, Iowa — A new honors society is being reviewed and approved in order to allow students to get more out of their education.

Originally suggested by the previous academic dean and now in the hands of Allison Wolf, who has been a philosophy professor at Simpson College for 12 years, the Honors Society is being created as a way to enhance the Simpson academic experience. Wolf is hoping that the program will maybe be implemented by next fall.

Though Simpson currently has no honors education, two programs are in development.

Simpson Honors would be open to incoming and current students who meet the requirements. Students would need to meet criteria and have a want to increase their learning experience. The second program, Simpson Scholars, has the similar goal of Simpson Honors, to enhance student’s education, but the section would take a smaller group of incoming students only and offer scholarships. Simpson Honors will not.

Neither societies will add any additional cost to the student’s tuition, but there will be a slight additional cost to the school to fund the resources students will need.

Wolf has been working with different departments to get honors classes in varying majors, so students don’t have to take extra classes. They would also have the Engaged Citizen Curriculum courses to take, but they would only be offered to honors students.

“The benefits are clearly going to be that you are going to really get more out of your education then you already do because of the opportunity to do interdisciplinary study in a formal way,” Wolf said.

It’s for the students who want an extra challenge and would assist students for applying to graduate schools, an extra asset to add to their resume, showing employers that this student loves to do more than what is required.

It’s also a way for students to make friends outside of their majors and to strengthen the Simpson community.

Although honors societies are typically seen at large universities, Wolf feels that all students should have the opportunity to get the best education possible. While Simpson provides many opportunities to help students do well in college, like tutoring, they don’t offer anything for students who want an extra challenge and who want to do interdisciplinary work.

Wolf also talked about how this program would be more than just harder courses.

“Doing a program like this is going to allow you to start seeing connections between your majors, connections between different aspects that you might not have studied before but are relevant to want you want to do,” Wolf said. “I think that student fundamentally want to learn as much as they can… If you’re motivated and want to challenge yourself, this is another way you can do that.”

As the new honors society goes through the approval process, aspects of it are subject to change. It has to be approved by the faculty and the EECP, the curriculum committee as a voting process.