Commonwealth Honors Program CC’s Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) offers an exciting and challenging opportunity for students to learn at a more advanced level. The program provides a place for students to exchange insights and ideas with peers and professors, and master research and presentation techniques. “The honors program is a great place for students who want to be fully engaged in their intellectual enterprise to learn as much as possible about the world around them – and focus on the collegiate experience,” said MCC History Professor David Kalivas, current CHP Director. Since receiving accreditation from the State Board of Higher Education in 2010, the honors program has a more defined structure, and offers a variety of honors course options. It also provides students opportunities to engage in extra and cocurricular activities, including field trips and guest lectures. Under Kalivas’ direction, interdisciplinary team-taught seminars have been added as part of the required honors curriculum. “Students get a very rich array of information and a Honors student Joseph Assenza at deeper level of the 2012 Poster Conference. engagement in these seminar-style courses,” said Kalivas. “Learning from two faculty members broadens horizons for students and gives a greater, more meaningful introduction to the topics.” M 4 History Professor David Kalivas is current Director of MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program. MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program is part of an integrated network of honors programs throughout the Massachusetts public college and university system. Students who complete their degrees through CHP are guaranteed transfer to other Commonwealth Honors Programs at any state college or university, or can enter into programs to enhance their applications for other four-year public or private institutions. MCC Alumna Fiona Logan, who is currently a Davis Scholar at Wellesley College, credits CHP at Middlesex for much of her success. “Being able to state on my applications that I was part of the Commonwealth Honors Program at MCC played a huge role in my being accepted to all 11 of the colleges I applied to,” said Logan. “Being a part of the program fuelled my desire to succeed. It taught me discipline and gave me confidence.” To graduate with honors, Middlesex students are expected to complete a minimum of three honors courses, one of which must be an interdisciplinary team-taught seminar. Students must also participate in the annual Honors Poster Conference, a public opportunity for students to display and explain their research. “This Poster Conference is a learning experience and one of the highlights of the program. Students learn to express and explain their work while celebrating their achievements,” said Kalivas. “Students in the Commonwealth Honors Program do not just do more work, it is more in-depth and more engaging work that gives them a competitive edge,” he added. • 4 In addition to seminar-style courses, students can also choose to enter into an Honors Option Contract with professors in their regular courses. The Honors Option Contract is an agreement between a student and a faculty member that allows the student to do extra work and receive honors credit for that course. “A student shouldn’t go into the honors program thinking it is an easy way to get extra credit. It’s not easier, it’s harder, but with excellent results,” said current CHP student Devon Schneider. “The type of research, writing and presentation preparation required in CHP courses prepares students for higher-level work,” she said. Tura Linderholm [7] Profiles