Students in the Honors Program are required to take responsibility for their own education by identifying and pursuing their own research questions and interests. Field trips at all levels help students to directly engage experts and texts they are studying; students in Revolutions in Thought (HON 290) gain better understanding of aesthetic revolutions by visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, and students in an honors seminar on bioethics meet with researchers at stem cell laboratories in Madison. Members of an honors seminar on immigration in America traveled to New York City by train to cultivate the feeling of traveling to and navigating a new world. Perhaps the most extensive Student-as-Practitioner experience in the honors program is the senior honors project, which requires students to develop and complete a project that contributes to the campus or local community. Recent examples have included a study of racial prejudice and discrimination on campus; a workshop series at the local Boys and Girls Club fostering communicative confidence in local eighth grade girls; and a campaign to reduce paper consumption on campus, which concluded with the acquisition and planting of six donated trees on campus. Students develop the project over the course of two semesters; upon completion, they have gained significant experience in the areas of project design, needs assessment, and time management, in addition to developing their abilities to communicate in speech and writing.
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